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The Closing of Mint Marks the End of an Era

The Closing of Mint Marks the End of an Era
  • Intuit is closing down Mint, which it acquired in 2009.
  • Mint users are being directed to sign up for a Credit Karma account.
  • Founded in 2006, Mint is one of the oldest B2C fintechs.

For those of us who have grown up and grown old with fintech, January 1, 2024 will go down in history. That’s because Mint– which is arguably the first-ever direct-to-consumer fintech– is shutting its doors on that day.

Mint parent company Intuit announced earlier this week that it is folding Mint into Credit Karma and is inviting all Mint users to open an account at Credit Karma. “We know the most active Minters use Mint to monitor their cash flow and track their spending, and not only does Credit Karma offer these capabilities, but we’re able to take things even further for our members,” Intuit announced in a blog post.

As a bit of history, Intuit acquired Mint in 2009 for $170 million and purchased Credit Karma in 2020 for $4.7 billion. After acquiring Credit Karma, there was likely a bit of internal unrest at Intuit, since Mint and Credit Karma are essentially rivals. Both companies rely on advertiser spend via product referrals, and growing one brand would hurt the other.

Rolling Mint into Credit Karma will help Intuit double-down on sponsored advertisement revenue. The move will also build Credit Karma into a more robust competitor in the PFM space. Credit Karma was founded in 2007 to offer a flagship credit tracking and credit card comparison service and has since expanded to offer a tax filing service, checking account, savings account, credit-building credit card, and more.

It’s not surprising to see Mint’s demise. Intuit already started to cannibalize the brand earlier this year when it pulled Mint’s team in to build Credit Karma’s new Net Worth feature, a tool that enables users to view and track their net worth in a single place. Also, in a way, Mint died a long time ago. The company, which claimed 3.6 million monthly active users in 2021 but as of this year has had no material revenue, hasn’t released any new features or made any significant announcements in recent years. In fact, my last blog post about the company was titled, “Mint Brings User Interface into 2018.” Meanwhile, the company’s competitors in the PFM space were releasing their own banking tools, lending services, and investment tools. 

In the grand scheme of today’s fintech landscape, this announcement will have little impact. However, the news is worth noting for the sake of history. Mint– a company that at one point owned the entire fintech category– stood still while watching the entire fintech industry evolve around it. The company even demoed at the first-ever Finovate conference in 2007. Mint may have been able to keep up had it not been acquired by Intuit, but we’ll never know. Rest in peace, Mint (2006- 2023), and say hello to all of the other fintech ghosts on the other side for me.

Photo by Brett Sayles