As Intuit's Quicken options for Mac users continue to falter in the wake of a stripped-down Quicken Essentials release and the company's ongoing efforts to make the more fully-functional Quicken 2007 compatible with OS X Lion, other personal finance software firms have attempted to step into the void.

One of the more successful companies has been IGG Software with its iBank software, which is available as both a Mac application and a companion iPhone app. IGG Software has been teasing a few tidbits about its work on an iPad application over the past few months, and as noted in a new blog post today, the company appears to be making significant progress in moving toward the release of iBank Access for iPad. The forthcoming app will serve double duty as either a companion app to iBank for Mac or as a standalone personal finance app.

ibank access beta
Among the most significant features of iBank Access is "Direct Access", IGG's new service that will provide users with significantly more options for automatically importing account data from their financial institutions.

After you enter valid credentials to log in to the bank’s website, you are given a list of accounts that you have at that financial institution – with the option of choosing which accounts you actually want in iBank. For example, many folks might have a checking, savings and even credit card all at the same bank and in the last screen you would be given the option to choose which of these you might not want to import. Most users will link all of the accounts. When the accounts are created, iBank imports available historical transactions associated with each account and even does some automatic categorization.

Here is where the beauty of our new aggregation system really begins to shine. Each time you launch the app, it goes out and fetches any new transactions. Unlike iBank for Mac, however, there is no separate window that appears where you have to manually verify which transactions to import. The new transactions just automatically appear conveniently marked.

In an effort to learn more about iBank Access and IGG's broader iBank efforts, MacRumors spoke with IGG's chief architect James Gillespie, a nearly 15-year veteran of Intuit who joined his brother Ian's company in 2008 to oversee iBank and other projects.

With the change to Direct Access for automatic syncing of information from over 5,000 financial institutions, iBank Access represents a paradigm shift for IGG in that it will require a small monthly fee ("in the range of a fancy cup of coffee") in order for users to take advantage of the service. Users who choose to manually import their transactions will not need to pay the monthly fee, but IGG believes that many will find the service worthwhile. Gillespie says:

Internally, people who have used it are very excited and love the experience. We plan on offering some sort of free trial so that everyone who wants to, can try it out. If people like it, then great - they can sign up, if they don't, then that is fine too. This is not something we are pushing for everyone, just for the people that want to import from their banks and not go through the Mac.

The new Direct Access capabilities will also eventually be making their way to iBank for Mac, increasing by tenfold the number of financial institutions able to feed data directly into iBank. For those users who prefer the existing OFX import solution, it will remain available.

Gillespie also notes that IGG is working on iCloud compatibility for its iBank products. MobileMe's iDisk service has been a popular method for iBank users to keep their data in sync, and IGG will continue to support iDisk syncing until Apple discontinues the service at the end of June. The transition to iCloud will be a relatively straightforward coming from iDisk, but will enable IGG to make further enhancements to syncing capabilities down the road.

We also asked Gillespie about the impact of the Mac App Store on iBank sales. iBank has been available in the Apple's marketplace for Mac software essentially from day one, and Gillespie notes that it has become the second-largest distribution channel for iBank, behind the boxed software and ahead of IGG's own download store. But sales have been increasing across the board, suggesting that Mac App Store sales are not cannibalizing other distribution channels and may indeed be helping to bring increased visibility for the company.

Finally, Gillespie shared details on some of IGG's recent hires, which have included two former Intuit employees who were core members of the team that led Mac software development and TurboTax for iPad development during their time there. With IGG providing them with a new home focused solely on Mac and iOS applications, the company believes that it has the right team in place to continue challenging Intuit in the personal finance software market.

iBank Access for iPad is still under development and IGG has not yet promised a release date, but the company is intending for it to launch sometime this summer.

Top Rated Comments

blue22 Avatar
118 months ago
as Mint.com demonstrates, nothing is ever truly "free"...

Although Mint.com certainly does offer a lot of convenient and useful features (their graphs are actually nicely done) their service isn't truly free and people are fooling themselves if they believe otherwise.

For agreeing to use Mint.com's services, at a minimum, you're agreeing to let them data-mine all your spending habits (https://www.mint.com/how-it-works/security/policy/), and target you with advertisements; sorry but that is a HUGE deal breaker for me, and I value my financial privacy way too much to agree to that invasive nonsense. I also suspect I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Also there are still some legit security concerns lingering around (see here (http://www.jasonowens.com/mint-com-in-2010-is-it-safe/) and here (http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/columnist/krantz/2011-02-22-financial-software-safety_N.htm)) regarding granting Mint.com access to your banking accounts via their online interface.

Personally speaking, it may not be perfect, but overall iBank has been great, and I'm happy to support a product that's clearly committed to the Mac platform and offers a solid application that addresses the vast majority of my personal finance tracking needs.

And for all those that don't want to pay a dime for anything, ultimately they get what they "pay" for.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
YMark Avatar
118 months ago
Mint.com is wholly owned and operated by Intuit.

If for no other reason (although there are several)..... the above is why I won't use Mint. Intuit can KMA.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ugahairydawgs Avatar
118 months ago


Just out of curiosity, what do these programs offer that Mint.com doesn't? I use Mint and am really impressed by its functionality and UI.
Isn't Mint an automated thing that goes out and pulls down current balances from your online accounts?

iBank is a full featured stand alone program. You can enter your transactions manually instead of waiting for them to post to be added to your financial snapshot.

Personally, and this is just me on a soapbox here, I've never understood what the point is of using current bank balances as a way of taking a snapshot of your real time financial standing. If you don't enter your own transactions and reconcile your bank statement off of that at the end of each month how do you sniff out fraudulent charges or recognize when your cash is artificially inflated because checks haven't cleared or charges have not yet posted to your account?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ddelmonte Avatar
118 months ago
iBank

I've been using iBank since 2008. It's simply gotten better and better. It is now rock solid, and its data entry, reporting and analysis functions are better than anything I've used before. I was a Quicken user since 1990, and did nor relish the thought of moving my data to another app. I actually used to love Quicken, although it did not handle transfers between accounts well at all.

iBank have actually cracked this transfer problem.

This year, I have been wildly busy and have not had time to keep my accounts up to date. Now US tax time approaches, and I needed to get my accounts up to speed. I entered a years worth of data (through direct access and QFX files), and I'm back on track. That took 4-5 hours. I used to spend that each month..

My son uses mint.com and seems to like it. I think that it's great that we have some real options for Mac users. We don't actually need Intuit anymore for personal accounting.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roofz Avatar
118 months ago


I don't think this is grounds to call the software a "flop". If you're worried about people seeing your financial history, don't open the app in public. When is the last time you've balanced your checkbook or counted all of your benjamins in public? Unless you're Floyd Mayweather and like to make it rain, I doubt that you have done either.

Embarassed about a negative net worth? That's the fact of life for a vast majority of people with mortgages. People hiding from the truth of a negative net worth is also part of the reason why we as a country are in the financial mess we are!

I'm quite sure that the reason this software was created and developed was for the purpose of selling it to users. So like I said....


I don't think too many people are going to like opening up their iBank app to see a huge negative number indicating their net worth. Would also be a tad bit embarrassing when using on an airline or in a crowded area.

I don't think too many people are going to buy/use this app, therefore I predict a flop. Side note:
American's having negative net worth is not the root of why America is in the financial mess it's in. I'm not paid to teach on here, but for the sake of filling in the apparent gap in your knowledge, the financial mess was caused by certain key factors: increased foreclosure rates, increased unemployment, unpaid debt owed to financial institutions, and other financial instability. All negative net worth means is that you have debt; it doesn't say anything about wether or not you're paying it off.. and tens of millions of people have negative net worth without having contributed to the financial mess.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cerote Avatar
118 months ago
Been an iBank user for a while. Love it. I have the iOS app to be able to keep my account and spending on track when on vacation away from my computer.

The thing I am really waiting for is iCloud sync support.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iPad mini pro feature

Sketchy Rumor Claims 'iPad Mini Pro' Launching in Second Half of 2021

Wednesday March 3, 2021 3:04 am PST by
Apple is expected to launch a sixth-generation iPad mini in the first half of 2021, possibly as soon as this March, based on long-standing rumors. However, a new rumor out of Asia that has gained traction in the last 24 hours suggests an "iPad mini Pro" will arrive in the second half of this year. According to a post on Korean blog Naver, whose rumor track record is unknown, the device...
apple pencil 3 leak

New Apple Pencil Allegedly Leaks With Glossy Finish and Redesigned Tip

Wednesday March 3, 2021 6:17 am PST by
Images supposedly depicting a third-generation Apple Pencil have been shared on Twitter by the leaker known as "Mr. White." The purported new Apple Pencil appears to share a very similar design to the current, second-generation Apple Pencil, which is shorter than the previous version and charges inductively on the side of an iPad. The updated Apple Pencil appears to have a glossy...
apple watch ecg wrist

Apple Watch ECG Feature Gets Approved in Australia

Wednesday March 3, 2021 2:07 am PST by
The Australian government has approved ECG functionality on the Apple Watch, giving Apple the all-clear to launch the feature for Apple Watch users in the country, according to a regulatory document first spotted by The 8-Bit. Earlier last month, the Apple Watch's irregular heart rhythm notification received approval in Australia, although ECG did not. Irregular heart rhythm is a feature...