Responding to a growing interest among banks in offering online financial management tools, Metavante Technologies Inc. has agreed to offer Intuit Inc.'s FinanceWorks software to its clients.
FinanceWorks is based on Intuit's popular Quicken software, which lets users chart their earnings, savings and spending.
Jeff Lewis, the president of Metavante's ePayment solutions unit, said banks are increasingly interested in offering tools, especially online tools, that can help people keep track of their money.
"The demand we're seeing from the financial institutions is around managing finances," he said. "It is more of a generation that is saying, 'I need to understand basic budgeting. I need to start planning.' "
People of all ages want to manage their money online, Lewis said. "The 20- to 30-year-olds that are beginning to build wealth have been more indoctrinated into saving, making sure you put money aside, those sort of things," and they prefer to bank online.
Lewis contrasted them with "50-and-older" customers, who may not bank online but are now using the Internet to keep track of their retirement accounts. These customers are turning to online tools that "give them more of a real-time view of the world than a monthly statement."
Intuit introduced FinanceWorks in September. It also has a version that banks can offer to small-businesses customers, but Metavante is not offering it.
Metavante has, for four years, offered online banking software from Digital Insight, which Intuit bought in 2007, and Digital Insight has offered Metavante's bill payment services for more than a decade. Lewis said the relationship made FinanceWorks an easy addition to Metavante's menu.
Sasan Goodarzi, the president of Digital Insight and a senior vice president at Intuit, said that his company has seen strong interest in FinanceWorks from banks that do not use Digital Insight's online banking software and has developed a version of the application for them.
"Financial institutions that don't use our offerings … were asking how they can have access to these services," he said.
Lewis would not say whether any Metavante client has agreed to use FinanceWorks but said "a number" are in talks to do so. Metavante planned to announce the availability of FinanceWorks today and has also extended two longstanding agreements with Digital Insight for online banking and bill payment services.
Metavante worked with Digital Insight to streamline its bill payment interface, Lewis said. "What took three steps before is all front and center" in the new bill-pay software, which Digital Insight began offering last month.
The two companies also extended their 2005 agreement to offer Digital Insight's consumer and business online banking software to Metavante's core processing customers.
Metavante is in the process of selling itself to Fidelity National Information Services Inc.
Intuit is not the only company offering personal financial management software. Wells Fargo & Co. developed its own application that is available through its online banking service.
Wesabe Inc. and Geezeo Inc. both offer similar technology to consumers through their Web sites and recently began offering it through financial companies.
Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite Group LLC, said the deal gives "incredible distribution" to Intuit's FinanceWorks, adding Fidelity and Metavante's reach to that of Digital Insight.
Though companies like Wesabe and Geezeo have begun pushing their own PFM tools, Shevlin said banks may prefer to work with a more established provider. "Financial stability in your technology partners is incredibly important," he said.