About Yodlee MoneyCenter
Yodlee, the leader in personal financial management (PFM) software, brings you the convenience of Yodlee MoneyCenter for your Apple mobile or tablet device. As the proven platform behind the world’s largest financial institutions and PFM solutions, Yodlee has always offered you the flexibility of...
Yodlee powers the back end of the much-more-popular personal finance manager, Mint. This speaks well to Yodlee MoneyCenter’s capabilities: it does more or less all the things that Mint can do, but it does them without the carefree effort that Mint does. It’s Mint’s ugly fraternal twin, if you will: more or less all the same stuff is there, but something’s a bit off. Although it lacks pizzazz, Yodlee gets the job done. But unlike a workhorse computer or phone, there’s little argument to be made that a piece of software is somehow cheaper and more durable than its slicker competitors. This, in short, is Yodlee’s biggest problem. If there’s something prettier available, which is also free, why not take it?
Pros Cons Categorizes spending well Clunky login Helps with taxes Clunky all over
The login process is like nothing we’ve ever experienced. First you must give Yodlee your nickname, then it brings up a new screen which asks you a security question, then you are brought to a third screen which shows you your security image/secret word and asks for your password. Three screens later, you’re at the Money Center. Yodlee has an app for both iOS and Android ($3.99).
Yodlee powers the back-end of Mint, the popular PFM by Intuit, and it’s not hard to see why: this thing works well, but my goodness it isn’t pretty. A puke-green gradient is the background to an interface that’s as slick as Windows ‘95. The dashboard can get stuck loading, and the drop-down menus jump out at you a beat too late -- it’s just not a pleasant experience. Everything you can do on Yodlee, you can do on Mint -- and Mint works better.
Yodlee can link almost any sort of online account: bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, loans, mortgages, insurance, even online news providers -- but we’re not sure how that might work. It also allows users to add offline assets and manually update the status of any asset or debt.
Yodlee, for its other shortcomings, is incredibly accurate when it comes to categorizing transactions. There were no humorous errors to speak of, which virtually every other PFM suffers from. That said, it’s terribly clunky, and sort of difficult to navigate over to see your transactions. Like Mint, Yodlee makes a nice pie chart of your expenses and finances, but it’s just not as handsome. Call us shallow, but if they’re both free, why not use the better-looking one?
Yodlee has a Tax Center that allows for users to estimate their tax burden and/or refund ahead of schedule. It also helps users seek deductions where possible. Aside from this, Yodlee does not preach very much. It just shows you a very clunky, but potentially accurate, image of your finances. There are, however, a number of apps you can add to your MoneyCenter account. Most offer rewards, but there is a section set aside for Educational Apps -- only problem is they aren’t available yet. Yodlee MoneyCenter might become fussier soon. There is a hidden benefit to this: Yodlee never emails!
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