Intuit has finally dropped the subscription fee on Quicken Online, its Web-based financial software that competes with Mint, Geezeo, Buxfer, and Wesabe. The company is still selling, as completely separate products, software versions of Quicken.
When I last covered Quicken Online in December 2007, my biggest complaint was its price. In a market with free (and very good) competitors, there was just no reason to pay for Quicken Online. This is a smart move on Intuit's part. But while Intuit Online is a solid service, the online competitors keep getting better, too. It's unclear to me that Intuit's history will translate into market share in this competitive market.
Intuit is also still preparing to release its iPhone app that accesses Quicken Online data, as I wrote in December. No word on when that ships.
High customer support costs and an angry customer base (check out the user review scores for Quicken and Money) make standalone financial apps like Quicken and Microsoft Money questionable product lines for their makers, and when the online services take hold I will expect their demise. Devoted Quicken users like me, though, will need more capabilities (like bill paying and support for complex investment transactions) before we can make the transition, and the public at large has yet to be convinced that these online financial data storehouses can be trusted.
See also: Quicken Beam: Your finances made cute.
There's more online financial news coming tomorrow morning from the Finovate conference. Check back here.