Mint.com brings personal finance to the iPhone

The free personal finance iPhone app features very little in the way of security, but comes with ease of access.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Mint.com released a new and free iPhone application early Monday. Similar to PageOnce's mobile efforts, Mint's lets you monitor your credit card and bank accounts from your phone. It also throws in things like your monthly budget, incoming cash flow and expenses, along with any investment accounts you have synced up to Mint.com.

For security, Mint seems to have taken a page from PageOnce in letting you enable or disable mobile access from Mint.com. If your phone gets lost or stolen, you can simply cut off its access to your account, keeping any would-be identity thieves from taking a look at past purchases, or getting an idea of your net worth. It doesn't show any of your account numbers, or even let you add new accounts from your mobile device (which PageOnce does), but can be a treasure trove of information in the wrong hands.

Another thing worth noting about security is that if you don't have your iPhone passlock-protected, anyone can fire up the application and see the dollar value of each of your accounts. I'm a little surprised Mint hasn't placed its own special passcode security system for those first using this app, or even provided the option to require a password between sessions. The best you can do is simply log off in between use, but that's not a good long-term solution.

Security issues aside, it's a good first start for Mint, and for regular Mint users this is yet another way to get at things like your budget and accounts without having to rely on your bank offering a site that can be accessed on mobile devices. The alerts are also very handy and can tell you if a credit card bill is close to being due, if you're spending more than usual, or if there have been large deposits or withdrawals into your various accounts. For those things alone, it's worth downloading the app, just be sure to flip on your iPhone's built-in security lock feature.

Mint's iPhone app lets you check out bank accounts, credit cards and monthly budgets. Mint.com