Chances are, you have more than ten financial accounts. Keeping track of them is probably hectic, unless you have photographic memory; in which case, remember that time you opened the door while your parents thought you weren’t home?

Anyhow, lot’s of financial accounts, too much hassle to keep track of them individually.

What do you do?

In comes Yodlee, an online banking account aggregation service, which also happens to be utilize by many major financial institutions. Yodlee is free to sign-up and use, and the only reason why you don’t hear about them too much is because they do not market their product directly to the consumer.

The gist of it is really simple. You register for an account at Yodlee, add in your financial accounts, click the update button—and bam, all your account informations are updated and you are now in financial organization bliss.

Two Choice of Yodlee

Yodlee MoneyCenter

Yodlee MoneyCenter

Yodlee Dashboard

Yodlee Dashboard

There’s really no difference in features in the type of Yodlee you choose, except for the way the information are presented to you. If you prefer an all-in-one screen view, you should go with Dashboard, if not stick with the single format view from MoneyCenter.

How To Sign-Up With Yodlee

  1. Head over to Yodlee’s Financial Application
  2. Pick the format you like and click Log Me In
  3. Click on the Registration link above the log-in
  4. Fill in all your info and click register

Done deal.

Using Yodlee and its Features

Adding accounts is also fairly straight forward. Click on the Add Account Tab and type in your financial institution’s name to search for it, or click on the popular account tab to see if your account is listed there.

Types of accounts you can add:

  • Banking Accounts
  • Credit Card & Reward Accounts
  • Telecommunication Bill Accounts
  • Payment Service (PayPal) Accounts
  • Investment and Insurance Accounts
  • Loan and Mortgage Accounts
  • And even web-based E-mail Accounts!

Yodlee contains a BillPay service, where you can make payment to some of the accounts you’ve added, such as credit card bills and cable service bills; pretty handy! Another semi-useful service is the Yodlee Financial Calendar, which allows you to see when the bills are due on a calendar map.

Yodlee BillPay

Yodlee BillPay

Yodlee Financial Calendar

Yodlee Financial Calendar

Besides the features listed above, there is also a Net Worth tab that shows your net worth in a bar graph format. You can also check out the spending report, although it isn’t too accurate unless you actively manage the categories for each specific transaction. You’ll find that many of Yodlee’s features are similar to those of MS Money and Inuit Quicken.

Even More Yodlee Choices

With their recent update, Yodlee has been noted to be slow to access for some user. As you can tell from the above pictures, some of the sample accounts I added were having trouble updating. For those with significant access problem with Yodlee, you can try their service from various other financial institutions:

  • CompassBank MyCompass (Yodlee 5.0)
  • Harris TotalLook (Yodlee 5.0)
  • National City My Accounts (Yodlee 4.0)

Of course, signing up service in these other institution will require you to trust your information with their database and security. If you’re a HSBC or Bank of America customer, you should check out HSBC EasyView and Bank of America’s My Portfolio.

Paranoid Users Beware

The problem with an financial account aggregation is that all your password and information for each of these financial accounts are stored in one central location. Not a good thing if you don’t trust Yodlee’s security capability.

There are a couple of things you should know about Yodlee though. First, many of the largest financial institution utilize Yodlee technology for their online account services. If you’re banking at Bank of America, Citi Bank, or HSBC—you’re already using Yodlee services. In fact, those respective banks probably offer a similar account aggregation service on your online account, powered by Yodlee.

Second, under federal banking regulations, you have quite a few rights when it comes to electronic fraud. As long as you’re up top of things and notify fraudulent activities fast (within two days), you’re only liable for up to $50. Within sixty days, the cap rise to $500. Anytime over that though and you’re sorta SOL.

Still Pretty Damn Convenient

Fact of the matter is, an online financial aggregator is flippin’ convenient. For me and many others, it’s well worth the small risk. There really shouldn’t be any big problem if you take basic precaution with your private information and be proactive about the security of your computer.

Without online aggregator service like Yodlee, life can be hectic. Let’s face it, no body likes logging into sixty different accounts everyday just to make sure their significant other didn’t blow all their money on Texas hold’em.

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