Save, grow and protect your money

Goldman Sachs closes Clarity Money, moves some functions to Marcus Insights

Marcus Insights
Marcus Insights Monthly Spending and Snapshot

Clarity Money, the personal finance aggregation, budgeting and analysis tool acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2018, “will close its virtual doors on March 5, 2021.” But, “its most-loved features have been re-imagined to create Marcus Insights,” which is part of the new Marcus app. Let’s see which functions were “re-imagined” and which didn’t make the cut.

Clarity Money launched in 2016 by Adam Dell, a serial entrepreneur and brother of Michael Dell.  It was marketed as “your AI-powered financial champion” that “uses machine learning to analyze your personal finances and help you make smart decisions about your money.” The app offered functions for aggregating bank, credit and investment account, budgeting and spend tracking, recurring expense reporting, and credit reporting. The company announced that “Clarity Money was able to save (1000 beta users) an average of $300 by identifying and cutting out wasteful spending on things like online subscriptions. In 2017, Apple named Clarity Money in its list of “New Apps We Love.” Google Play included Clarity Money as one of the “Best of 2017.”  The app was nominated for the Webby Award and for the Webby People’s Choice award in the financial and banking services categories. But PC Magazine raised concerns about security in its 2018 review.

What’s In Marcus Insights

Several features were included in Marcus Insights, the replacement for Clarity Money, including:

  • Account totals (cash, credit debt, investments)
  • Cashflow snapshot
  • Spending breakdown
  • Recent transactions list
  • What did I spend on (search transactions by name and timeframe)

What’s Out (and Alternatives)

Unfortunately, some of the key features of Clarity Money weren’t re-imagined in Marcus Insights.  The recurring expenses chart and cancel functions didn’t make the cut. Neither did the Experian VantageScore or the cute credit card summary that showed a likeness of the card with the current amount and quick access to recent transactions.  Clarity Money was the only personal finance tool, other than Experian’s own app, that offered Experian’s score (edit: Truebill also offers the Experian VantageScore). Options to find and cancel subscriptions include BillShark, DoNotPay, Harvest, Trim, and Truebill, but beware: most involve either monthly subscriptions themselves, charge fees to cancel subscriptions, and / or require access to your email accounts.  Banks like BBVA, which recently acquired and will be closing Simple, also offer the ability to view recurring subscriptions.

Clarity Money recurring subscription cancel screen
Cancel recurring subscriptions
Vantage credit score by Experian

What Else is in the Marcus App

Marcus has some features that weren’t available in Clarity Money.  Not surprisingly, these features promote other Marcus products, including investments and loans, if you use them.  From the Marcus home screen, you can manage your Marcus savings account and your Marcus loan account. This includes transaction reporting and the ability to maintain recurring savings transfers and automatic loan payments.  Competing financial institutions also offer similar personal finance tools in their apps, including the previously mentioned BBVA app.

Summary

Clarity Money had a 5-year lifespan that ended with a $100 million cash-out and the transition of some of its key features to the acquiring company’s app.  Many of the features that made Clarity Money popular didn’t make the cut, but alternatives provide these features, though some at a cost.

Leave a comment