Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

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sunnyday
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Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sunnyday » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:38 am

I changed my checking account password yesterday and got a text message that my Member Access sign on attempt at 3:45 has failed. I have Mint.com linked to my checking account so I bet that's what it is. However, that's surprising that Mint.com would try to access it without me signing in. I may cancel Mint if that's the case.

Either way, I'm going to call my bank to find out more.

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Wildebeest
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by Wildebeest » Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:50 am

Financial engines accesses my Vanguard account daily typically between 3 and 5 AM. This is disturbing to me.

When I first asked the Vanguard Flagship rep about he had no idea, who would access my account without my knowledge. I asked him to find out and he never did (he said I was safe and there was no need to do anything).
At that time I changed my password, which solved the problem.

I do not see any reason for it to access my account unless I specifically ask for a financial engines summation or count.
I did start back up with financial engines.
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JamesSFO
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by JamesSFO » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:29 am

Most people would overall view this as a feature of Mint (or financial engines) - For Mint how can they warn you of suspicious purchases or have updated information ready if they don't periodically log in and look?

sunnyday
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sunnyday » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:09 am

JamesSFO wrote:Most people would overall view this as a feature of Mint (or financial engines) - For Mint how can they warn you of suspicious purchases or have updated information ready if they don't periodically log in and look?
I personally don't consider that a benefit. My bank does a much better job monitoring and notifying me than Mint (or another 3rd party) can do.

Epocrates
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by Epocrates » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:29 am

Just my 2 cents, but if you're concerned about having 3rd parties access this information, maybe Mint.com isn't for you...it is the M.O of the entire site.

sunnyday
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sunnyday » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:47 am

Epocrates wrote:Just my 2 cents, but if you're concerned about having 3rd parties access this information, maybe Mint.com isn't for you...it is the M.O of the entire site.
I use Mint to track my finances, not for fraud alerts so I disagree that fraud alerts is their M.O.
Mint homepage wrote: Get a handle on your finances the free and fast way. Mint does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending for you. See where every dime goes and make money decisions you feel good about.
I'll probably delete my account if they randomly try to access my bank account. It's not really a big deal, I just hardly use Mint anymore anyway

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JamesSFO
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by JamesSFO » Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:07 pm

sunnyday wrote: I'll probably delete my account if they randomly try to access my bank account. It's not really a big deal, I just hardly use Mint anymore anyway
Again, it is not random, it is a feature/product design/reason for being. If that isn't helpful to you, just stop using Mint.

sunnyday
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sunnyday » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:11 pm

JamesSFO wrote:
sunnyday wrote: I'll probably delete my account if they randomly try to access my bank account. It's not really a big deal, I just hardly use Mint anymore anyway
Again, it is not random, it is a feature/product design/reason for being. If that isn't helpful to you, just stop using Mint.
I use Mint for the reasons they state on the homepage (organizing and categorizing spending, seeing where every dime goes). I use my bank and credit card companies for fraud monitoring -- they do 1,000 times better than Mint at monitoring and alerting.
-------

Mint didn't check my bank account today. I wonder how often they check.

The amount of spending data they're collecting is very valuable. I wonder if they're doing anything with the data outside of targeted ads.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by JamesSFO » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:37 pm

sunnyday wrote:
JamesSFO wrote:
sunnyday wrote: I'll probably delete my account if they randomly try to access my bank account. It's not really a big deal, I just hardly use Mint anymore anyway
Again, it is not random, it is a feature/product design/reason for being. If that isn't helpful to you, just stop using Mint.
I use Mint for the reasons they state on the homepage (organizing and categorizing spending, seeing where every dime goes). I use my bank and credit card companies for fraud monitoring -- they do 1,000 times better than Mint at monitoring and alerting.
-------

Mint didn't check my bank account today. I wonder how often they check.

The amount of spending data they're collecting is very valuable. I wonder if they're doing anything with the data outside of targeted ads.
Again it's not just about fraud it's about having the data available when you login. It's periodic my more frequently transacted account are accessed more often. And check their privacy policy to see what they do. Quite honestly it seems like mint isn't for you.

Ciel
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by Ciel » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:40 am

I agree, you may want to stop using Mint if this is problematic.

Diogenes
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by Diogenes » Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:59 am

When I signed up for Mint I entered only a small amount of my assets and requested no contact. Within a week I received a call from a Mint rep who was obviously looking at everything I had entered as he made a pitch for 'Advisory Services.' Declined and deleted my account.
I certainly would not link any major accounts, got an uneasy feeling.

GeauxBR
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by GeauxBR » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:41 am

I know on the mint app for android you can set it to update in the background every 4hours so that it's more up to date when you open it. Maybe this is happening if you are also checking it with a phone

KyleAAA
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:11 am

Yes, it's common to access accounts during non-peak hours and cache the results for performance purposes, among other reasons (i.e. it's not just Mint).

If you are okay with them accessing the information when you log in, I don't see why you'd have a problem with them doing it at 3:45 in the morning as well. Either way, they have access to the exact same information.
sunnyday wrote: I use Mint for the reasons they state on the homepage (organizing and categorizing spending, seeing where every dime goes). I use my bank and credit card companies for fraud monitoring -- they do 1,000 times better than Mint at monitoring and alerting.
Yes, and this behavior almost certainly exists to support the behavior stated on their homepage. Limiting requests for account information to when somebody logs into their account is a recipe for disaster because people tend to log into their accounts around the same time i.e. lunchtime or right after work.
Last edited by KyleAAA on Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

sscritic
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sscritic » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:14 am

GeauxBR wrote:I know on the mint app for android you can set it to update in the background every 4hours so that it's more up to date when you open it. Maybe this is happening if you are also checking it with a phone
Even bogleheads has settings. Changing settings changes behavior. I don't use Mint, but I assume Mint has settings. What are your setting set to?

mikep
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by mikep » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:18 am

Wildebeest wrote:Financial engines accesses my Vanguard account daily typically between 3 and 5 AM. This is disturbing to me.

When I first asked the Vanguard Flagship rep about he had no idea, who would access my account without my knowledge. I asked him to find out and he never did (he said I was safe and there was no need to do anything).
At that time I changed my password, which solved the problem.

I do not see any reason for it to access my account unless I specifically ask for a financial engines summation or count.
I did start back up with financial engines.
Did the Vanguard rep mention anything regarding this is a violation of the online fraud policy?
https://personal.vanguard.com/us/help/S ... ontent.jsp
Never share your user name, password, or other account-related information with anyone.
I stopped using mint and all other 3rd party services because of that statement. If someone hacked your account through mint and cleaned out, Vanguard wouldn't make you whole since you gave mint your password.

LordB
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by LordB » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:51 am

Oy the paranoia on here.

Yes mint accesses your account at random times. Many others have explained why.

As for the "you invalidate all legal protections giving out your password" yes the legal documentation says that. In practice if mint or any of these other services were ever penetrated the banks would rapidly become aware and kill all logins that mint.com has (which would be annoying and likely delay access to your money, but not lose you money). And I would bet that if that happened something ends up being worked out so that the tiny fraction of people who actually lose money in the penetration get reimbursed.

If the banks were to attempt to not reimburse some other kind of penetration because you gave your password to mint a similar uproar would occur. Yes this would hit mint, but it also would harm the bank trying to invalidate the protection quite possibly more. I think this is also unlikely.

Personally I have bigger things to worry about and I suspect most people on this board do too.

sscritic
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sscritic » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:09 am

The question was about "randomly." There is a difference between "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts" and "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding." I use Quicken. I tell Quicken when I want it to access my accounts. As far as I know, Quicken doesn't check my accounts behind my back.

I still am guessing that there might be a setting to change from "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding" to "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts," but I don't know, not having a Mint account. What setting options do you actually have?

If there is no setting and their terms and conditions say they can access at anytime, then you accept those terms and use the service, or you don't and don't.

tecmage
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by tecmage » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:25 am

sscritic wrote:The question was about "randomly." There is a difference between "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts" and "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding." I use Quicken. I tell Quicken when I want it to access my accounts. As far as I know, Quicken doesn't check my accounts behind my back.

I still am guessing that there might be a setting to change from "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding" to "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts," but I don't know, not having a Mint account. What setting options do you actually have?

If there is no setting and their terms and conditions say they can access at anytime, then you accept those terms and use the service, or you don't and don't.

I just looked for an explicit setting in my mint account and couldn't find it. My suspicion is that this might have been done as part of their weekly financial summary e-mail. The choices for "Send summary texts Includes balances" is weekly and never. Maybe turning that off would stop it?

sunnyday
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sunnyday » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:50 am

As far as security, I'm not a fan of giving a third party all of my financial passwords especially if they hold the decryption keys (I only linked my spending accounts to Mint). There's no way the benefit outweighs the risk for me
sscritic wrote:The question was about "randomly." There is a difference between "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts" and "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding." I use Quicken. I tell Quicken when I want it to access my accounts. As far as I know, Quicken doesn't check my accounts behind my back.

I still am guessing that there might be a setting to change from "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding" to "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts," but I don't know, not having a Mint account. What setting options do you actually have?

If there is no setting and their terms and conditions say they can access at anytime, then you accept those terms and use the service, or you don't and don't.
Mint says they pull the information every night. I don't think there's an option to modify that, but I'm not sure, I just deleted my account. It was easy to do and they expunge all your financial information so that's nice to know.

I do think Mint is a great service for tracking and categorizing every penny of your spending. However, I'm not currently doing that so it's pointless for me to use.

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englishgirl
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by englishgirl » Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:56 am

sscritic wrote:The question was about "randomly." There is a difference between "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts" and "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding." I use Quicken. I tell Quicken when I want it to access my accounts. As far as I know, Quicken doesn't check my accounts behind my back.

I still am guessing that there might be a setting to change from "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding" to "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts," but I don't know, not having a Mint account. What setting options do you actually have?

If there is no setting and their terms and conditions say they can access at anytime, then you accept those terms and use the service, or you don't and don't.
It's hardly behind anyone's back. Even if you don't notice it in the terms and conditions, I'd think you'd notice that every time you log in, it shows you onscreen when it last updated each of your accounts. Typically, they all start with "1 day ago" and then it updates again because you've logged in, so it'll change to "30 seconds ago" or whatever. It even flags the account if it hasn't been able to log in for a while.

Personally, now that I use Mint less often than I used to, I'm happy not to have to wait for it to download a couple of weeks of data, or however long it's been since I last logged in.
Sarah

sunnyday
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by sunnyday » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:25 pm

LordB wrote:Oy the paranoia on here.

Yes mint accesses your account at random times. Many others have explained why.

As for the "you invalidate all legal protections giving out your password" yes the legal documentation says that. In practice if mint or any of these other services were ever penetrated the banks would rapidly become aware and kill all logins that mint.com has (which would be annoying and likely delay access to your money, but not lose you money). And I would bet that if that happened something ends up being worked out so that the tiny fraction of people who actually lose money in the penetration get reimbursed.

If the banks were to attempt to not reimburse some other kind of penetration because you gave your password to mint a similar uproar would occur. Yes this would hit mint, but it also would harm the bank trying to invalidate the protection quite possibly more. I think this is also unlikely.

Personally I have bigger things to worry about and I suspect most people on this board do too.
This seems naive to me. First the statement that banks could stop the illegal transactions before money could be drained and second that banks would reimburse you because of an "uproar".

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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by abuss368 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:42 pm

I have never used Mint.com but I used Quicken for many years. I was never comfortable with the whole download and login process. I never entered financial account numbers, login, and password information. It just did not pass my "sleep test". For us, it no longer matters as we do not use Quicken or any other personal financial software now.
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by placeholder » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:46 pm

At least one of my accounts (can't remember which right off) has a special log-in for Mint etc. but I didn't set it up because I have no interest in using these services.

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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by lws6772 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:51 pm

sunnyday wrote:
LordB wrote:Oy the paranoia on here.

Yes mint accesses your account at random times. Many others have explained why.

As for the "you invalidate all legal protections giving out your password" yes the legal documentation says that. In practice if mint or any of these other services were ever penetrated the banks would rapidly become aware and kill all logins that mint.com has (which would be annoying and likely delay access to your money, but not lose you money). And I would bet that if that happened something ends up being worked out so that the tiny fraction of people who actually lose money in the penetration get reimbursed.

If the banks were to attempt to not reimburse some other kind of penetration because you gave your password to mint a similar uproar would occur. Yes this would hit mint, but it also would harm the bank trying to invalidate the protection quite possibly more. I think this is also unlikely.

Personally I have bigger things to worry about and I suspect most people on this board do too.
This seems naive to me. First the statement that banks could stop the illegal transactions before money could be drained and second that banks would reimburse you because of an "uproar".
+1
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nhrdls
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by nhrdls » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:01 pm

sscritic wrote:The question was about "randomly." There is a difference between "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts" and "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding." I use Quicken. I tell Quicken when I want it to access my accounts. As far as I know, Quicken doesn't check my accounts behind my back.

I still am guessing that there might be a setting to change from "access my accounts whenever you d*** well feel about it, my feelings not withstanding" to "access my accounts when I request you access my accounts," but I don't know, not having a Mint account. What setting options do you actually have?

If there is no setting and their terms and conditions say they can access at anytime, then you accept those terms and use the service, or you don't and don't.
My day time job is in similar industry as Mint and have seen how it works or have worked on similar products. Based on numbers I had heard few days back, almost 60% of bank traffic is from account aggregators like Mint, majority of it during early morning. As for quicken,I think they update every day (night?). Only thing that happens when you connect is information getting transferred from their servers to your machine. Its mentioned in their license agreement, along with the fact, that they save your credentials on their servers. I don't have Mint account, but do remember reading somewhere that Mint "refresh" policy is actually based on usage pattern. If you don't login for months, they have no reason to update and will refresh only if you log in. On the other hand, if you are regular user, they will refresh everyday as user expects up to date balances.

Banks know that tools like quicken or MS are popular and companies are requesting data on behalf of tool users. They can (and do) reverse IP check to see who is connecting. In some cases they even have separate server banks for these kinds of activities.

Shredder
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Re: Does Mint.com randomly access your account?

Post by Shredder » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:27 pm

I am looking at my mobile settings right now and it has the option to 'Automatically refresh data every 4 hours without waking device.'

If you are freaking out over them accessing your accounts so that they can give you more up to date data you need to stop using Mint. I personally want my most up to date data without waiting for it to update each time I log in. Then again I don't mind services like Google Now that scan my email to give me updates on packages I have in transit or upcoming travel itineraries. While it can be creepy at times it's something that I opt for and am okay with.

If you are uncomfortable just stop using Mint and use Quicken or some other service.

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