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Quicken finds data entry a key use for mobile

Financial organization software provider Quicken has found that users of its mobile application leverage the product for manual data entry, shifting a key function that previously had been performed on desktop.

The latest versions of the Quicken apps for iOS and Android were issued last week in time for the release of Quicken 2015 for Mac. The mobile apps can sync with the desktop software via the cloud to allow users to track financial data on the fly.

“What we found, to our surprise, is that a lot of people like to enter data on the mobile app,” said Marcus Aiu, senior product manager for Quicken for Mac. “We didn’t think those people who liked to enter their data manually on the desktop would like to use the app, but they do.”

Quicken, a personal finance software, has the ability to link users to more than 14,500 different banks, credit cards, loan and investment accounts and to create budgets and track spending.

Phone features
The mobile apps, which are touted as having the ability to sync with a user’s Quicken desktop accounts, have additional functionality that augments the functions provided by the desktop software.

While many users log into the app to check their account balances, many people also use the app to keep photographic records of receipts. That feature is particularly popular among small business owners, Mr. Aiu said.

An added feature that the app leverages is the mobile phone’s GPS system. When entering a purchase into a budget account, for example, the app will detect the businesses in the area where the purchase was likely made and populate a menu with the local selections.

The app includes a screen keypad like that of a calculator to tabulate individual expenses and enter them in the app.

The app allows real-time views of a user’s budget as well, so that a person contemplating a purchase can immediately see how such an expense would fit into the goals they have set for themselves or their household. Users can also adjust budgets on the fly from the app.

Among the newest features on the app is the ability to display charts, which can be used to segment budgets and show spending by category.

Banking and finance has been gaining steam on mobile, with some regional banks outpacing their larger counterparts with new features such as person-to-person payment capabilities and mobile fraud alerts (see story).

A few banks have gone beyond management of existing accounts via mobile and ventured into account opening. Those include TD Bank, which launched Mobile Account Opening just a few weeks ago (see story).

Perhaps one of the more interesting capabilities of the app is its use as a aggregator of all of a user’s financial information, so that they can check any bank account balance or credit card account that they have linked to their Quicken software.

“The benefit of Quicken is the ability to aggregate content from all of a user’s banking sources, and they can view that from the mobile app,” Mr. Aiu said.

Final Take
Mark Hamstra is content director at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York