Quicken Beam: Your finances made cute
New free app from Intuit will SMS you your latest transactions.
Intuit has just launched a useful but limited little financial tracking utility for your mobile phone: Quicken Beam. You tell it about your financial accounts, like your bank and your credit card, and then it will alert you when balances reach a certain point. You can also send it a text message and it will message you back current balances or recent transactions. There's a mobile Web version for iPhones.
Beam has the benefit of being simple, but it is not deep. It will tell you about only your last five transactions in an account, and it doesn't offer personal financial trend data, like Mint does.
Mint, for its part, can send you SMS alerts, but you can't request information from it via SMS, and there's still no mobile Web site for the service.
Another useful way to get information about your accounts when you're on the go: theapp.
Beam is free, though, which is unusual for an Intuit app; even Quicken Online (which competes with the free Mint), costs $2.99 a month.