Having eclipsed 2.5 million users, MX appears for the first time as a featured vendor in Forrester's Vendor Landscape: Pick The Right Digital Money Management Technologies. The March 17 report advises FIs to deeply integrate money management capabilities into digital banking and look for a partner who understands their business objectives rather than just a technical fit.

Founded in 2010, MX is the youngest company featured in the report and is one of only three vendors with more than 450 existing deployments, joining Digital Insight (1995) and Yodlee (1999). Out of 12 featured vendors, MX also has the third largest number of money management employees (167). MX clients include USAA, ATB Financial, and Boeing Employees' Credit Union. Last week MX announced a multi-year deal to provide data aggregation capabilities to USAA, allowing the financial services company to offer additional money management services to its members in the U.S. military community.

Forrester notes that the digital money management software market is beginning to consolidate, as a number of financial software vendors have acquired DMM vendors "to cement their digital banking or financial advisor software capabilities." This trend includes the acquisition of IND Group by Misys, Digital Insight by NCR, Figlo by Advent Solutions and Yodlee by Envestnet. Forrester observes that "other banking platform vendors have formed partnerships with money management vendors, such as Backbase's partnership with MX Technologies."

Forrester authors Aurélie L'Hostis and Benjamin Ensor argue that money management features need to be "tightly integrated into digital banking and wealth management across all touchpoints" and that some digital teams misread the market by presenting DMM as a separate product or service. "The more tightly money management is integrated into digital banking — from both a technology and a customer experience point of view — the more adoption you are likely to get." This echoes the remarks of Rita Sly, managing director of channels at ATB Financial, who told the Financial Brand that DMM "can't be an ‘also’ thing you tack on — forcing people to go to a special tab to do extra work. It has to be part of their core experience.”

Forrester notes that some vendors help achieve full integration of digital money management by "providing mini widgets, which they can add throughout their native platforms and mobile applications" and that others deliver money management contextually through application programming interfaces (APIs). A full integration incorporating MX's financial data API, Nexus, enables features like account aggregation, auto-categorization, alerts, analytics and ads to be integrated into an FI's online or mobile banking platform.

The report mentions that a "key strength of MX is its account aggregation engine" and that MX "believes that another differentiator is the high accuracy rate of its transaction categorization engine." Financial institutions have closely scrutinized such claims. "To test the categorization of different vendors one large US financial institution put multiple vendors through a 'stress test' in which it gave them 5 million transactions to cleanse and categorize, then analyzed the results," writes Forrester.

Forrester hints at a move in the market toward real-time data. A digital business strategy executive for a European bank told Forrester, "Our first implementation of PFM was working on a batch process. We were uploading data at night. If you want to provide effective and accurate hints to customers, you need real-time data. You must be providing feedback in real time." MX shares this vision and is already making it happen. Whereas older APIs like OFX can only pull data, the real-time version of MX Data Exchange (MDX) can push data immediately. This way users will see transactions appear from any aggregated account right after those transactions occur.

The report also advises FIs to determine whether they'll need to integrate money management capabilities into financial advisor or call center agent systems "to enable collaboration during financial planning discussions with affluent and small-business customers." Forrester finds that "digital money management solutions need to support an increasingly complex array of touchpoints."