Major emphasis needed on direct import reliability

Hello

Ever since I was switched to the “more reliable” direct import partner I have had consistent connection issues with Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, and Chase. 

I really love YNAB and don’t think there’s much improvement needed for anything else other than this direct import, I just hope that it’s getting the attention it deserves. It’s almost 2020 and we should be able to get a reliable and consistent information from major banking institutions for a budgeting application. 

Im curious what work or priority is being placed on this in the background? This would surely help me feel better about my situation. The past two days I’ve had connection issues with two of the three banks I have connected. Every time it gets resolved from an employee another connection issue pops up a day or two later, and the circle continues. 

I could understand if this was a once in a month sort of problem, but it’s not 

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  • We're closing out Bank Importing threads in the forum to make sure these issues are better resolved.

    Replies in this thread have been turned off, but if you’re having trouble with your bank, please fill out this form and our Direct Import team will help you get things back up and running! :)

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  • Meh. I'd rather they focus on improving or adding actual features of the budgeting software, and fix budgeting bugs that have lingered since the launch of the online YNAB, adding goals that actually are usable, and including features that existed in previous versions of the software that I can't live without (and that's ignoring Future-dated transactions).

    Transaction import is a nice to have, IMHO. I haven't used any form of direct import in any personal finance software since before MS Money was sunset, so we're approaching 10 years of no direct imports for me, and I'm talking tens of thousands of transactions.

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    • nolesrule says the guy who would still use the horse and buggy if possible :)

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  • I can appreciate what your priorities are but I would argue the majority of individuals would say this is an extremely important feature. This isn’t 2000.  Why add new features when existing features aren’t working correctly? What’s wrong with the goal feature? The goals work currently now... could they use improvement? Sure but at least their operational and stable

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Purple Vacuum It is clear that for the people who use it, direct import is important but it's not the only thing that is in YNAB (which is first and foremost a methodology with software to support it). There are a few reasons that it may be worthwhile to spend some time working on things other than direct import - 1 - YNAB has 100% control over the features it creates itself whereas direct import involves the third party service that does the importing and all of the banks. YNAB has no control over any changes that banks may make that break the process but has to spend a lot of resources trying to clean it up and there is no way that they can definitively fix the issue when so much of it is in the hands of Finicity and the banks. 2 - new/improved features specific to YNAB would be available to 100% of the subscribers whereas direct import is available almost exclusively to the US customers (who I'm sure are probably the bulk of the subscriber base in fairness) because YNAB chose to partner with Finicity rather than a service that supports banks outside of North America.

      Like 2
    • jenmas again disagree. This isn’t the 1990 or early 2000s this is the digital age where you can find anything online. I don’t think that having a consistent connection to one of the largest banks in the world is out of realm of possibility or an unreasonable ask for a paid monthly subscription of budgeting software.

      You mention that improving goals is important to you. But,  That’s not a part of the toolkit for traditional budgeting software. 

      Maybe they should poll its users for what the customer base believes it top priorities are? Or maybe there should be an advanced user subscription that has everything fully functional for another $1 or $2. Regardless asking for connection reliability between a budgeting software and a financial institution seems kind of reasonable, doesn’t it? 

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Purple Vacuum Actually I didn't say improving goals is important to me because it isn't. I certainly can't say what's actually going on at YNAB, but from the outside it often seems like all that is happening is dealing with direct import issues so it might be nice if there were some new features for people who care about other things: goal improvement, better reports, ability to have a save point on a budget, a sensible way to handle reimbursements.

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    • Purple Vacuum 100% It's 2018, importing should be reliable. 

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  • Those major banking institutions are to blame.  They could easily provide a reliable  mechanism for aggregators but they would prefer not to.  That said, my connections have been rock solid for months.  I don't use wells or schwab but my chase, citi, and boa imports have been working flawlessly for a long time.  

    Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • YNAB4 Evangelist
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Herman Interestingly, they had no issue providing reliable QIF or OFX files usable by pretty much any personal finance software out there. But I agree. Why there isn't some banking standard for retrieval of a read-only transaction history (that uses a token that does not require your online account credentials) is beyond me.

      Like 2
      • Herman
      • herman
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      nolesrule I used MS Money for years as my bill pay solution, it was super reliable and never had any issues getting data... until the banks started rolling out their own online banking service.  At that point they wanted to charge a fee to connect with MS Money and eventually just dropped it all together.  They lose opportunities to cross sell if they don't get you to come to their web site.  They have no interest in making it easier for us to stay away from their website.  They usually hide behind "security" concerns but we all know that is bs.

      Like 2
  • Hi Purple Vacuum !

    I'm sorry you've had so much trouble with direct import! We've made a number of efforts to improve the experience with this feature and we're still trying! We've branched out to using multiple direct import partners in hopes of providing a larger range of more stable connections, but we've come to accept that data aggregation is imperfect. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it’s a truth none-the-less. It’s expected that there will be bumps in the road, and while we do everything we possibly can to fix them as quickly as possible, it’s just not something we have the power to eliminate (and trust me, we really wish we did).

    We believe very deeply that YNAB is worth the price without Direct Import, for many of the reasons listed above. If this one feature causes more trouble than it’s worth, you can absolutely use YNAB—and get the full benefit—without it (some users even prefer it this way). There are many other options to get your transactions, including entry on your mobile device and File Based Importing, features we've improved in attempts to make transaction entry easier.

    If you don't prefer those options, I understand that as well. We don't want anyone to give up on YNAB because of direct import, but given the imperfect nature of transaction aggregation we'll never be able to guarantee connections. That doesn't mean we're giving up! We have a number of plans to continue polishing this area and we hope you'll stick with us to see them! :)

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    • Faness Thank you for your response about direct imports.  I too am wondering what is going on with direct imports.  Is it a problem with all of the banks I have heard mentioned?  I am searching forums, and there are problems with a lot of banks and direct import.  My bank is Fifth Third.  I have no problems connecting to my Cabela's VISA or my Kohl's credit card.  It has been working fine for about a year, and all of a sudden about a month ago, it has been unreliable, and barely connects.  I love YNAB, but I'm a busy person (2 jobs), and without the direct import working, my budgeting is falling apart quickly, and I'm entering transactions when I really need to be eating or going to bed.  It just takes a lot more time to budget when I have to enter all of my transactions, plus I end up missing something and my numbers are off. 

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    • Hi Navy Blue Viper (bcbaf752aca0) !

      Have you taken a look at our status page? Not all issues are institution wide - individual accounts can run into errors for a number of reasons. In those cases, the best thing to do is reach out to us and we can take a look at what's going on.

      Right now, Fifth Third is running into a higher number of errors (it's listed under Other Institutions at the bottom of the status page). We're currently working with our Direct Import partner on a solution, but you may be able to reconnect by clicking on the Import button and following the prompts there. :)

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  • I’m still in the trial period after many wonderful years with YNAB4. While direct import is convenient, the unreliability of the feature is really disturbing.  I believe that the inability to perfect the feature after all this time speaks to a fundamental problem with the company. I use other apps that manage direct connect without a single issue - ever.  I really love the YNAB philosophy, but I’m not convinced yet that I’ll stick with nYNAB.  

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  • My beef is that Europe has introduce Open Banking which legislates that the banks have to make API's available to third parties to support this type of connectivity.  It is working well with a number of other apps I use but YNAB have just told us Europe is not a priority.  We cannot connect to any UK banks!!!  Really, really disapointed 

    Like 1
    • Hi Tomato Colt !

      We truly don't mean to disappoint! While it's true Europe has introduced Open Banking, our Direct Import partners haven't built reliable connections to foreign banks just yet. This could change in the future (they're looking to improve just as we are!), but it may take some time. We're hopeful for the future! :)

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  • I'll add that the subscription fee for nYNAB includes the direct connect feature.  If the service is unreliable, then users should be able to opt-out of that feature and pay a reduced subscription fee.  I'm a budget-minded person and don't appreciate paying for something that I don't receive. :)

    Like 3
    • Hi Mark G. !

      This issue was discussed in another thread on the forum, but I can't currently locate it. We consider direct import as a free add-on type of service - since we don't individually price features, we don't charge separate amounts for those options. While we do understand your concern for direct import, and we're working to improve that experience, we still believe YNAB is worth it even without direct import. :)

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    • Faness If I continue with nYNAB, then it will be the most expensive app subscription that I use.  While your company may consider direct import a "free add-on type of service", I see it as a basic requirement in today's world.  My other subscription-based apps also provide syncing (which never seems to fail), but in nYNAB the sync connections are very unreliable - works one day, then down for two, etc.  Every time that I see the orange triangle, or the orange banner in my iOS app, I'm reminded that I'd be paying for something that doesn't work.  

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