Intuit last week released a public beta version of a free text-alert banking service, Quicken Beam, that can provide balance and transactions messages on a scheduled basis or on-demand to a user’s phone. While not a money movement play, Quicken Beam gives Intuit a chance to parlay its brand into the mobility area through a lightweight messaging service that doesn’t require any login or passage of personal data to retrieve the alerts. It might also soften up the landing for forthcoming mobile versions of QuickBooks and other smartphone software that are also in beta through the company’s Intuitlabs.com incubation site.

Intuit is propping up Quicken Beam primarily as an overdraft-fee-prevention service, although it can also serve as alerts to account activity that can catch fraudulent transactions.

Intuit is planning a series of new products and ventures in the fourth quarter centered on connected service activity in small business finance, Web hosting and payments. Of interest to banks is the launch this fall of Quicken’s FinanceWorks financial planning system; the product’s geared to integrate financial planning and budgeting into the Digital Insight’s online banking platform sold by Intuit.

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