Money Goes Mobile: Video from Intuit’s Innovation Gallery Walk

Wednesday was Investor Day at the Mountain View, CA, headquarters of Intuit, the 28-year-old consumer and business finance software giant. Most attendees were there to hear about the company’s fiscal strategy for 2012—and if that’s your cup of tea, there’s a recorded webcast of the meeting here. But Xconomy attended for a different reason—to see the 20-plus internal Intuit projects being spotlighted as part of the company’s annual Innovation Gallery Walk.

Mobile was the theme of the event—in fact, it’s safe to say that since the acquisition in 2009 of Mint, known in part for its powerful mobile apps, Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) has gone mobile-mad. So if you were curious about how we’ll all be using our phones and tablets in the near future to exchange money, bill customers, track our accounts, and generally manage our financial lives, Mountain View was the place to be yesterday.

I took along my trusty iPad 2 as a roving movie studio and scored on-camera interviews with Intuit’s chief technology officer, Tayloe Stansbury, and a handful of the Intuit engineers and product managers showing off their latest projects. Stansbury said Intuit has an unusual, bottoms-up approach to innovation: there’s no central R&D operation, but the company has plenty of mechanisms—such as a tradition of “10 percent unstructured time” when engineers can work on personal projects, and “painstorming” sessions designed to eliminate customer pain points—that help it identify and surface great ideas for improving its products.

Here’s a quick rundown of the projects featured in the video summary below:

  • An iPad-based check-in system for patients at doctor’s offices.
  • QuickBooks Mobile for Android.
  • Pre-paid Visa cards and card readers for merchants who use GoPayment, Intuit’s mobile payment system.
  • Mint Advice—financial hints based on Mint’s analysis of your spending habits and goals.
  • Mint Mobile for Android—including an update that lets users track cash transactions.
  • Weave—a project management and to-do list app for hobbyists and small business owners.
  • New white-label iPhone, Android, and iPad interfaces for banks and credit unions, from Intuit Financial Services.

There were plenty more interesting projects on display, from Intuit’s new Turbotax app for the iPad (developed in San Diego) to an amazing tablet-app prototyping system that the company is using internally to speed up mobile innovation. It’s easy to understand the new focus on smartphones and tablet devices: the company says that 35 percent of new users sign up via mobile, and that SaaS and mobile services will account for 75 percent of its revenue by 2015.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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