Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why won't Mint log into Bank of America?

The issue with Mint.com is that as useful of a site as it is, it is completely dependent on the cooperation of banks and credit card companies in allowing the site to API into their database and download the appropriate information.  The website was a great achievement, giving users the opportunity to have an aggregated view of all of their finances without having to bank only at one institution.  Through this application, users are able to track their spending habits, their wealth, and for the geeky ones mine the data to find out new ways to save money.

Here is the biggest issue, there isn't much incentive for these institutions to cooperate.  Mint.com makes money by selling online advertising to their users.  By having algorithms go through your financial data, they are able to present to their user offers that may interest them.  Unfortunately, banks do not always like these offers as many times these very offers are soliciting their valuable customers away to their competitors.

Without the cooperation of the financial institutions, the value of Mint.com disappears.  There is no point in using Mint.com if a portion of your finances cannot be viewed using the same application.  I have noticed recently that my Bank of America accounts have refused to update.

There are some links here, and here, that shows many users are having the same issue I am.

If you have to crunch the numbers manually and log onto one institution's site individually, it's not that much work to log into the next 2 or 3.  Therefore, banks, mortgage, and credit card companies may have found out a great way to kill off this great idea before it gets off the ground.  On the bright side, the founder has already sold it to Intuit.  Let's hope there's no earn-out involved.


  1. I'm not entirely locked out of BofA via Mint. Try the steps listed here:

  2. My safe pass was never enabled and it still won't sync