Intuit Buys Platform To Bolster Mobile Banking Capabilities

It was announced today, that Intuit Inc. has gained a mobile banking platform for mobile Web.  It has acquired this from Mobile Money Ventures (also called MMV), one of the best global providers of innovative mobile financial solutions.

This act boosts the position of Intuit Financial Services in their role as leading mobile and online technology provider to institutions.  The company will now be capable of directly managing customer support, and also have complete control over its’ mobile Web banking design.  The transaction will help Intuit Inc. provide more new innovations to their customers faster.

Users of Intuit’s current mobile Web technology are clients with over hundreds of U.S. banks and credit unions.  The existing web technology was provided by MMV.  Text message and application solutions for these customers to do their important banking from any mobile phone, is also a great asset they provide.  Mobile tax filing has also been made possible with this.

MMV was formed in 2008, and is based out of San Mateo, CA.  It began as a joint venture combining strengths of Citigroup, one of the top global financial services companies, and SK Telecom Americas, more of an amateur company, if you will.  MMV produced and provided Intuit with a reputable mobile banking solution, that is being made available to more than 400,000 customers.  Their technology optimized for all handset and screen sizes, so that anyone with any mobile device, can use it.  Now, it will be easy for someone to do their taxes, with mobile filing.

Intuit adds on a small team of employees with this acquistion, who have superb mobile expertise as well as significant history of deploying their solutions to financial institutions.  They will continue helping new and current customers on the platform.

Intuit signed this transaction today.   The terms have not been disclosed, as they are not material to their financial results.

H&R Block Faces Opposition Over The Acquisition Of TaxACT: Federal Antitrust Suit Filed.

While most people are focused on their 2010 tax returns, there is tension in the market. An antitrust lawsuit was filed on Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice in a move to prevent the acquisition of TaxACT by H&R Block. Talk of the $287.5 million deal has led to fears of increased costs and an obstruction of improvements in the market without a third major player to drive competition.

H&R Block

These fears surfaced after H&R Block (Kansas City) revealed its intention in October to merge TaxACT and H&R Block AT Home, creating a division that would be headed by the team from TaxACT.

The Antitrust Division’s assistant attorney general, Christine Varney, issued a release charging that the deal would result in millions of citizens being charged higher costs for digital tax products classified as “do-it-yourself”. Varney further argued that the merger would wipe out advancements made in areas such as free federal filling which is currently a strong suit for TaxACT.

Requests for a response to Varney’s assertions  were not immediately met by H&R Block .

In his contribution to the debate, former H&R block CEO Alan Bennett argued that H&R Block would continue offering free filing for most basic federal returns. He further added that on the one hand this was good since the model is cost effective, efficient and  useful however, the approach is ultimately geared towards getting users of the simple free software to  pay for more complex filing.

Citing that 90 percent of the tax market is currently controlled by H&R Block, TaxACT and Intuit, Varney stressed that permitting the merger would phase out the aggressive competition between the two companies leaving Intuit as the only other large competitor.

Turbo Tax Voted the Best Online Tax Software

When it comes to choosing which software to use for your taxes this year, many options are available. For those that wish to choose the best software, it does not take a mountain of research to discover that TurboTax reigns as the top dog in the world of tax software, every year.

TurboTax has received accolades from many publications including The New York Times, PC Magazine, as well as CNET. They all hail TurboTax products for being the easiest to use, most effective, and simplest taxes software package to date.

TurboTax triumphs over other tax software with its easily navigate able interface. The ability to effortlessly import older data and tax information is also a huge reason to pick TurboTax over any other product.

Using TurboTax is possible for all levels of users, no matter how simple or how complicated your returns might be. TurboTax takes you step by step through every piece of information that must be filled out, ensuring an accurate return and the biggest benefit to its user.

Using software to do your own taxes is less difficult that most would believe and can save hundreds each year that would normally be spent to get a professional to process your taxes. The IRS states that nearly 19 million returns are done online this year so far, which is a rise of nearly 6 percent when compared to the year before it. When it is this simple to prepare your taxes yourself, the only thing stopping you from saving money is not choosing TurboTax software.

Military Debt Consolidation – Pros and Cons

What is military debt consolidation, and how can you get it? Consolidation in general just means combining all your payments into one. If you are serious about trying to get rid of debt, then there are a couple benefits to consider.

For one thing, it helps organize the finances better. After all, trying to track payments that are coming due at all different times of the month can be extremely challenging. Also, the interest rate is generally reduced on these loans, because there is usually some form of collateral involved.

Some loans are specifically for either people who have served, or those who are actively serving-hence the name military consolidation loans. A lot of different companies offer these to those who have been in the service.

What effects the rate? They are the same as loans to non-military citizens. In other words, your credit score is the main thing that will determine your monthly payment.

So are they a good option? Even if you do get a better interest rate, they are still very dangerous. This is because you have to provide collateral to get this lower rate. Therefore, you are at risk of losing your personal possessions. In most instances your home is what is used, so you could very well not have a place to live if you default on this payment.

For this reason, a better option than a loan would be credit counseling. There is less risk, because you are not getting a loan. Therefore, you do not have to worry about any of your personal items getting taken because you are defaulting.

Therefore, if you do get a loan, make sure that you can pay it back. If you are serious about it, make sure you shop around extensively before choosing the best firm. This will help you find the lowest interest rate. Also, make sure to find military debt consolidation companies that allow you to consolidate any type of debt. However, in general, credit counseling is your best option.

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Today’s Mortgage Rates Will Not Get Any Lower

Mortgage rates are at a historical low right now. In a recent weekly survey, the Mortgage Bankers Association stated the mortgage and housing industries are improving. Refinancing old loans are down but new-purchase applications are up nearly 10%. In addition to this good news, the origination costs for mortgage have dropped 4.27%. Historically, this is a lowest origination costs have ever been. Backing up this data are the increased numbers of new applications for FHA mortgage insurance. This good news indicates there has never been a better time to buy a home then today. To see how much purchasing power you have there are many tools at your disposal. Free mortgage calculators are easy to use and available on the Internet to assist you in your decision.

In The News

A bill was signed that extends loan limits through year 2011. This allows affordable mortgage rates for anyone seeking a conforming mortgage over $417,000. The extension is geared toward holding home values at their current market rates and will stabilize the housing industry. To see if you qualify for a conforming mortgage, you can use a refinance calculator. This will determine your monthly savings too. If you are planning to step up into a larger home the calculator can establish what your monthly payments will be and give you some indications to affordability.

Mortgage Insurance and Taxes

One of the variables a calculator has is figuring out the yearly mortgage insurance. By filling in this variable, the yearly cost of insurance will be prorated and then added to the monthly payment. The yearly property tax can be added as well. This will give you a total monthly P&I amount with insurance and taxes. When planning a budget and determining how much house you can afford for a home, this can be highly instrumental. It can also arm you with information before going house hunting.

Educating Yourself

The more you understand about mortgages and today’s mortgage rates the more successful your new home purchase will be. The free tools available online can assist you in understanding things like income to debt ratio, or exactly how much you afford to pay for your new home. The Federal Reserve is initiating action to keep interest rates low thereby encouraging new growth. This means it is now a buyer’s market and some good news for those doing their homework. With today’s mortgage rates low and tools like the free mortgage calculators available, there’s never been a better time to plan buying a new home.

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