Transactions importing with completely incorrect Payee

This is really bizarre and I've never had it happen before. The last 2 days as I've tried to import transactions, about 50% of transactions have the payee of Dairy Queen. We have made no transactions at Dairy Queen. The amounts match transactions to other places as noted on my bank statement, so it appears that just the name is incorrect. I assume this is just an import issue, but how do I get it fixed? 

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  • Hi Turquoise Drill !

    That definitely sounds odd!

    When you have a moment, can you check your Payee Management settings in the web app? If you're not seeing a rule for Dairy Queen or anything that looks like the cause of the issue, let me know and we'll go from there! :)

    • Faness at YNAB I haven't ever messed with those settings and don't know much about them. But the settings for the Dairy Queen payee seem to be the same as all the others. 

    • Turquoise Drill Thanks for checking that! I took a closer look at things and, by chance, are you noticing this with a US Bank account?

      There's a known issue going on with US Bank right now that's causing all transactions to import with a generic payee which is causing issues with our automatic re-naming rules in YNAB.

      When you hover over one of those transactions, you should see a tooltip that says “Imported as…” and then the original payee before it was re-named (here's a quick example). Most of our US Bank users are seeing "Imported as Visa".

      So, we’ve reported it to our Direct Import partner and they are on the case! They are able to resolve most issues within a week or two.

      If you’re finding it's wreaking an unbearable amount of havoc in your account register, here are a few options:

      1. Temporarily disconnect (hover over account name > select edit icon > choose ‘Disconnect’) any affected US Bank accounts from Direct Import and use File-Based Importing in the web app. It’s a super quick and easy alternative to direct import and manual entry! It allows you to drag and drop a file containing your transactions right into YNAB, the data comes straight from your bank (no middle-man!) and the payees should look more familiar.

      2. Keep Direct Import connected, but enter transactions on the go with the mobile app (or in the web app, too). Doing so will mean that when you import transactions, they’ll match right up with the ones you entered. The payee you entered manually will be the one that is kept!

      And as always, please let me know if you have any other questions! Or, if you're noticing this with an account that isn't through US Bank, let me know and I can have our Direct Import partner take a look! :)

    • Faness at YNAB I just tried to do file based importing, but it wouldn't put anything in the Payee column at all. Just hitting all kinds of roadblocks here. Darn. Looks like the best option at this point is letting it import and going back to fix all the Dairy Queen transactions. 

    • Turquoise Drill No Payees at all? Can you let me know what file type you tried importing? Some CSV files take some extra care to import properly.

    • Faness at YNAB Right. The Payee column was completely empty when I tried to import it. It's an Excel file. 

    • Turquoise Drill 

      Importing CSV files is our last resort option, because there isn't an industry standard format, and they need to be formatted just right.

      Here's a 3-line example of how a CSV file needs to be formatted. The first line is the header, the second line is an example outflow, and the last line is an example inflow.

      07/23/16,Payee 1,Memo,100.00,
      07/24/16,Payee 2,Memo,,500.00

      You'll notice every field is separated by a comma so it's important that every field is present in each line, even if your transactions don't fill every field. Always include the "Date,Payee,Memo,Outflow,Inflow" header line at the very top. Any field can be left blank except the date.

      A fellow YNABer created this (unofficial) CSV converter which may help convert your Excel file from your bank into the format above. You're welcome to give it a try! (Fingers crossed the converter makes things easier!)

  • Yes, it is US Bank. Good to know. I've always had the issue where it comes through as Visa, but never this before! Hope they're able to get it all fixed soon. Thanks.

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    • Turquoise Drill I had a feeling that was the issue! Hopefully, they'll have this ironed out soon! Sorry for the Dairy Queen Dilemma! 

  • I know support is really excited about getting stuff fixed and it's nice if they do, but to avoid this happening whether it's broken or not, input your transactions when you make them and let the import match them. That's a better workflow for a lot of reasons, the least of which is that it will allow you to specify the payee. 

    Like 1
    • WordTenor Yes, that would make sense and I know that's the preferred method for the YNAB philosophy as well. However, the import feature is the only reason I upgraded to the web-based YNAB. It just wasn't working to enter the transactions on our own or even save all the receipts (cough, cough, mostly my husband, cough) and I was spending hours trying to reconcile our bank acct with the missing receipts. It's been liberating not to have to 1) Spend that time; and 2) so much energy being frustrated with him for it. ;) 

  • I'm seeing this issue rampant. I just created my account and haven't created Payee rules. Most of my Payees are wrong.

  • Any updates here? I did the month trial and things seemed to work ok initially but they are almost entirely incorrect on the import now and it is super annoying. Very frustrated that as soon as I subscribed for a year this ends up being broken. I could’ve stuck with Every Dollar and put in my transactions manually and that would be more efficient than trying to clean up this mess.

      • Ben
      • Toolkit for YNAB Designer & Developer
      • furiousfalcon
      • 2 yrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Gray Tiger Sounds like this is an issue you probably want to discuss with YNAB directly: [email protected] .

      Based on the comments in the rest of this topic, it sounds like this issue has less to do with YNAB itself, and more to do with the way your bank provides the transaction data, or the way the direct importer interprets that transaction data. YNAB can work with the direct import provider to hopefully get this resolved.

    • Ben I am having this same issue with USAA. I have NEVER had this problem in the last few years I've been using YNAB but it's creating quite a headache for me. Is this a known issue for USAA right now? Please help. Ill check the suggestion steps above as well. Thanks.

      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Violet Viper You should do as Ben suggested and contact support. There is now a different mechanism. Here is the link:

      Report a Bank Importing Issue

  • I'm having this same problem-I send money via Zelle once a month for a shared bill to a family member. Today, 25% of the imported expenses have that family member at Zelle as the payee. I do not use US Bank. I'll try editing the payees, but just kinda annoying. YNAB also never recognizes Walmart as a payee. Every time I have to type it in.

    • Slate Gray Zebra This is a tough problem with payments and transfers in general. The best way to duck the issue is to just always enter these transactions (or use scheduled transactions) before they import.

      Walmart, however, I think we can fix. Try going into Manage Payees and renaming the "POS DDA Debit" payee to "Walmart." (This might make things show up as "Walmart" that aren't, but I don't think so. If that does happen, please contact support!)

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