The Aditya Birla Group has launched a personal finance website, MyUniverse, which intends to give users a single window view into their finances. Users can link their online bank accounts and browse through credit card bills, debit card expenses, loans, mutual funds, FDs, and other financial instruments. They can also add physical assets such as gold and jewellery, real estate and offline investments and savings to the list, manually.

The website also allows users to add bill reminders for utility and other payments, and offers a payment gateway with Billdesk to facilitate online bill payments. It has also integrated a trading and investment service from Aditya Birla Money, the broking and distribution company of Aditya Birla Group, and a tax planning service. The site does not offer money transactions across bank accounts but claims to help users understand their financial health. Users of the site also receive instant e-mail and text alerts notifying them of any large transactions.

Pricing: The site is currently offering a 30 day free trial, post which an annual fee of Rs 500 + taxes, is applicable.

The site claims that it protects the confidentiality, integrity and security of users’ personal information during storage and transmission of data. It clarifies that no one at MyUniverse has access to the users’ individual accounts, funds, investments and the site uses VeriSign’s SSL encryption to secure data, which is stored and transmitted in an encrypted format.

The landing page (after the user logins) displays the user’s Money Snapshot including assets and liabilities, summary of his networth, details of income and interest, and details of invesments in insurance, bank balances, real estate, gold and other investments, credit card and loan debts. Users can add these details from the same screen, and click on the buttons to view detailed information for each.

There’s a Bills & Recharges section with a payment calendar, pages for adding and managing billers, analysis of bills, and tracking payments. The My Reports & Analysis section allows users to analyse Personal Finance (expense, cash flow, budget spending, credit cards and other spending) across monthly, quarterly, half yearly and yearly periods. It also offers analysis for investments, tax and transactions, loans and fixed deposits and others. It also lets users set monthly budget alerts, and file taxes (through TaxSpanner). The Products & Services section allows users to buy services from Aditya Birla Money including a demat broking account, portfolio review, commodities account and other products.

Competing Products

While there are a number of sites that allow users to compare and buy financial products, and sites (many offered by investment houses) that allow users to trade in market products and keep a tab on their portfolios online, we’re not sure if there are many sites that allow users to link their live bank accounts and keep a tab on their finances in a detailed manner: Intuit, which offers the popular finance management tool Mint, offers its Money Manager tool on Network18’s Moneycontrol.com, priced at Rs 365 per year, which is the closest to MyUniverse, in terms of features.

Other personal finance sites include InvestmentYogi,  Investopresto, Unicon, Futurewise (in closed beta), RupeeManager, among others. Trading sites from banks, such as ICICIDirect, also offer advanced trading management solutions.