Monday, July 12, 2010

Wesabe to Shutdown

A while ago, I put up a poll on the sidebar of that asks readers "Which financial account management website do you use?" Readers are asked to vote among financial aggregation sites such as Wesabe, Mint, and Yodlee. After not receiving any votes for Wesabe, I wrote a post asking if anybody uses Wesabe? I didn't know anybody who actually did use Wesabe at the time. But again, I didn't get any affirmative responses.

Now, I have been informed that Wesabe would be discontinued by the end of July. Here is a message that was posted on the Wesabe website (I have kept the original links intact).

Dear Wesabeans,

I am deeply unhappy to have to announce that Wesabe will be discontinuing our Accounts tab, and all of the related personal finance tools we offer, as of July 31st, 2010. The Groups tab, which hosts discussions on personal finance topics, will remain online indefinitely. A FAQ about this shutdown is available.

You will be able to download all of your data from now until July 31st by visiting our export page. After that date, we will delete all data and all credentials we hold for security and privacy reasons. If you prefer, you may delete your membership immediately or at any time before July 31st.

We are planning to offer additional tools for export and use of your data. Future blog posts will go into more detail as we have it ready.

In recent months Wesabe has been operating on a shoestring budget, with support from some of the developers and operations people who made up our core team. While the site has remained online and we continue to hear from people who find it helpful, we have not been able to provide the support people need to use it for something so central as financial management. I've felt especially terrible that some members have a good initial experience but then hit a problem, often after investing many hours, and aren't able to get help with it. That's obviously a bad experience, and not what we want to offer. Also, because Wesabe stores such highly sensitive data, continuing to operate the service with shoestring operations and security staff is not acceptable, and we do not want to continue accepting new accounts if we cannot guarantee the security level we believe our service requires.

Wesabe Groups is easier to host on a low-cost basis, and one of our customers has agreed to fund its continued service. I have always been amazed by how fantastic the conversations in Groups are -- supportive, constructive, and unique. While many or all of the features of our Accounts tab are now available on other sites, our competitors have either dismissed the value of community, or have not been able to create a community as rich as Wesabe Groups, so I'm very happy we are able to keep that part of the service going.

I have had a wonderful time working on Wesabe and have been gratified by the many messages we get from members telling us how helpful it has been. The past five years have been an amazing ride. Of course I wish things had turned out differently and I would not have needed to write this post, but I've enjoyed my job for these years more than anything before it. The people we worked with, the people who supported us, the reward of helping even some people have better financial lives, all of that is irreplaceable. Thanks to everyone who has made Wesabe possible.

We will answer as many questions as possible about the planned shutdown in this Groups thread and update the FAQ as needed.

Marc Hedlund, CEO, Wesabe

I guess that this pretty much spells the end of Wesabe as a financial management site. What will Wesabe users do? Can anybody compare Wesabe versus Mint? Or Wesabe vs. Yodlee? Do readers have any other opinions?


1 comment:

  1. For Wesabe users looking for an alternative, GreenSherpa announced yesterday that they now have a CSV importer for Wesabe users to use to transfer their data. GreenSherpa is actually pretty cool. You should check it out!