About a year ago, we got a request from a Wesabe user that asked,
Hey, Wesabe is great, and your Uploader is one of the main reasons I joined — asking me to put my bank password into some new web site in order to even try it would have been nuts. But now I’ve been using it for a while, and I trust you. Do you plan to make some way for me to use Wesabe and get automatic updates without having to run the Uploader all the time?
(Another Wesabean was more blunt: “I’m glad you didn’t ask for my passwords on the first date. But now that we’ve been going out for a while….” — well, you get the idea.)
Over the year, we’ve heard the same thing from many people. They started with Wesabe because they believe we care a huge amount about securing their data (and we do). They liked that we provided choices for making their uploads automatic. But after a while, they had come to trust us and believe in our mission, and now they wanted something more convenient from us.
Today, we’re answering that request. We’ve just launched an invitation-only preview to our “Automatic Uploader,” which provides fully automatic updates to your Wesabe accounts, and which does not require you to install any software or downloads from us. If you’re interested in giving it a try, head over to preview.wesabe.com and sign up for an invitation. Today we support fully automatic updates for more than 75% of the accounts on our site, and we plan to launch with about 90% — and since we support more banks and credit cards than other sites, that adds up to a great level of coverage. We’re rolling this out a bit at a time to allow us to scale it up smoothly, and to work out any errors downloading accounts before a general launch.
We believe that it is a huge strength of Wesabe that we offer you choices about how you want to manage your data, and control over your data — moreso than any other company. As part of that, we are continuing to support our Desktop, Firefox, and Manual Uploaders, which give you this benefit, and we will continue to support them as long as people ask us to. But we also want to be the most convenient site, and to do that, we think this is a great step.
In the process of building the Automatic Uploader, we’ve done a bunch of interesting and, we think, innovative security work to make our setup for this as good as it can be — extending our “Super Ninja Privacy Techniques” to this part of the application, too. I’ve written before about why we think that outsourcing data upload to third party companies is terrible for users, and prevents us from giving you the control over your data that we think is critical. This is a great example of what owning the whole process allows us to do: pass on our security benefits to you and make sure we don’t give up any control for you. We’re going to be publishing the methods we’ve developed to make this work once the feature goes into general release.
I’m excited about this launch. We believe in removing any barrier to Wesabe being the best, easiest to use, and most helpful site out there, and I think today we’ve taken another big step out ahead of that. Head over to preview.wesabe.com and let us know what you think.