Tech titans are focused on acquiring customer data and controlling the portals through which it flows
Mint.com is an exception to Intuit's service offerings. This is the only service in its portfolio which is aimed at personal financial management. It is well regarded as a financial aggregator and budget management tool, and is often chosen as an example of the level of customer experience and innovation we can expect from fintechs, particular as banks are obliged to open up feeds to their customers' data.
As with Intuit's business loan offering, Mint.com uses customers' spending data to offer more tailored loans and credit cards. Again this keeps the user within the Mint.com environment and reduces their need to interact with their bank.
Intuit has a strong position in the SME market thanks to its QuickBooks software, which users see as helpful and time-saving. Where banks make life for small businesses difficult, QuickBooks offers fast access to capital and easy documentation and management of company finances. This is highlighted by QuickBooks' ability to integrate with various payment methods (eg, PayPal) to visualise cashflow automatically. QuickBooks' ability to offer small business loans with almost immediate drawdown highlights the level of service innovation QuickBooks provides for its customers.
QuickBooks' App Store recognises that all SMEs have different requirements. Rather than forcing a particular software experience on the user, the App Store allows QuickBooks users to install plugins which provide the particular functionality they require. Again this creates a desire to remain in and rely on the QuickBooks' ecosystem as a 'one-stop shop' for their financial management needs.
The company's recent partnerships and acquisitions indicate an interest in the back-end APIs that support businesses' bill-paying infrastructure. Again, by owning this infrastructure Intuit will have the ability to keep the consumer interaction within their own ecosystem. This is a particular threat to the financial sector given their historically poor provision for small businesses.
QuickBooks software makes it easier for SMEs to manage their finances