The recession's hastened vendor consolidation and awakened entire generations of worried consumers who want real-time automated info on their finances. Don't blame Intuit if that confluence has the firm licking its chops.

By offering Intuit's FinanceWorks personal finance management (PFM) software, Metavante's opened up a potential buffet of users filled with financial services clients of Metavante, Digital Insight - which has offered Metavante's bill payment software for years and was bought by Intuit in 2007, and Fidelity National - which is in the midst of buying Metavante. Metavante's not announced any clients that are presently using FinanceWorks, which was launched by Intuit in September and is based on Intuit's widely used Quicken software. But stay tuned. Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite Group LLC, says the deal gives "incredible distribution" to Intuit's FinanceWorks, adding Fidelity and Metavante's reach to that of Digital Insight.

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