January is always a great month for personal finance. Consumers working off holiday spending binges and/or attempting to live up to New Years resolutions naturally find their way to personal financial management sites. It’s especially pronounced this year as consumers try to better understand their spending and manage for the downturn.
So it’s not surprising to see that traffic grew by 300,000 unique visitors in January (+20%) compared to December. Total traffic was up 4.5-fold at sites open for a year or more (see Table 1). Including the class of 2008, total traffic was 2.0 million, a five-fold increase from a year ago.
- Mint had another great month, increasing site visitors by about 200,000, a five-fold increase in the past year. Mint’s gain in January was more than that total traffic of all nine 2008 newcomers combined. Mint had a 60% market share of the total of 1.8 million visitors in the category, about the same as December.
- Geezeo continued its wicked pace, growing 30% during the month, and posting a 12-fold increase over a year ago.
- Quicken Online, which launched in January 2008, more than doubled visitors to 150,000 compared to December. However, traffic at Quicken is hard to compare to other sites due to the massive traffic at its parent site: for example, <quicken.intuit.com> received 1.2 million visitors and <intuit.com> website had more than 10 million.
- Wesabe was the only site, of those open for a year or more, that turned in a traffic decline, falling more than 30% in the month. However, keep in mind the Compete estimates are derived from an online panel and are not always accurate, especially for sites in the low six-figures or less. The company said that it had record page views in January. That includes both U.S. traffic, measured by Compete, and international visitors.
- BudgetTracker also turned in amazing results, nearly doubling its traffic to an estimated 27,000 visitors.
- Of the 2008 startups (see Table 2), Thrive was the only one showing strong growth, increasing 50% over the previous month. On Friday the company was acquired by Lending Tree for an undisclosed amount.
Table 1: Traffic at online PFMs launched more than one year ago
|Jan 2009||Dec 2008||Jan 2008||YOY Chg|
|Total||1.7 mil||1.4 mil||490,000||4.5x|
Table 2: Traffic at the online PFM class of 2008
|Jan 2009||Dec 2008||Month Chg|
|PNC Virtual Wallet||41,000||45,000||(9%)|
Source: Compete, 7 Feb. 2009; estimates of monthly unique visitors from the United States
*The percent changes were calculated from the underlying data set and due to rounding of the monthly traffic figures; the percentages may look slightly off
Note: For more information on the market, see our Online Banking Report on Personal Finance Features and Online Banking Report on Social Personal Finance.