Quicken to pull out of market?? ---


S

Sylvia Pearson

It is my understanding that Quicken will pull out of certain markets. Does
anyone know which markets?
Thanks . . .
 
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W

William W. Plummer

Sylvia said:
It is my understanding that Quicken will pull out of certain markets. Does
anyone know which markets?
Thanks . . .
Do you have any credible documentation for this? Or, are you just
trying to start a rumor?
 
P

pk

William said:
Do you have any credible documentation for this? Or, are you just
trying to start a rumor?
http://www.quicken.co.uk/
Important notice for Quicken Users:

Intuit UK has made a difficult business decision to discontinue future
development of Quicken products for the UK market. To help customers
affected by this decision, we will continue providing access to Quicken
customer support and online services through to the end of January 2006.

Key Dates

a.. Quicken withdrawn from sale: 31, January 2005
b.. Phone support (Quicken XG, 2004) until: 31, January 2006
c.. Email support (Quicken XG, 2004) until: 31, January 2006
d.. Online support until: 31, January, 2006
pk
 
T

Tad R Davenport

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Do you have any credible documentation for this? Or, are you just
trying to start a rumor?
Bill Plummer (if thats your name) should read the posts herein. Seems it is
the UK market.
 
A

Andrew

William said:
http://www.quicken.co.uk/
Important notice for Quicken Users:

Intuit UK has made a difficult business decision to discontinue future
development of Quicken products for the UK market. ...
So we all have been reading this for a while. Does anyone know WHY they
made this decision?
Also, what is so different about Quicken for the UK market vs. US domestic?
Since I have never dealt with Intuit outside the USA, I wonder what the
differences are that makes such a decision reasonable. Obviously currency
names and translation are different, but are they more radical differences
between banking and personal finance in the UK that they can't deal with ?
It must have been a business decision, but what are their parameters? I
would think the UK has enough computer-savy customers that this wasn't a
trivial decision on their part.

"Inquiring minds want to know!"
 
M

Mike B

Sylvia Pearson said:
It is my understanding that Quicken will pull out of certain markets.
Does anyone know which markets?
Thanks . . .
As far as we know Quicken has only announced that it will pull out of the UK
market.
 
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H

Han

Andrew said:
So we all have been reading this for a while. Does anyone know WHY
they made this decision?
Also, what is so different about Quicken for the UK market vs. US
domestic? Since I have never dealt with Intuit outside the USA, I
wonder what the differences are that makes such a decision reasonable.
Obviously currency names and translation are different, but are they
more radical differences between banking and personal finance in the
UK that they can't deal with ? It must have been a business decision,
but what are their parameters? I would think the UK has enough
computer-savy customers that this wasn't a trivial decision on their
part.

"Inquiring minds want to know!"
I was about to buy Quicken Netherlands, when they stopped supporting it.

Yes, there are many differences besides the tranlastions. The tax
structures are different, and so is the banking system. For instance, I
am about to pay my wife's subscription to the Dutch Genealogical Society
or NGV. Thereto I have to instruct *my* Dutch bank to transfer Euros to
the account of the NGV account. I do it electronically, but it is a
reflection of the paper way of doing things: Deliver a voucher/check to
your bank to pay Peter Paul's account at his bank.

If you're interested, maybe you can find out more here:
<http://www.abnamro.nl/nl/particulier/engels.html?pos=en>
 
I

I live on Quicken and Outlook

So we all have been reading this for a while. Does anyone know WHY they
made this decision?
Also, what is so different about Quicken for the UK market vs. US domestic?
Since I have never dealt with Intuit outside the USA, I wonder what the
differences are that makes such a decision reasonable. Obviously currency
names and translation are different, but are they more radical differences
between banking and personal finance in the UK that they can't deal with ?
It must have been a business decision, but what are their parameters? I
would think the UK has enough computer-savy customers that this wasn't a
trivial decision on their part.

"Inquiring minds want to know!"
Consider that every new release has a high fixed cost, even if you
change only 1 line of code. It is common in many software categories
(not sure about this one) that test and QA takes more time and
resource that the actual programming.

If this seems wrong, then consider. an application like Quicken has
to be tested on every possible version of Windows that Intuit states
it does. (e.g. no long Win 3.1, possibly not Win 95, but certainly
Win 98 FE and SE.) And, Windows isn't Windows isn't Windows. UK
users hae a different version than Italians have a different version
than the French have a different version than Canadians, etc. And so
the testing task is enormous for each county that Intuit wants to sell
Quicken.

And, will Quicken run (well) on a Win 2000 system with only 64MB of
RAM? 2 GB of RAM. More tests, which are OS-specific.

To facilitate all this testing, the Microsoft Developer Network
subscriptions include non-US versions Windows.

And as others have pointed out, there are differences in the banking
systems between countries. And of course, "localization" of the
documentation. Even the UK version of English is different than the
version we speak here in "the colonies."

Add to all this the support and maintenance costs. Every version will
need patches, which also must be tested. And a support person, even
if not 24x7x365. And bugs (despite all that testing!) need to be
tracked and fixed (or not).

At some point, it is simply not profitable to serve some markets, even
if the US market version "carries" most of the cost of programming new
features. Or, the price goes up. Perhaps a higher purchase price,
perhaps a monthly subscription.

Intuit is not "evil" if it makes such decisions. It is a simple fact
of business life. They do have a responsibiity to their shareholders.
Being an American, I have only a vague awareness of non-US versions of
Quicken, or how much price competition there is in other countries for
a Quicken-like product.

If I may offer a suggestion, it is to contact Intuit and tell them
that you are willing to pay let's say 10 euros a month for a
subcription version of Quicken for your country. And suggest that
others might also, so they should conduct a customer survey and
possibly change their decision. Or maybe it is 20 euros a month.

Of course you may not be willing to pay that much.
 
R

Richard

I have the impression they pulled out of the French market some time ago.
All I see on the shelves now is MS Money.
RS
 
A

Andrew

I said:
Consider that every new release has a high fixed cost, even if you
change only 1 line of code. It is common in many software categories
(not sure about this one) that test and QA takes more time and
resource that the actual programming.

If this seems wrong, then consider. an application like Quicken has
to be tested on every possible version of Windows that Intuit states
it does. (e.g. no long Win 3.1, possibly not Win 95, but certainly
Win 98 FE and SE.) And, Windows isn't Windows isn't Windows. UK
users hae a different version than Italians have a different version
than the French have a different version than Canadians, etc. And so
the testing task is enormous for each county that Intuit wants to sell
Quicken.

And, will Quicken run (well) on a Win 2000 system with only 64MB of
RAM? 2 GB of RAM. More tests, which are OS-specific.

To facilitate all this testing, the Microsoft Developer Network
subscriptions include non-US versions Windows.

And as others have pointed out, there are differences in the banking
systems between countries. And of course, "localization" of the
documentation. Even the UK version of English is different than the
version we speak here in "the colonies."

Add to all this the support and maintenance costs. Every version will
need patches, which also must be tested. And a support person, even
if not 24x7x365. And bugs (despite all that testing!) need to be
tracked and fixed (or not).

At some point, it is simply not profitable to serve some markets, even
if the US market version "carries" most of the cost of programming new
features. Or, the price goes up. Perhaps a higher purchase price,
perhaps a monthly subscription.

Intuit is not "evil" if it makes such decisions. It is a simple fact
of business life. They do have a responsibiity to their shareholders.
Being an American, I have only a vague awareness of non-US versions of
Quicken, or how much price competition there is in other countries for
a Quicken-like product.

If I may offer a suggestion, it is to contact Intuit and tell them
that you are willing to pay let's say 10 euros a month for a
subcription version of Quicken for your country. And suggest that
others might also, so they should conduct a customer survey and
possibly change their decision. Or maybe it is 20 euros a month.

Of course you may not be willing to pay that much.
I certainly understand (as I originally said) that currency and banking LAWS
are different, but neither you nor Han (unless I missed it) mentioned
anything that the actual PROGRAM internally would need to do differently to
'support' these different markets. Yes, currency names and values (dollars,
gilders, EUROs) are different, but a simply external file could be made to
have all that local 'names' be referenced externally by the same processing
code. What differences to the banking systems in the countries do that
would make the behavior of Quicken change? I assume all countries 'do'
things like deposit/withdrawals, purchase shares, etc. I'm not talking
about superficial changes that a simple matter of programming (SMOPs, as we
call it in the industry) can easily handle.
 
A

Andrew

Repeat of previous append to appear at end of current thread....

I certainly understand (as I originally said) that currency and banking LAWS
are different, but neither you nor Han (unless I missed it) mentioned
anything that the actual PROGRAM internally would need to do differently to
'support' these different markets. Yes, currency names and values (dollars,
gilders, EUROs) are different, but a simply external file could be made to
have all that local 'names' be referenced externally by the same processing
code. What differences to the banking systems in the countries do that
would make the behavior of Quicken change? I assume all countries 'do'
things like deposit/withdrawals, purchase shares, etc. I'm not talking
about superficial changes that a simple matter of programming (SMOPs, as we
call it in the industry) can easily handle.
 
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H

Han

Andrew said:
Repeat of previous append to appear at end of current thread....

I certainly understand (as I originally said) that currency and
banking LAWS are different, but neither you nor Han (unless I missed
it) mentioned anything that the actual PROGRAM internally would need
to do differently to 'support' these different markets. Yes, currency
names and values (dollars, gilders, EUROs) are different, but a simply
external file could be made to have all that local 'names' be
referenced externally by the same processing code. What differences
to the banking systems in the countries do that would make the
behavior of Quicken change? I assume all countries 'do' things like
deposit/withdrawals, purchase shares, etc. I'm not talking about
superficial changes that a simple matter of programming (SMOPs, as we
call it in the industry) can easily handle.
I really don't know all the intricacies either programming nor banking
systems. Sorry! I just know that first the Dutch version of Quicken went
belly up (so to speak), then, I believe, the French version, and now -
soon - the UK version.

That all being said, I used to keep track of my Dutch bank account as a
separate account. Now in Q05 I have put the 2 remaining accounts in my
main file as Euro accounts. Of course, the $#%@ id&^%s at Quicken still
have not made currency exchange rates similar to stock prices. There is
no way to compare a static number of Euros to their US$ equivalent on
different days. With the US$ devalued from a high of $0.85/€ to a low of
almost $1.35/€, and recent changes between $1.28 and $1.35/€ those are bog
swings. Remind me again, if the $ goes from $0.85 to $1.35 then it lost
value at (135-85)/85=58.82%. Did your salary go up by that amount?
<grumple!>
 
I

I live on Quicken and Outlook

Repeat of previous append to appear at end of current thread....

I certainly understand (as I originally said) that currency and banking LAWS
are different, but neither you nor Han (unless I missed it) mentioned
anything that the actual PROGRAM internally would need to do differently to
'support' these different markets. Yes, currency names and values (dollars,
gilders, EUROs) are different, but a simply external file could be made to
have all that local 'names' be referenced externally by the same processing
code. What differences to the banking systems in the countries do that
would make the behavior of Quicken change? I assume all countries 'do'
things like deposit/withdrawals, purchase shares, etc. I'm not talking
about superficial changes that a simple matter of programming (SMOPs, as we
call it in the industry) can easily handle.
Andrew.

I'm not sure that you really understood what I wrote.

Of course, any well-written software keeps external "resource" files
for things like messages and report titles, as well as menu texts,
etc. That is a given.

Guilders, dollars, or even thalers or dubloons. That's not the issue.
Please go back and read what I wrote about __testing__. That is a
non-compressible cost. That is, if I have already tested on a US
Windows platform for the US market, I can't reduce my testing for a
Dutch Windows for the Dutch market.

And in fact there are differences in banking systems. In most
countries in Europe, checks are hardly used anymore, yet they are
still extremely popular in the US for consumers. Less so for
businesses. The Europeans are way ahead of the US for "electronic
money," stored value cards, and online payments in general. And legal
and regulatory frameworks are different.

This isn't just programming. It's also testing, as I said above, and
having really good in-country knowledge (which ain't cheap, country by
country), and support country by country in each language.

Microsoft has a different set of economics than all the other
companies in this business. They alone can afford to lose money year
after year after year so that MS Money appears in lots of different
countries. Intuit can't with Quicken.

To some readers in this group, it may seem odd that I am "defending"
Intuit, not bashing them., But I have been consistent in my view that
a lot of Intuit's problems are of their own making. This issue is
not.

ILOO
 
A

Andrew

I said:
Please go back and read what I wrote about __testing__. That is a
non-compressible cost. That is, if I have already tested on a US
Windows platform for the US market, I can't reduce my testing for a
Dutch Windows for the Dutch market.>
But that's my question!

I must not be making myself clear, sorry. I'll try one more time.

If Quicken truly (big if, by the way) keeps easily tailorable things in
files outside their main program, then I don't understand the NEED to test
outside the single code base.

What is it about Quicken in the foreign markets that makes the *need* to
test elsewhere? What are the DIFFERENCES in
the program in the Dutch Market or UK market? If everything is in external
files that are truly programmatic, then there should be NO differences. But
I assume SOMETHING about the program is different....

I give up after this one. To me, it's academic anyway,
 
M

Mike B

Andrew said:
Repeat of previous append to appear at end of current thread....

I certainly understand (as I originally said) that currency and
banking LAWS are different, but neither you nor Han (unless I missed
it) mentioned anything that the actual PROGRAM internally would need
to do differently to 'support' these different markets. Yes,
currency names and values (dollars, gilders, EUROs) are different,
but a simply external file could be made to have all that local
'names' be referenced externally by the same processing code. What
differences to the banking systems in the countries do that would
make the behavior of Quicken change? I assume all countries 'do'
things like deposit/withdrawals, purchase shares, etc. I'm not
talking about superficial changes that a simple matter of programming
(SMOPs, as we call it in the industry) can easily handle. --
It is not simply the mechanics of operating checking and savings accounts.
It gets a lot more muddled after that. There are different laws governing
accessing personal data stored at a FI, for one. There are different types
of banking accounts, individual retirement savings accounts with different
treatment, different 401(k) equivalents, etc., etc. Then tie in that you
need a different marketing campaign to educate FIs about the benefits of
providing online access to their customers, the legislative hurdles to go
through and it is a lot of effort.

Another poster on this thread compared the potential UK customer base with
the US customer base as 60 million to 250 million. That is also erroneous.
Out of about 290 million Americans, Quicken sold approximately 17 million
copies - allowing for equivalent market penetration in the UK (which I doubt
from personal experience), that translates to 3.5 million copies. Still a
sizeable market to walk away from at GBP 50 per copy ( $315 million USD). So
I recon we don't know and probably won't ever know the exact reasons for
withdrawing from the European markets.
 
H

Han

Out of about 290 million Americans, Quicken sold approximately 17
million copies - allowing for equivalent market penetration in the UK
(which I doubt from personal experience), that translates to 3.5
million copies. Still a sizeable market to walk away from at GBP 50
per copy ( $315 million USD). So I reckon we don't know and probably
won't ever know the exact reasons for withdrawing from the European
markets.
Just a wild-a## guess:
==============
European privacy laws are more stringent than US laws (I read it somewhere
- sorry, no quote available). That may mean that Intuit's handling of
private information couldn't withstahd European scrutiny. As I said, just
a wild-a## guess:
==============
 
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A

Andrew

Mike said:
There are different types
of banking accounts, individual retirement savings accounts with different
treatment, different 401(k) equivalents, etc., etc

There we go! OK - that makes sense - sure, if Quicken needs to actually
implement these types of accounts and changes for foreign packaging, now
makes sense. Thanks Mike B.
 
M

Mikey

Andrew said:
Repeat of previous append to appear at end of current thread....
[snip]

Another poster on this thread compared the potential UK customer base with
the US customer base as 60 million to 250 million. That is also erroneous.
Out of about 290 million Americans, Quicken sold approximately 17 million
copies - allowing for equivalent market penetration in the UK (which I doubt
from personal experience), that translates to 3.5 million copies. Still a
sizeable market to walk away from at GBP 50 per copy ( $315 million USD). So
I recon we don't know and probably won't ever know the exact reasons for
withdrawing from the European markets.
I would venture to guess that, contrary to what everyone here keeps pushing,
that the problem was likely NOT lack of consumer sales but rather difficulty in
getting the UK (and potentially other EU) FI's to sign up to the fees that
Intuit charges for up/downloads and billpay through an FI.

I have no idea what the actual profit margin per box of Quicken sold is but
assuming for a moment that Intuit receives some remuneration from the FI's
supporting online services based on *each* transaction - I'll define that as
each connection/download with an FI, not necessarily each line item transmitted
(though it could be) - I would not be at all surprised to see that revenue
stream being more sizeable - and regular - than individual copy sales to
consumers. Think about it: most people fire up Quicken daily or at least every
couple of days. Each time they do it they hit the "Update" button to download
bank data and upload bills. Intuit's servers keep track of how many
transactions per each FI and, *ka-ching*, instant income to Intuit. For a
person who checks each business day and downloads data from, say, 3 different
FI's (bank, CC, and brokerage) each time then that would result in that user
generating a minimum of 780 transactions per year (more if using billpay since
you often connect twice in a row to send payments for the bills you just
downloaded). Multiply all those connections by the millions of users and even
at a fraction of a cent each Intuit could easily generate 100's of millions of $
per year from the FI's. And, more importantly, it would generate that holy
grail of the software industry: a steady, predictible revenue stream.

No wonder getting rid of .QIF files is so important.....
 
G

Gerhard Fiedler

Mikey said:
I would venture to guess that, contrary to what everyone here keeps
pushing, that the problem was likely NOT lack of consumer sales but
rather difficulty in getting the UK (and potentially other EU) FI's to
sign up to the fees that Intuit charges for up/downloads and billpay
through an FI.
That might well be. With the banking system in most European countries
being so much more efficient (for the user at least -- I never worked in a
bank), those services are simply not necessary.
Intuit's servers keep track of how many transactions per each FI and,
*ka-ching*, instant income to Intuit.
I liked the "ka-ching" part :)
No wonder getting rid of .QIF files is so important.....
OTOH, the replacement seems to be an open standard, so in theory FIs are
not required to buy Intuit server software.

Gerhard
 
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M

Michael J. Budwey

That might well be. With the banking system in most European countries
being so much more efficient (for the user at least -- I never worked in a
bank), those services are simply not necessary.


I liked the "ka-ching" part :)


OTOH, the replacement seems to be an open standard, so in theory FIs are
not required to buy Intuit server software.

Gerhard
Yes, it's an "open" standard as a few Intuit defenders in this group
are quick to point out. However, Intuit has inserted their own
"compliant" fields into the "standard" in such a way as to ensure that
the resulting file cannot be imported into Quicken without the use of
Intuit's servers, thereby providing a mechanism for Intuit to demand
fees from any institution that wishes to be able to provide the
download service for its Quicken customers.

In my opinion, the ONLY reason for involving Intuit's servers is to
create income for Intuit at the expense of Quicken users (via their
financial institutions). I can see no value added to the
download/import (or WebConnect or whatever they want to call it)
process by involving Intuit's servers. So, yes, it is certainly in
Intuit's vested interest to eliminate the ability to import .QIF
files. That way, Intuit can generate an ongoing revenue stream
without having to rely on product sales created by actually improving
the product.

Just my opinion, of course.

Mike Budwey
 

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