'iBank Access' Seeking to Remake Personal Finance on the iPad

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As Intuit's Quicken options for Mac users continue to falter in the wake of a stripped-down Quicken Essentials release and the company's ongoing efforts to make the more fully-functional Quicken 2007 compatible with OS X Lion, other personal finance software firms have attempted to step into the void.

    One of the more successful companies has been IGG Software with its iBank software, which is available as both a Mac application and a companion iPhone app. IGG Software has been teasing a few tidbits about its work on an iPad application over the past few months, and as noted in a new blog post today, the company appears to be making significant progress in moving toward the release of iBank Access for iPad. The forthcoming app will serve double duty as either a companion app to iBank for Mac or as a standalone personal finance app.


    Among the most significant features of iBank Access is "Direct Access", IGG's new service that will provide users with significantly more options for automatically importing account data from their financial institutions.
    In an effort to learn more about iBank Access and IGG's broader iBank efforts, MacRumors spoke with IGG's chief architect James Gillespie, a nearly 15-year veteran of Intuit who joined his brother Ian's company in 2008 to oversee iBank and other projects.

    With the change to Direct Access for automatic syncing of information from over 5,000 financial institutions, iBank Access represents a paradigm shift for IGG in that it will require a small monthly fee ("in the range of a fancy cup of coffee") in order for users to take advantage of the service. Users who choose to manually import their transactions will not need to pay the monthly fee, but IGG believes that many will find the service worthwhile. Gillespie says:
    The new Direct Access capabilities will also eventually be making their way to iBank for Mac, increasing by tenfold the number of financial institutions able to feed data directly into iBank. For those users who prefer the existing OFX import solution, it will remain available.

    Gillespie also notes that IGG is working on iCloud compatibility for its iBank products. MobileMe's iDisk service has been a popular method for iBank users to keep their data in sync, and IGG will continue to support iDisk syncing until Apple discontinues the service at the end of June. The transition to iCloud will be a relatively straightforward coming from iDisk, but will enable IGG to make further enhancements to syncing capabilities down the road.

    We also asked Gillespie about the impact of the Mac App Store on iBank sales. iBank has been available in the Apple's marketplace for Mac software essentially from day one, and Gillespie notes that it has become the second-largest distribution channel for iBank, behind the boxed software and ahead of IGG's own download store. But sales have been increasing across the board, suggesting that Mac App Store sales are not cannibalizing other distribution channels and may indeed be helping to bring increased visibility for the company.

    Finally, Gillespie shared details on some of IGG's recent hires, which have included two former Intuit employees who were core members of the team that led Mac software development and TurboTax for iPad development during their time there. With IGG providing them with a new home focused solely on Mac and iOS applications, the company believes that it has the right team in place to continue challenging Intuit in the personal finance software market.

    iBank Access for iPad is still under development and IGG has not yet promised a release date, but the company is intending for it to launch sometime this summer.

    Article Link: 'iBank Access' Seeking to Remake Personal Finance on the iPad
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    Lately I have been hear good things about iBank. I seriously need to check them out. I'm still using Quicken for Windows via VMware because all their Mac offerings suck.

    A full featured iPad app is a great idea as along as it works. I would definitely give it a shot right away! I'll be keeping my eye on this.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2010
    Been using iBank on my Mac and iPhone for nearly a year near. A great product and a great way to keep track of financial activity while out on the go. Currently using wifi now to keep the two in sync, but looking forward to being able to use iCloud for that in the future (curious as to why that isn't there already). iPad app sounds intriguing as well.

    Keep up the good work IGG
  4. macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    you'll be happy when you do! :)

    your post could have been mine - we were using quicken in parallels.

    bought ibank beginning of last year, never looked back. great app...solid...no having to deal with windows. done.

    worth the purchase.

    i haven't looked into the ipad app, but if it allows syncing, it will allow my wife to do the banking from upstairs instead of having to go downstairs. I can't see us personally using it from outside the house, but the option could be handy.

  5. macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Just out of curiosity, what do these programs offer that Mint.com doesn't? I use Mint and am really impressed by its functionality and UI.
  6. macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    I like the look of the app, and it could be useful. But I just have a single bank account, and it already features an HTML5-compatible interface.

    This has been the trend of businesses: I'm asked to pay money to access something that's already mine and is accessible in other ways for free. They're making the "manual" access sound burdensome. I wonder why having the software access the data (instead of me having to tell the software to access the data) costs more. Just convenience? iBank will have to offer something truly unique and useful to get me to pony up the extra cash.
  7. macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2008
    It charges money to use this service???

    It looks no where as good as Mint.com iPad app.... And that's free to use.

    Everyone needs to checkout Mint.com if they are considering something similar...
  8. macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Mint.com user here too. Great free app only thing is that some credit cards don't read right and says my balance is what my monthly payment is. But after talking to mint that is an issue with the cc company and the way they post information and mint is working on it. Love them and the UI
  9. macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    Cry me a river. Nobody is asking you to do anything. What is wrong with you and your entire overpriveledged generation?

    Making it sound burdensome? Huh? No - I believe the whole point of the discussion was to make the automatic update sound convenient. Nobody is forcing you to change your habit of doing so manually - the "free" data that "belongs to you" is still free and still belongs to you. Be thankful that your bank does not charge you for THAT convenience - in the good ol' days, one had to walk in to the bank, stand in line, speak with a teller, and have their passbook updated and stamped.

    Like any service, I'd expect to pay more for a convenience. Bless iBank for giving us a choice. Stop whining.
  10. macrumors newbie


    Oct 30, 2005

    I've been using iBank since 2008. It's simply gotten better and better. It is now rock solid, and its data entry, reporting and analysis functions are better than anything I've used before. I was a Quicken user since 1990, and did nor relish the thought of moving my data to another app. I actually used to love Quicken, although it did not handle transfers between accounts well at all.

    iBank have actually cracked this transfer problem.

    This year, I have been wildly busy and have not had time to keep my accounts up to date. Now US tax time approaches, and I needed to get my accounts up to speed. I entered a years worth of data (through direct access and QFX files), and I'm back on track. That took 4-5 hours. I used to spend that each month..

    My son uses mint.com and seems to like it. I think that it's great that we have some real options for Mac users. We don't actually need Intuit anymore for personal accounting.
  11. macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2010
    No... it plainly says that it charges extra to do so automatically, as a convenience for you. Believe it or not, you don't get everything you want in life for free.


    Mint.com is wholly owned and operated by Intuit.
  12. ugahairydawgs, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012

    macrumors 68020


    Jun 10, 2010
    Isn't Mint an automated thing that goes out and pulls down current balances from your online accounts?

    iBank is a full featured stand alone program. You can enter your transactions manually instead of waiting for them to post to be added to your financial snapshot.

    Personally, and this is just me on a soapbox here, I've never understood what the point is of using current bank balances as a way of taking a snapshot of your real time financial standing. If you don't enter your own transactions and reconcile your bank statement off of that at the end of each month how do you sniff out fraudulent charges or recognize when your cash is artificially inflated because checks haven't cleared or charges have not yet posted to your account?
  13. macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2007
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2008
    If for no other reason (although there are several)..... the above is why I won't use Mint. Intuit can KMA.
  15. macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'm going to chime in here as well and say that everything that this article is touting about iBank, Mint has been doing for awhile. For free.

    And yes, Mint will also let me manually enter transactions as well. I know Mint is a product of Intuit, and Intuit sucks, but I can't figure out why iBank is trying to tell me that what they're doing is new and exciting. The biggest difference between their "Direct Access" and what Mint has been doing (for months) is that iBank wants to charge me for it.
  16. macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    Mint sells your personal information (in aggreagate) and presents you with advertising. iBank is offering a way to avoid those two things for a monthly fee. It's a tradeoff.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2010
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    I use the iBank app on my iPhone almost exclusively, although the desktop software works really well. I'll happily get the iPad version if it runs anywhere near as nicely. But if they ever move to forcing a monthly fee they can shove it. Too many people are dinging me for 'a small cup of coffee' already. I'll pay for the software, but not for the privilege of using it. As it stands, that's fine... I prefer entering things manually anyway. Forces me to keep an eye out.
  18. macrumors 68040

    Dec 14, 2006
    somewhere else
    Mint.com is awesome for cash flow analysis.

    It is piss poor in tracking investments beyond the most basic portfolio. Even the six year old code in Quicken 2007 is better than Mint.com right now for handling investments.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Let's see $79.99 for iBank for Mac plus $4.99 for th iPhone plus 39.99 for the iPad. Total cost of $115. Account edge $79.99. Quickbooks pro $199.99. Humm I am missing something?
  20. macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    is this new?

    yeah i just need to second what people are saying here... this article looks like a mint.com blog post... from 2008. i joined mint way back then (before they were bought by intuit), and its only gotten better since then (although progress has certainly slowed since intuit took over). what they lack in the occasional transaction-import area, they MORE than make up for with ease of use.

    the description of this app sounds painful... i have to manually select transactions i want on the mac app?? the only thing that's even kept me using mint is its automation.

    while i love mint, i always love new options but this, sadly, falls way short.
  21. macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Mint.com is useless for budgeting if you aren't paid once a month on the first of the month.

    They simply refuse to offer any other "income" options within their "Budget" panel, which means you've never got an accurate budget.

    There are numerous complaint/bug/feature request threads open in their forums going back a year and a half with people begging for income options other than "monthly" in their budget function, and all that Mint.com has said in response is that having something other than 1 monthly income is "impossible" for their engineers to do.

    They used the word "Impossible"!

    Anyway, Mint.com is a useful "snapshot" and "spending trends" tool, and it can help you understand where your money is going over the course of many months, but it is not really something you can actively use to keep a budget unless you have a really unusual income pattern.

    Even if you are paid monthly, and on the first of the month, you probably get paid the friday before the first of the month when the 1st falls on a weekend. Mint.com's budget will show you in the red for that entire month, and it will show you historically WAY out of whack the month before, because you "got paid twice" according to Mint's absurdly strict budgeting limitation.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2012
    Quicken v Mint v IBank

    I am a CPA that recently got caught up in the Rosetta crisis. I am running Snow Leopard in order to continue using Quicken 2006 for Mac. When I logged in on Sat, after installing the update, no printing for Quicken. I did not realize until Monday that it was the Apple system upgrade causing the problem, so I assumed that Quicken had simply died. Since I use my Quicken primarily to enter personal checks and print them on a laser printer, it was useless. So I downloaded the 30 day trial for IBank and converted my Quicken 2006 to QIF and installed. The data did convert for the most part flawlessly, but when I went to enter a check, I was in for a big surprise. It is very clunky to write checks with. While I have no doubt that the financial management functions are wonderful (sexy looking charts and graphs) it needs the basic simplicity of simple check writing/printing to be useful. There are many times I do not want to EPay someone (for instance my gardener is over on a Sat and I need to pay him-these guys like a check in their hand, not something mailed by B of A to their "office" ). Also, it is not intuitive- and I run almost every type of accounting software at my office. I was thrilled when the problem was identified on Monday and my Quicken 2006 worked again. Frankly, after seeing IBank work for my purposes, If Rosetta was dead, I would have emulated Windows on my IMac and purchased the Windows version of Quicken (which is much more robust) to use instead of IBank.
  23. macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2008
    These guys are barking up entirely the wrong tree: why does everyone seem to think the best way to help me with my finances is to pull my bank statement and pretty it up?

    I already have a bank statement - with my bank. Online. And I don't need to manually enter anything, involve any 3rd parties or pay any extra monthly fee for that.
  24. macrumors 68040

    Dec 14, 2006
    somewhere else
    These programs and websites are helpful for people who have multiple accounts with multiple financial institutions.

    They show a more complete picture of all of your checking and savings accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, as well as assets (real estate, autos, etc.) and loans (mortgages, etc.).
  25. macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009

    When I got a Mac I tried to use Quicken via VMWare Fusion for about a week before buying iBank. iBank back then was good and definitely took the "Quicken Mentality" to finance management; however, their budgeting mechanism back then was too much like Quicken.

    I switched to Moneywell which uses "bucket/envelope" accounting with an iTunes-like interface (i.e.: border layout sidebars, header & footer). It took a day or so to get accustomed to the interface since the transactions shown in the center are essentially filtered based on what you type in the search bar, which bucket you have selected on the left, and which account you have selected. But after using Moneywell for two years i can say I LOVE it. They have an iPhone app which is good, but what I have really really really been waiting for is an iPad app with an interface similar to the desktop.

    I saw iBank added an envelope accounting option last year and I downloaded the trial version to check it out. Its a nice addition, but I found that it did not quite work the way I wanted. I think the problem was that every transaction had to have an envelope category, whereas I only apply envelope accounting to our "spending checking" account. For example, transferring $100 from checking to our credit card account needs to have a category in the checking-side of the transaction show the withdrawal from whatever bucket it comes from and absolute no category on the side of the credit card account (otherwise the transfer cancels itself out and the bucket/envelope does not reduce by $100). If I recall, I *think* that was the problem I had with iBank's envelope budgeting system -- it seemed like an afterthought with the primary budgeting system being the "see what you spent" model rather than the "plan what you will spend" model.

    Anyway, iBank is what I recommend to anybody coming from Quicken who loves Quicken. I may give it another shot down the road, but Moneywell was built around bucket/envelope accounting and does it so well. They just need an iPad-optimized app.

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