Mint.com, the popular personal finance management tool, has unveiled a new feature that reminds users when their bills are due and manages their bills in one place.
"The new bill reminder feature taps into your financial accounts to figure out when each of your bills are due in the next four weeks," according to Mashable. "This data is displayed in a dashboard on the top of the “Overview” page. A green bar indicates when a bill is due on a specific day, and hovering over that day will display which bills you need to pay."
While advisors may feel threatened by the growing capabilities of Mint and other personal finance sites, a more productive reaction would be to figure out how to build on it.
Advisors who embrace technology changes usually can find ways to improve client service.
Most advisors don't offer bill-paying services. And those who do are usually family offices with "concierge" services. But as the technology gets easier to use, more advisors may want to help their clients use automated bill paying services.
A number of apps have appeared over the years to help consumers with bill paying but none has caught on widely. Mint, which has become the dominant personal finance hub on the Web for do-it-yourselfers, is better positioned than any of the others to succeed, and it is backed by Intuit, a well-known consumer brand.
While the knee-jerk reaction may be to avoid consumer apps like this, it may turn out that embracing it is a far better business strategy. Consumers who hire advisors don't want to be hassled with setting themselves up on apps like this.
Look at how low adoption of account aggregation is among consumers. The only way advisor clients get to leverage account aggregation is when an advisor sets it up. My guess is that bill paying will suffer a similar fate. Busy HNWs who hire advisors don't want to set up themselves on these apps but will use it if you help manage it, and will find it useful.
Will be interesting to see how advisors leverage a tool like this in the months ahead. It's in beta for a month.
Advisors would be wise to open an account on Mint and stay apprised of the tools available.