how-does-mint-make-money

How Does Mint Make Money? The Mint Business Model In A Nutshell

Mint is a personal financial management company with an app for North American consumers with close to 20 million users, making money through referral fees, advertising, and credit monitoring services. Mint was acquired by Intuit back in 2009 for approximately $170 million.

Origin Story

Mint is a personal financial management company with an app for North American consumers.

The company was created by Aaron Patzer in 2006 through a deal with software firm Yodlee to provide account aggregation services. Three years later, Mint was acquired by Intuit and shifted to using its account connecting system.

Using the Mint platform, users can track bank, credit card, investment, and loan balances using a single interface. Customers can also set financial goals through smart budgeting, receive a free credit score, and use a bill tracker for recurring payments or subscriptions.

At last count, Mint claimed to have northwards of 20 million users.

Mint revenue generation

Mint operates under a freemium model. Full access to the Mint app is free for all users.

So how does it make money?

Referral fees

The company makes money whenever a user purchases one of the financial products the company promotes. In some instances, Mint may also receive a fee for sign-ups.

Since Mint is an aggregation service, it can promote a vast swathe of products and services.

These include (but are not limited to):

  • Investment products – such as Wealthfront or Betterment.
  • Insurance – whether that be life, home, or vehicular insurance.
  • Personal and student loans.
  • Credit cards.
  • Personal banking services from participating financial institutions, including American Express and Bank of America.

The exact fee structure is dependent upon the nature of the agreement between Mint and its partners.

Given Mint’s access to the complete financial history of its customers, referral fees should be a lucrative source of income for the company. By analyzing spending habits, targeted offers can be sent to consumers.

Many have speculated that this valuable data might have been sold to other companies as a further revenue stream. However, there has been no indication that Mint has made modes to sell customer data.

Advertising

Mint also drives revenue through in-app advertisements. When a customer taps on an ad, the company collects a small fee from the advertiser.

Again, the ads are likely to be highly targeted given Mint’s access to detailed customer data.

Credit monitoring service

Although basic credit reporting is free on the platform, Mint users can also pay $16.99/month and subscribe to the Mint Credit Monitor.

This premium reporting service incorporates data from three credit agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The service also monitors for (and reports on) possible instances of identity theft.

Key takeaways:

  • Mint is a personal financial services company founded in 2006 by Aaron Patzer. The platform is an aggregation tool, allowing users to track all of their financial products in a single app.
  • Mint operates on the freemium model. But as a data aggregator, it has access to vast amounts of valuable consumer data regarding spending and saving habits among other things. As a result, it derives the bulk of its revenue via targeted referral fees.
  • Mint also offers in-app advertising and a premium credit monitoring service that gives users the credit score across three different agencies.

Read Next:

Read More: How Does TD Ameritrade Make MoneyHow Does Dave Make MoneyHow Does Webull Make MoneyHow Does Betterment Make MoneyHow Does Wealthfront Make MoneyHow Does M1 Finance Make MoneyHow Does Mint Make MoneyHow Does NerdWallet Make MoneyHow Does Acorns Make MoneyHow Does SoFi Make MoneyHow Does Stash Make MoneyHow Does Robinhood Make MoneyHow Does E-Trade Make MoneyHow Does Coinbase Make MoneyHow Does Affirm Make MoneyFintech Companies And Their Business Models.

Related FinTech Business Models

Acorns Business Model

how-does-acorns-make-money
Acorns is a fintech platform providing services related to Robo-investing and micro-investing. The company makes money primarily through three subscription tiers: Lite – ($1/month), which gives users access to Acorns Invest, Personal ($3/month) that includes Invest plus the Later (retirement) and Spend (personal checking account) suite of products, Family ($5/month) with features from both the Lite and Personal plans with the addition of Early.

Affirm Business Model

affirm-business-model
Starting as a pay-later solution integrated into merchants’ checkouts, Affirm makes money from merchants’ fees as consumers pick up the pay-later solution. Affirm also makes money through interest earned from the consumer loans when those are repurchased from the originating bank. In 2020 Affirm made 50% of its revenues from merchants’ fees, about 37% from interests, and the remaining from virtual cards and servicing fees.

Alipay Business Model

how-does-alipay-make-money
Alipay is a Chinese mobile and online payment platform created in 2004 by entrepreneur Jack Ma as the payment arm of Taobao, a major Chinese eCommerce site. Alipay, therefore, is the B2C component of Alibaba Group. Alipay makes money via escrow transaction fees, various value-added ancillary services, and its Credit Pay Instalment fees.

Betterment Business Model

how-does-betterment-make-money
Betterment is an American financial advisory company founded in 2008 by MBA graduate Jon Stein and lawyer Eli Broverman. Betterment makes money via investment plans, financial advice packages, betterment for advisors, betterment for business, cash reserve, and checking accounts.

Chime Business Model

how-does-chime-make-money
Chime is an American neobank (internet-only bank) company, providing fee-free financial services through its mobile banking app, thus providing personal finance services free of charge while making the majority of its money via interchange fees (paid by merchants when consumers use their debit cards) and ATM fees.

Coinbase Business Model

coinbase-business-model
Coinbase is among the most popular platforms for trading and storing crypto-assets, whose mission is “to create an open financial system for the world” by enabling customers to trade cryptocurrencies. Its platform serves both as a search and discovery engine for crypto assets. The company makes money primarily through fees earned for the transactions processed through the platform, custodial services offered, interest, and subscriptions.

Compass Business Model

how-does-compass-make-money
Compass is a licensed American real-estate broker incorporating online real estate technology as a marketing medium. The company makes money via sales commissions (collected whenever a sale is facilitated or tenants are found for a rental property) and bridge loans (a service allowing the seller to purchase a home before the revenue from the sale of their previous home is available).

Dosh Business Model

how-does-dosh-make-money
Dosh is a Fintech platform that enables automatic cash backs for consumers. Its business model connects major card providers with online and offline local businesses to develop automatic cash back programs. The company makes money by earning an affiliate commission on each eligible sale from consumers.

E-Trade Business Model

how-does-e-trade-make-money
E-Trade is a trading platform allowing investors to trade common and preferred stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, bonds, mutual funds, and futures contracts; acquired by Morgan Stanley in 2020 for $13 billion. E-Trade makes money through interest income, order flow, margin interests, options, future and bonds trading, and other fees and service charges.

Klarna Business Model

how-does-klarna-make-money
Klarna is a financial technology company allowing consumers to shop with a temporary Visa card. Thus it then performs a soft credit check and pays the merchant. Klarna makes money by charging merchants. Klarna also earns a percentage of interchange fees as a commission and for interests earned on customers’ accounts.

Lemonade Business Model

how-does-lemonade-make-money
Lemonade is an insurance tech company using behavioral economics and artificial intelligence to process claims efficiently. The company leverages technology to streamline onboarding customers while also applying a financial model to reduce conflicts of interest with customers (perhaps by donating the variable premiums to charity). The company makes money by selling its core insurance products, and via its tech platform, it tries to enhance its sales.

NerdWallet Business Model

how-does-nerdwallet-make-money
NerdWallet is an online platform providing tools and tips on all matters related to personal finance. The company gained traction as a simple web application comparing credit cards. NerdWallet makes money via affiliate commissions determined according to the affiliate agreements.

Robinhood Business Model

how-does-robinhood-make-money
Robinhood is an app that helps to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, all commission-free. Robinhood earns money by offering: Robinhood Gold, a margin trading service, which starts at $6 a month, earns interests from customer cash and stocks, and rebates from market makers and trading venues.

SoFi Business Model

how-does-sofi-make-money
SoFi is an online lending platform that provides affordable education loans to students, and it expanded into financial services, including loans, credit cards, investment services, and insurance. It makes money primarily via payment processing fees and loan securitization.

Stash Business Model

how-does-stash-make-money
Stash is a FinTech platform offering a suite of financial tools for young investors, personalized investment advice, and life insurance. The company primarily makes money via subscriptions, cashback, payment for order flows, and interest for cash sitting on members’ accounts.

Wealthfront Business Model

how-does-wealthfront-make-money
Wealthfront is an automated Fintech investment platform providing investment, retirement, and cash management products to retail investors, mostly making money on the annual 0.25% advisory fee the company charges for assets under management. It also makes money via a line of credits and interests on the cash accounts.

Zelle Business Model

how-does-zelle-make-money
Zelle is a peer-to-peer payment network that indirectly benefits the banks’ consortium that backs it. Zelle also enables users to pay businesses for goods and services free for users. Merchants pay a 1% fee to Visa or Mastercard, who share it with the bank that issued the card.

Read Next: Fintech Business Models, IaaS, PaaS, SaaSEnterprise AI Business ModelCloud Business Models.

Main Free Guides:

About The Author

Scroll to Top
FourWeekMBA