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Web finance pioneer shuts down

Ed Bowsher
by Lovemoney Staff Ed Bowsher on 01 July 2010  |  Comments 1 comment

Wesabe, a rival to lovemoney.com, has shut down. We're not celebrating. We're now going to have to work even harder to spread the word about personal finance management (PFM) in the UK.

Wesabe, a pioneer in the world of online money management, is shutting down. Wesabe launched in the US in 2006 and built a band of loyal followers but it seems that the site just wasn’t generating enough cash to survive.

We’re sad about this at lovemoney.com because we passionately believe that personal finance management (PFM) is a tool that can help people save money. (For those who don’t know, PFM services enable users to look at all their spending and income in one place. Then they can analyse what is happening to their money and make changes.)

At one point Wesabe looked set to become a major player in the UK market after it formed a partnership with the Telegraph. Sadly that partnership appears not to have worked out and the Telegraph stopped promoting the service a while back. 

I’m in no doubt there are some frustrated Wesabe users in the UK who are wondering what to do after the service shuts down at the end of this month. Wesabe has said that it will open source some of the code from its website – that means geekier users can set up their own private version of Wesabe for their future use.

The other option is to switch to one of the other PFM sites in the UK. Basically, your choices are Wehuhu, Money Dashboard and lovemoney.com’s online banking service. I hope that all three offerings survive because we can then build critical mass and more people will hear about what we’re all doing. The market could also get a boost if US leader, mint.com, launches a UK service at some point.

That said, I do genuinely believe that lovemoney.com’s service is the best in the UK. What’s more, I think our business model is the strongest. Unlike our competitors we already had a successful personal finance website before we launched our service.  That means we’re more likely to be around in a few years’ time.

What are your thoughts on this? We’d be really interested to hear what you all think about the future of PFM.

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