Aaron PatzerAlthough he emphasized the company has not made that decision, Mint.com founder Aaron Patzer envisions that "If you use Mint, half your taxes would be done before you used TurboTax." He also predicted that the 1.7 million users of Mint.com would double in the next eight months.

Patzer, now VP and general manager of Intuit's Personal Finance Division, made those statements earlier this month at Barclay Capital's Global Technology Conference. Many of Patzer's predictions about the future of the personal finance Web product have been made in public previously, but he provided more detail on these,

Mint.com is more than a personal finance tool. The way it has evolved under Patzer, it utilizes data aggregation to provide recommendations to the consumers who use it for free and makes money from the businesses that benefit from the recommendations. He talked about applying that procedure to the use of TurboTax and also having Intuit's banking product, Personal FinanceWorks, rewritten on the Mint.com platform or utilizing its technology.

While Patzer emphasized that no decision had been made on a TurboTax and Mint connection, he gave detailed scenarios about the way the two could work together.

TurboTax customers get tax refunds averaging $200. Patzer said that a tie-in to minute could provide a recommendation to put the money in a high-yield account and provide comparisons of accounts available from financial institutions. Filers with IRAs could be queried about the contributions while working in TurboTax, which would link to a Mint comparison, while informing the taxpayer that IRA contributions could still be made for that tax year.

He also noted that since Mint's records show if taxpayers have children "potentially, we could add things like 529 plans." Patzer also talked about a 529 credit card offered by Fidelity that gives users 2 percent cash back that goes into a Fidelity 529 account.

"We could apply that logic to any of the goals you have in Mint," he continued. Patzer envisioned issuing cards that offer one percent or two percent cash back and listed typical goals as saving for a house purchase, retirement, vacation and college.

Patzer told attendees at the Barclay's conference that Mint would continue spending virtually nothing on marketing. The company relies on word of mouth and its relationships with vendors. Patzer also said that Mint.com did not and would not advertise and would continue to rely on getting frequent press mentions through his heavy interview schedule.

Quicken also falls under Patzer and he continued that there had not been enough press on that product. Intuit is likely to get more aggressive with Quicken as it seeks to pick up the users of Microsoft Money, which has been discontinued. Through an agreement with Microsoft, Intuit has placed in-product promotions in Money which offer users a chance to switch to Quicken at a discount.

Patzer also noted that the Mint.com and Quicken products have dramatically different user bases. While the average age of Quicken users is 46, the average Mint.com user is 30.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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