Is Yodlee MoneyCenter a Solid Financial Software Choice?

While Yodlee may not be a household name, there is a decent chance that you have used a version of their software at some point in the past — the company is behind many of the financial sites currently in operation on the web. Yodlee currently has a money management software system that is emerging from the beta stages of its existence. The software was designed to compete with the more popular online management tool, Mint. During this brief review, we will look at the functionality of the software, the user interface, and the practical relevance of the software.

While the current consumer version of this software is considered beta, the actual software was launched back in 2006, which sort of make Yodlee the granddaddy of all online personal finance software applications. The fact that a wide arrange of financial software providers use Yodlee’s backend to support that financial data. This alone speaks to the validity of the software. It should be understood that just because the software is solid for other financial companies to use does not mean that it will be an ideal fit for consumers.

Primary Features

The best feature associated with the software is that the beta version is free to consumers. With so many different software applications on the market, the competition is fierce and so almost every company has to have a Free version in order to remain competitive. The focus should be on what you get in the free version.

The free version of Yodlee offers basic budgeting, which is vital for setting up a household budget and successful monitoring expenditures on a weekly or monthly basis. Unfortunately, the free version does not facilitate bill payment, which means that you would have to log into each billing account and pay through separate gateways, increasing your risk of identity theft.

It does provide the capacity for investment tracking, which is ideal for the novice investor, or the investor who is just getting started. If you are intending on being a serious investor, you will need a significantly more sophisticated platform, but it great for getting started.

You can also access the features through the company’s website or through an iOS application. While the software allows for online synchronization, there are no custom categories, no credit score monitoring, nor bill management capabilities.

Here is What You Are Able To Do

  • Expense Analysis — You can get an instant snapshot of all of your spending by categorization
  • Real Estate — The software allows you to effectively track the value of your home over time, using Zillow Zestimate. It is worth noting that Mint.com has the same feature.
  • View Transactions — You can pull an itemized list of all of your transaction that will be automatically categorized in one centralized location.
  • Goal Setting — You have the capacity to create and track goals
  • Budgeting — Not only can you set up a budget, but you will get alerts when you exceed the limits you have set.
  • Alerts — Receive alerts of specified transactions, including overdrafts and large withdrawals.

The software basically uses unique frontend capabilities — meaning that each feature has its own unique interface and page. It is the backend in which in which Yodlee rises to the occasion by pulling all of these unique resources together in a central platform format.

When measured head-to-head with against Mint, Yodlee scored a 6 out of 10 in comparison to Mint’s 8.5 out of 10. What is interesting is that the original version of Mint was powered by Yodlee on the backend. Mint was simply the pretty face in front of all of the working parts. Once Intuit purchased mint, they replaced Yodlee with their own in-house synchronization that they also use with Quicken.

Pros

  • Has greater reliability than Mint.com — especially when it comes to synchronization.
  • Account Sharing — A feature that is unique to Yodlee is the ability to share a part of all of an account within the software. This makes it easy to share financials with your accountant or tax attorney.
  • Customizable Summary Screen — The summary page for this software program is highly customizable, allowing you to determine what information, you would like to display

Cons

  • Static Categorization — As with most online personal financial software providers, the main categories feature is almost completely predefined, making it challenging to find categories that fit your specific needs.
  • Clunky User Interface — Even with the latest beta version, the software shows very little signs up recent updates to create a more intuitive experience for users.
  • The investment section is lacking in functionality and detail
  • There is a $3.99 fee to use the mobile application while other similar services offer a mobile app features for free.

Summary

The strength of Yodlee, without questions, is their backend support and dependability. Additionally, the ability to synchronize with a number of financial institutions is highly functional. Where the program suffers is on the frontend, beginning with the user interface. It is obvious to seek where Yodlee has invested most of its focus and that is on the backend. The front-end services appear to be more of a marketing afterthought.


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