The battle of the financial aggregators continues here at Narrow Bridge. In the past, we did an in depth comparison of Mint.com and Thrive. Today, we look at another alternative to these services, PageOnce, and compare it with current leader Mint.com.
What They Have In Common
Both sites are designed to bring your information to one place with a single log in. After an initial setup process, both sites pull in balance and transaction data from your various bank, credit card, and investment accounts. Any financial account is fair game.
That is about as far as I would compare them.
What Sets PageOnce Apart
PageOnce is focused on bringing a wide variety of accounts into one place. This goes far beyond financial accounts. For the life hacker in you, PageOnce can be a great tool.
In addition to my financial accounts (I only loaded a limited number as a test), I have added shopping accounts such as eBay and Amazon, services like Netflix (limited queue management), utilities such as my home internet, cable (canceled), and wireless phone provider, various social accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, and LinkedIn, and my Gmail.
While it is fun to have my social media accounts accessible with one login, I can’t do anything with them through the PageOnce interface, it juts provides me links to visit and edit those sites.
What really sets PageOnce apart is the ability to pull in utility bills, insurance accounts, and travel rewards accounts.
With one log in, I can see updated data on my airline and hotel points and miles along with expiration dates. Managing travel rewards is a huge pain in the ass if you use multiple hotel and airline reward programs. PageOnce makes it simple and easy.
The “alerts” feature is also a benefit, but it has also proved to be an annoyance. On one page, I can see new e-mails, bills coming due, and other important information. However, the default settings and updating system have proved to be a bit buggy. I got the same e-mail that I had paid my Qwest bill every day for a week.
What Sets Mint.com Apart
I have written about Mint.com many, many times on this site. I have been using it for well over three years and have seen features come and go.
Mint’s financial analysis features blow PageOnce out of the water. Mint.com offers tools for budgeting, investment tracking, long term spending tracking by category, goal tracking, a transaction history search function, and net worth tracking.
Mint is a full service financial tracking system and has been improved over time to include more features and better account and transaction tracking systems.
To highlight a few prominent features:
- Mint.com imports your transactions and automatically categorizes them. You can view historical charts of your spending by category over a specified time period.
- Mint fills in a budget throughout the month comparing your spending to your pre-set budget limits.
- You can set a goal, such as paying off a credit card or saving for a vacation, and designate accounts tied to the goal. Mint does the math and coaches you through the steps to reach your goals.
- Mint tracks your investments and their performance over time. (I have found many bugs in this feature)
The biggest problems I have with Mint are around bugs and customer service. While I did not need to report anything to PageOnce, as it all just worked, over the years I have had many account connection and update issues with Mint. Over time, their customer service has severely degraded. While I get an auto-response that I will hear back from Mint staff in 24-48 hours if I file a bug report, I rarely hear back at all. Some accounts go for months without updating correctly. Luckily these have been less important accounts, but if my primary checking or credit card stopped updating I would be up a creek without a paddle. A company owned by such a reputable company (Intuit) should have its act together better than Mint does today.
The sites have different focuses. Mint is primarily focused on personal financial tracking. PageOnce is a general aggregation service. However, this is a personal finance site. Mint.com is a clear winner due to its extensive budgeting and financial modeling tools.
To compete, PageOnce can increase its budget and transaction offerings on its site. Mint can learn a few things from PageOnce, however. First, have your product actually work 100% of the time. The constant bugs are unprofessional and the customer service is terrible. Also, Mint could add a new feature to track travel points accounts and some major billing providers. However, they should focus on doing what they already do better before they add new features.
Another alternative that I have begun to love is Personal Capital. If you are focused on tracking investment accounts and your retirement, be sure to check it out!
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