Magazine article American Banker

Microsoft, Quicken Update Personal Finance Software

Magazine article American Banker

Microsoft, Quicken Update Personal Finance Software

Article excerpt

Microsoft Corp. and Intuit Inc. have released new versions of their personal financial management software.

The enhancements mark a continuation in the battle for customer loyalty that has seen Microsoft close the gap between it and the perennial leader in the field.

Microsoft's Money is up to 7.8 million users, against 12.2 million for Intuit's Quicken, according to Media Metrix Inc. of New York. An assortment of other providers have a combined two million users.

Microsoft said 649 financial institutions let users connect to Money either through their Web sites or directly using the Open Financial Exchange standard, which allows bank data to be downloaded to Money. One hundred and twenty-seven institutions let their customers download bank data directly into Money, while 522 let them do so via their Web sites.

Intuit is working with 745 financial institutions. Of those, 66 let their customers download bank data directly into Quicken, while 679 let their users make the connection through the bank's Web site.

Christine M. Winkel, product manager for the Microsoft Money group, contends use of Money is "growing quickly."

Both vendors face hurdles in making their software more appealing to consumers. A study by NFO Research Inc. conducted in May indicated that 70% of those who intend to use personal finance software believe it is too time-consuming. In addition, while 60% of computer users have personal financial management software, just half of them actually use it. …

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