Friday, 21 January 2011
Will Money Dashboard change the way people save in the UK?
This week saw the launch of a new UK based personal finance (PF) site. Money Dashboard moves squarely in to the territory, not quite conquered by Wesabe and definitely vacated by Kublax after its demise in early 2010.
Operating in the same way and utilising the same backend technology as the hugely successful US PF solution, Mint.com, Money Dashboard's CEO, Gavin Littlejohn is hoping that providing customers with the ability to aggregate their current, savings, credit card, loan and other accounts into one place, and displaying it through an easy to understand online dashboard, will allow them to analyse their financial health holistically and make the appropriate investment decisions for themselves. “Here in the UK, there is very little access to financial advice. Most people don’t know their bank managers, and few people have access to a financial adviser,” says Littlejohn.
Thisismoney.co.uk has been quick to point out some of the potential security risks of the site, but as a read only environment, the risk of fraud is minimal. In fact Thisismoney.co.uk went on to state 'In five or ten years, this could be so common that all today's security whines and gripes look like childish folly'. They then make the bold claim that this could be a glimpse of the future of UK banking. Certainly account aggregation services recently launched by First Direct and Egg suggest that there are some very real concerns about the impact of online PF sites. If the US and Canada based Mint.com's 4m customers are anything to go by the concerns would appear valid.
Money Dashboard is in an interesting space. Solutions similar to the service have either come and gone, or not quite taken off yet in the UK, however with solid angel investment backing totalling $3m, there is plenty of scope to have a good pitch at success. When it comes down to it though, success could all rest on Mint's future global expansion plans. If those plans are imminent and the UK is a target, Money Dashboard could struggle.