Personal Finanace

Quicken Bets Consumers Will Pay For its New Personal Finance App Simplifi

At a time when free apps, zero-commission trades, and no-fee banking is becoming the norm, Quicken is betting consumers are willing to pay for help managing their finances.

Applying what its learned selling one of the most popular personal finance software programs for more than three decades, Quicken is launching Simplifi, a personal finance app that costs $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year after a 30-day free trial. 

“Plenty of people will settle for a free app but we’re not addressing that part of the market,” said Eric Dunn, CEO of Quicken. “There’s a very large group of customers who are willing to pay to get results.” 

The mobile app is aimed at people in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s who are entering different life stages whether it’s purchasing a home, starting a family or paying for college. Simplifi provides mobile users with a comprehensive but easy way to see all their personal finance accounts in one place. Users can track day to day spending, set spending alerts and create short and long term budgets. Simplifi’s Watchlists feature tested well with beta users who liked the ability to track everyday spending categories such as food, transportation, and entertainment. The app also creates a custom plan based on the user’s income coming in and bills for the month. 

“Our target market has financial complexity. They need more from a personal finance app,” said Dunn. Those complexities are what drove consumers to purchase Quicken’s software during its heyday in the 1990’and is why it’s still growing today. Over 17 million people have used Quicken over the years with the customer base currently standing at 2.5 million active users. Quicken’s shift to the cloud is breathing new life into the software with subscriber growth of more than 40% last year.  Quicken thinks it can stand out from the slew of other fintechs offering similar services by making its app add free. It also isn’t trying to upsell customers by hawking services or enhanced options.  

Quicken may have lofty goals for its new personal finance app but it is late to the party when it comes to launching a mobile app. Apps that help you budget and manage money have been around for several years with some including Acorns and HelloWallet already amassing scores of customers. But Dunn doesn’t view fintech apps as its direct competitors. It’s going after the individuals who use a banking app plus an Excel spreadsheet. The Quicken CEO  thinks consumers will always use their bank or credit card app but in addition to that, they will use Simplifi to solve the problems that caused them to resort to a spreadsheet in the first place.

Dunn isn’t too worried about coming to the market a couple of years after the fintech revolution kicked off either. Spun out from Intuit in March of 2016, the first two years were focused on its Quicken software and building out mobile and web features for that business. Simplifi has been in active development for about a year-and-a-half and Dunn said after iterations and testing it is now ready for primetime. Whether or not consumers are willing to pay to access it is still anyone’s guess. 

“Everyone who produces an app has to have a way to pay the bills. They monetize by selling ads or upselling other services or in our case it’s straight forward,” said Dunn. “You pay us $3.99 a month and we deliver a commitment to improving the app as long as we are here.”

Source

neallesh@yahoo.co.uk

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