The failures of old‐style PFM make it difficult for many bankers to reimagine personal finance management for a mass market in a mobile-first era. Adoption of contemporary PFM has flat‐lined, with only 21% of Americans mixing and matching desktop software and PFM from banks and credit unions, direct‐to‐consumer web sites, and app developers. And yet there have never been more opportunities to profitably deliver personal finance services that can aid smartphone‐toting consumers as they make daily, on‐the‐spot financial decisions as they shop, pay, save, borrow, and invest. Using a survey technique that presses respondents to choose among 19 PFM attributes, JAVELIN identified three tiers of components battling for consumer attention, or “mindshare.” The foundation of compelling PFM will be built on privacy, simplicity, and control, while other features can be sculpted to suit targeted consumers. In this report, Javelin also identified how to tailor PFM to Moneyhawks, wealthy consumers based on whether they use mobile banking, Gen Y.1 (ages 18–24), and Gen Y.2 (25–34).

Primary Questions:

  • How is personal finance management (PFM) evolving to suit increasingly mobile‐first financial expectations, and what roles can financial institutions and app developers play?
  • How many Americans use PFM software, online‐banking PFM, and web‐ or app‐based PFM today?
  • How can banks, credit unions, and PFM providers demonstrate there is a return on investment?
  • What PFM components do consumers value most?
  • How can FIs and PFM providers tailor their offerings to target specific high‐value customer segments like mobile‐minded Moneyhawks, affluent consumers, or Gen Y?

Companies Mentioned: 

American Express, Apple, Betterment, Bill.com, BillGuard, BodeTree, Check, Facebook, FinBuddy, Finovera, FlexScore, FutureAdvisor, Green Dot, Intuit, Kofax, LearnVest, Lending Club, LendingRobot, LendingTree, LendUp, Market Prophit, Motif Investing, Moven, OnBudget, PayNearMe, Payoff, Personal Capital, Pinterest, Prosper, Qapital, ReadyForZero, Realty Mogul, Red Giant, Roostify, SaveUp, Simple, Simplee, SmartAsset, StickK, Stockpile, Sureify, Twitter, Venmo, Vine, Wealthfront, WipIt, Wisely, Yelp


  • Data collected online from 3,213 consumers in September 2013.