Personal Finance Service HelloWallet Launches On iPhone

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Mint competitor HelloWallet is launching on the iPhone today, with an application that provides at-a-glance spending guidance, budget details and your available cash balance.

As a company, HelloWallet aims to differentiate itself from Mint by functioning as a full-service financial advisor, in addition to being a personal finance tracking application. On mobile, this aspect to its service shows up under the “Next Steps” section, which offers users personalized advice and tips.

However, the app’s key differentiator on mobile is its location-based spending guidance feature. This displays how much you have left to spend in the budget category associated with a particular venue.

While certainly it’s certainly a nifty trick to tap into your location via the smartphone’s GPS, the company is touting this unique feature above all else, when really, it’s the access to historical data from that venue that may be the more interesting value-add in terms of location. After all, in Mint’s iPhone application, you can view your budgets by category, too, and it’s not so difficult to figure out (without a GPS), that if you’re buying dinner, that’s to be deducted from the “restaurants” category, for example. Location-based category assignment just simplifies this process.

What’s really neat is to see the bar graph of historical spending for a venue in HelloWallet, something that may give impulse shoppers pause before another big purchase. Think of the advantage for gadget-aholics (ahem) who spend far too much at Best Buy or the Apple Store, for instance. The graph is that much-needed visual reminder to slow down.

There are plenty of other differences between Mint and HelloWallet, too, even if they’re not highlighted that well within the app. For example, while Mint is focused on tracking your money then recommending associated products and services from its partners, HelloWallet doesn’t allow banks to advertise on its service. It also has more of a focus on getting users out of debt and boosting savings, especially those associated with employer-provided 401K’s. These finance management tools are found in HelloWallet’s Web app, as the mobile version is more narrowly focused on spending and budgets.

The distribution models for Mint and HelloWallet are also different. Mint is a consumer-targeted service, but HelloWallet has been selling to enterprise customers who offer HelloWallet as an employee-sponsored benefit. To date, the company has sold over 300,000 memberships to its online service to its Fortune 500 employer partners. And for every 5 subscriptions it sells, HelloWallet gives away one free subscription to a family in need.

Since its founding in 2009, HelloWallet has raised over $9 million in funding, led by Grotech Ventures and Revolution Ventures.

Current HelloWallet customers can grab the new iPhone app from here.