I’ve got a tab that’s due for update on the online money marketplace focused more on investing and lending. That field has evolved over time as we work out the question of what’s appropriate to offer to non-accredited investors. MicroPlace came out and registered as a broker to offer securities from the get-go. Prosper started out as peer-to-peer lending but was eventually pushed by the SEC to register to offer securities. Kiva has as-yet avoided registration and the key difference seems to be that they don’t pay a return – when you lend via Kiva you don’t earn interest, so it’s not an investment.
The online marketplace for tracking and analyzing spending is also booming. Mint is a prominent example – it will link to your accounts and read the data and compile a view of your personal finances across all your accounts. Mint will then help you sent and stick to budgets by sending you customized emails and texts with updates about your spending an alerts when you hit budget limits. I found it a little creepy but they only view accounts, you can’t make changes or move money. Their business model seems to be to recommend other products and services to users and earn fees on the referrals. Mint was acquired by Quicken in 2009.
Fast Company has an interesting article about a few websites to get crowd-sourced financial advice, and a new website called Bundle that somehow mines marketing data to summarize the spending habits of people like you. Check out their article on “wanna know how your neighbors spend their money”.