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Quicken loads 2017 offering by enhancing its mobile app

Finance management platform Quicken is front loading its newly-released Quicken 2017 platform with its biggest upgrade ever to the Quicken mobile app.

The upgrades come with more comprehensive sync capabilities with Quicken’s main platforms on Mac and Windows, among other additions. The Quicken 2017 offering also includes improvements to said platforms, with expanded capabilities on Mac and Windows and a new, modernized interface on Mac, Windows and the Quicken app.

“The Quicken mobile app uses the same or better than financial institution level encryption and Secure Socket Layer technology to secure the transmission of financial information over the Internet, and users’ Quicken Cloud ID password is not saved on their mobile device,” said Eric Dunn, CEO of Quicken.

“Users can also passcode the Quicken Mobile application to add an extra level of security above the passcode they create to protect their mobile phone.”


New beginnings
Quicken 2017 is the company’s first product release since becoming an independent entity earlier this year. Former parent company Intuit sold Quicken in March to H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm based in Miami.

The jettison of the once-venerable money management software was due to concerns around the relevance of the largely desktop-bound platform in an increasingly modular finance ecosystem dependent on cloud-based technology.

Combine that with customer dissatisfaction, especially with Quicken’s latest offering, Quicken 2016, and H.I.G. Capital’s promise of investment in key areas such as the reliability of its Windows client made for an appetizing alternative for Intuit.

Fast-forward to yesterday’s announcement, and it looks like Quicken’s buyer has kept its word. The redesigned carriage, featuring a sleek new user interface consistent across all channels, holds a robust platform on Windows that is targeted towards addressing many of the reliability concerns of its predecessor.

Mac users receive a recently launched 12 month budget feature, new customizable reports that allow for tracking year-over-year income and spending and Quicken Bill Pay.

Concerns about Quicken’s lack of cloud-based technology are not directly addressed in Quicken 2017, but it does offer some enhanced connectivity capabilities through an amplified mobile app.

The Quicken app looks to be more of a companion to Quicken proper than a standalone product itself, and addresses a few of the problems that caused consumers to drift towards the cloud initially.

Users can use the app to track their investments, enter transactions offline, and search through their transactions on their mobile device. They are also able to view two years of transactions after syncing their data, a useful feature for users who want a better representation of their spending in the abstract.

Looking forward
The newly independent Quicken certainly has steps to take in competing with its former parent company’s flagships QuickBooks and TurboTax, including full cloud integration, but Quicken 2017 is a move in the right direction.

Quicken offers an abstract representation of spending

Intuit’s investments clearly indicate a push towards a more mobile user experience. It’s brand featured a sweepstakes that rewarded consumers for setting up budget goals through their smartphones and tablets (see story).

And Quicken’s progression comes at a time of similar reinvention for a number of brands. Abercrombie & Fitch recently debuted a drastic rebranding in anticipation of the holiday season, deleting the majority of its social media presence (see story).

“The app allows Mac users of Quicken 2017 Deluxe and above to see how their investments are doing whenever, wherever,” Mr. Dunn said.

“With the app, users can check their budget, account balances and investments, and enter transactions manually, even if they’re not connected to the Internet. The latest version of the app also offers an enhanced search tool, so users can find their financial information by searching check number, amount, or note/memo.”