Open Banking API

The UK Banking establishment began opening up their Open Banking API on the 13th January this year, Allowing 3rd party's access to bank account information.

 

What is the time frame for YNAB to take advantage of this facility?

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  • Hi Mike Legdon !

    That's a great question!

    At the moment, our Direct Import partner doesn't technically support international banking institutions. However, they've been offering connections to some UK institutions as a test of that ability lately. If you see your UK institution listed, we hope you'll give it a try!

    The Open Banking API may change things, and allow for more consistent connections across UK financial institutions, but we can't say for certain just yet! Time will tell and we're keeping our eyes on things! :)

    Reply Like
    • I’m in the UK and coming to the end of my free trial. If I knew that direct import was definitely happening for UK accounts then I would be much more inclined to sign up long term.

      Reply Like 3
    • Faness So 'The Open Banking API may change things, and allow for more consistent connections across UK financial institutions, but we can't say for certain just yet!'

      You can say for certain now, given apps like Yolt, Emma etc.

      It would really be a huge benefit if YNAB worked properly with UK banks

      Reply Like
    • Slate Blue Nomad We appreciate you letting us know how important this feature is to you!

      Currently, we're working with three providers in hopes to improve the direct import experience. At this time, they're unable to support connections to international financial institutions at this time—but we hope that changes in the future!

      Reply Like
      • Michael
      • Developer
      • ganey
      • 5 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Nicole sorry, but you've had enough suggestions of providers that can give international/EU support. YNAB choosing providers that don't support international or only support USA is a choice that was made by YNAB, it's not an excuse. 

       

      And please, don't ever try and fob off customers with the 'we believe the price point is still good without direct import' rubbish, in the EU we have companies offering budgeting with imports for free. If you want to compete in this market, you need to step up your game, not blindly pretend you are winning.

      Reply Like 2
    • Nicole 

      I have to agree with Michael that the reasoning "we don't offer you the most beloved feature, but the price is still fine" is very very frustrating to hear from a company I've supported for years and always held in highest regard because I believed they put their customers in the core focus.
      Suppliers like Tink offer fast growing support for institutions all over europe. I can't believe that it would be that much of an issue integrating one of them.
      There is not need to cover every single bank in Europe - that will be next to impossible. What your European customers want is either a fair pricing compared to the US or coverage of at least the big players in the European banking market.

      Since however YNAB does show no interest at all to support their EU audience I have decided to wait until my renewal comes up and cancel if no progress is made until then.
      Very sad but I do not want to support companies that acting like that.

      Reply Like 3
      • Cristian G
      • christiang
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness Nicole , Salt Edge Inc covers 62 countries including banks from UK . We support major banks from all over the EU,Americas and Asia-Pacific. I think we can help you get access to UK and international accounts for your users :) DM me please at cris.gheorghita@saltedge.com. :)

      Reply Like 2
      • Freitas
      • Violet_Captain
      • 4 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Cristian G unfortunately they're most definitely uninterested in offering this to UK customers. Maybe the existing supplier is from the YNAB founder family or something... Probably the most viable explanation for completely ignoring their global customers and contributing to brand hatred increase.

      Reply Like 1
    • Hi Cristian G !

      Would you mind writing in to help@ynab.com? If you send over an email, we can make sure it's forwarded to the right team. :)

      Reply Like 1
      • Change
      • Navy_Blue_Violin.4
      • 4 mths ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Cristian G Faness Yes, it would be great if you could come to an agreement together. Salt Edge covers all 5 European banks I use across 3 different countries. No other sync service is offering this kind of coverage that I know of. Anyone can test this with Fentury (https://www.fentury.com/), made by Salt Edge.

      Reply Like 2
  • I've been using ynab for a few years now and love it, however things like yolt are now up and coming and are starting to use the open bank a pi. Whilst their budget features are a long way behind ynab, I can only imagine that they will improve. Would be great to see ynab start to take advantage of this before other competitors start to ramp up. 

    Reply Like 4
  • I would like to just bump this up. Please keep focus also on outside of the US as with mandatory psd2 APIs this would make it possible for YNAB to connect to EU banks!

    Would be great to hear about it more regularly as this is big news in EU

    Reply Like 6
  • Same here in France. I stopped using YNAB this month because of too many things to follow, and I would love to have them option with a push of a button (and not through imports of messy excel sheets) to freshen up my budget inputs, or take advantage of the catégorisations my’ banking apps are making me so all the time... I love YNAB, but I really feel some competitor around the corner will definitely copy YNAB and add the automatization...

    Reply Like 3
  • This is a massive feature request from me, and after feeling left out with the US banking integration it's time for YNAB to go global! To be honest, it's a little disappointing that YNAB has not covered this via a blog post or other update to say they will be supporting it. As mentioned, it's big news in the UK and EU and YNAB need to be supporting it to stay relevant.

    I've been trying Yolt, Cleo and other alternatives which support automatic sync in the UK as honestly, it's still a pain in YNAB to import and reconcile transactions all the time. It's very tempting to jump ship at this point.

    Reply Like 4
      • Stepan
      • stepan
      • 1 yr ago
      • 4
      • Reported - view

      Modifier well put. I aslo feel left out. So many YNAB updates addressing only USA banking support for last year, which makes me feel that my YNAB payments dont support development of the software that has me (and other non US people) in mind. I would also want seeing YNAB committed to bringing EU open banking API to the software.

      Reply Like 4
  • Bump. Reaching the end of my trial - great app but lack of auto import kills it. I can’t subscribe without it. 

    Reply Like 2
  • I have a post about it already, there other very popular apps with support for a plethora of banks, plenty of them in Europe (especially Germany), but even Latin American countries and so on. I don't know why YNAB just can't get one of these partners and profit instead of keeping coming with this "we are looking into that" speech, that is there for a long time already. Spendee (https:/www.spendee.com/supported-banks), Wallet ( https://budgetbakers.com/bank-connections/ ), and others have an extensive (EXTENSIVE) list of supported banks outside the US, it can't be that hard. They charge less than 50% of what YNAB is charging. I'm sure they are not doing this heavy lifting alone, it's just a matter of, you know, YNAB, picking the right provider.

    I'm not giving them free ads, I'm not even subscribing even being cheaper. I really like YNAB, I need something more complex than Wallet and Spendee, for instance, but the thing is I'm not subscribing to YNAB either until those $5/monthy are really worth it. 

    Reply Like 3
  • Just to add my voice I was a YNAB 4 user and now YNAB 5. I have ever been keen on adding transactions manually - it's easily my biggest downfall occasionally meaning I refresh and start again.  If YNAB don't take advantage of the Open Banking thing soon I'm sure I'll switch to Yolt or another similar. 

    Reply Like 2
    • Cadet Blue Mask SaltEdge is the way to go as a provider, their list of supported banks and financial institutions is just awesome.

      Reply Like
  • Well, with the introduction of PSD2 you get the chance to dramatically improve your functionality for 400+ million EU citizens with bank accounts. I get that your focus is on the US market, but that's a huge audience that you can cover with a single development. You should at least push your partner to do that -- or consider changing partners if they won't.

    Reply Like
    • Peter Gyongyosi WOW, I didn't even know about that. This is indeed a game changing, making things even worse for YNAB (and some other providers) not supporting banks outside US/CA.

      Reply Like
  • I use YNAB to manage accounts in the UK and in France. It would be awesome to have the Opening Bank API working with the tool, for more seamless integration (no need to manually import my statements from the bank every 3 days). Not addressing this already in a blog post, for example, is a major oversight imho.

    Reply Like 1
  • I would really like to see this addressed, I'm in my free trial and if this isnt coming then i dont want to sign up. Its bad that there isnt even any addressing of a timeframe for this. 

    Reply Like
  • +1 for this one. I've been waiting for 2 years now to have decent support for UK banks and now that there is something like Open Banking I'd expect this to be happening before another year goes by.

    Yolt even supports Monzo, Starling, Capital One, etc.

    Reply Like
  • +1 here too. Love ynab concept but it's unworkable for me without direct import to reduce the time required for managing my reconciliation and budgets. Real shame but I've cancelled my account and moved to Yolt until they get this sorted. For anyone in the same position, Yolt is really impressive BTW... Lacks the envelope budgeting system but for a low maintenance and highly automated snapshot of finances its really good. 

    Reply Like
  • Bump. I would really like to hear an update on where YNAB are with this – it's been nearly five months since PSD2 was implemented (13 Jan), but I still can't find any information about the timeframe YNAB expects in order to take advantage of this for their customers. Could we have a clue, please, Faness ?! Thanks!

    Reply Like 1
    • Hi Tan Moose !

      Thanks for checking in here! We aren't able to give a time frame on the open API impacts because they aren't up to us. We use a third party provider for direct import, so it's up to them the changes they make going forward (though we have sent along our hopes and preferences for the future!). 

      We are slowly rolling out a public API for YNAB, so those who want to make their own developments can. However, that's separate from our Direct Import partner's progress for international direct import.

      Reply Like
    • Faness Maybe, just maybe, changing provider or adding a new one... Just maybe. It would fix A LONG LIST of unsupported banks in a single shot.

      Reply Like 1
      • Stepan
      • stepan
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

       Completely agree here with Harry Knoener , YNAB is in control of provider and cannot (should not) we at their mercy regarding future development and customer satisfaction. Just in the past 5 months I know of 5 potential other customers in EU just around me that expressed interest in YNAB but not without connection to banks.

      Dont follow, Lead!

      Reply Like 1
    • Stepan I already wrote in another topic that I have not subscribed for YNAB yet, and I don't recommend people on doing it, just because of this single feature. There's no point in start paying for something if others offers this functionality for less of even free (vide Fentury, which I'm using at the moment). 

      Reply Like
    • Harry Knoener Thank you for the suggestion! Currently, we're working with three separate providers in hopes to improve the direct import experience. We're looking into further options and we appreciate you letting us know how important this feature is to you! :)

      Reply Like
    • Faness I'm from the same opinion of other users: if you are paying for the services your Direct Access provider provides you, you should not be working with them, but demanding a proper ETA, although I'm quite sure this is not something we need to tell you. Our interface is with YNAB only, so if your provider does not deliver, you are not delivering and it's kind of pointless to throw your provider under the bus. You (YNAB) are in control here. Unless you do not want to provide access to the UK's banking API... but this is a different story.

      Reply Like 1
    • Faness Well, SaltEdge is a very good place to start when looking for a provider. This is a very good place to have a look at the considerable list of banks and financial institutions. Even Coinbase is supported already, check here: https://www.saltedge.com/products/spectre/countries

      Reply Like 1
    • Aquamarine Dragon I completely understand your point, as Direct Import is a part of YNAB and thus has an overall impact on user experience. Our original Direct Import partner does not support institutions outside of the US and Canada, so until recently we weren't able to support direct import for any international institutions. With the changes we've made, we're now able to offer some UK institutions, but we know this is still limiting. While I can't make any promises, we're moving forward with direct import in mind and you can always submit a Feature Request with anything you'd like to share (that form goes directly to our development team, so they know what you'd like to see going forward!).

      Reply Like
    • Harry Knoener Thank you for the recommendation! Would you mind submitting that through the Feature Request form? That form goes directly to our development team, so it'll put that option on their radar! :)

      Reply Like
      • Freitas
      • Violet_Captain
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Faness regarding "With the changes we've made, we're now able to offer some UK institutions" where can we find the list of UK institutions?

      Reply Like 1
    • Faness Done. I hope it really makes a difference.

      Reply Like 1
    • Hi Freitas !

      There isn't a list available outside of the YNAB program. To see if an institution is supported, click to Add Account and you can search for the institution in the search bar. 

      Reply Like
    • Thank you Harry Knoener ! We appreciate any and all options for direct import! :)

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    • Faness Catch 22 - I won't subscribe because of the lack of UK Open Banking API support. I can't access the app to check what's supported without a subscription. I give up!

      (I have already used my trial subscription.)

      Reply Like
    • Navy Blue Mask I have the same issue. Unless they announce it publicly and, by any chance, I see it, I will never know if they finally introduced this support. Would be nice to have a page that would let the users check which institutions are supported for sync.

      Reply Like
    • Navy Blue Mask Harry Knoener Go ahead and take another look at your accounts. ;)

      I extended your trials a bit so you can search those institutions on your own. However, you can post on the forum or write into support at any time and we'd be more than happy to check for you as well! Just let us know which financial institution you're looking for (the URL is particularly helpful here) and we can take a look! :)

      Reply Like
    • Faness Well, thanks, but at the moment it's really just to go inside and check if bank connectivity was improved. Having it as an open website, part of YNAB domain, would be more helpful.

      Reply Like 1
    • Faness Thank you. None of my 4 institutions is currently supported, I have given their details when prompted by the app. 

      Reply Like
    • Navy Blue Mask Perfect! Thank you for suggesting those!

      Harry Knoener That list is currently only available in the app because it's pulled from our Direct Import partner directly. If you want to check for an institution without accessing your account, you can post on the forum or write in to support and we can check for you! :)

      Reply Like
    • Coinbase is not really supported.

      It will link the account, but it confuses the balance of the BTC (or other coin) for the value of the BTC in USD. It says I have $1 in BTC, when I actually have 1 BTC (for thousands).

      Oddly, it does the conversion for Bitcoin Cash, just not the other assets (i.e. BTC, ETH, LTC, etc).

      Reply Like
  • Faness thanks for your replies.

     

    I'd like to stress that the Open Banking API is not the same as connecting the way other providers do, by basically asking the credentials to log into the bank/card account.

    The API only allows authorised entities to export the list of transactions and that's it. My bank is for instance supported by YNAB and other services but they recommend users to not to use those services: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-4946222/Don-t-details-new-money-apps-says-NatWest.html

    Thanks

    Reply Like 1
    • Thank you, John21 ! I recently received a crash course on the advantages Open Banking stands to offer - which sound great! While we understand and stress the importance of security, we know that doesn't change a bank's policy or preference. We're hoping to see improvements on this end for that reason as well! :)

      Reply Like
  • Any news on any more direct import providers? Or are we still better off just rolling our own using the YNAB API and something such as teller.io

    Reply Like 2
  • For what it's worth, I'd love to see this too. I've noticed various apps/sites starting to take advantage of this feature, so it's ready to use now. Would be great to get it in YNAB - it's probably the push I need to move from YNAB4 :-)

    Reply Like 2
  • I would expect YNAB to provide some update on this and some "next steps" they are taking

    :-//

    Reply Like 1
      • John21
      • Sky_Blue_Tape.2
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      Stepan Indeed. I posted here 3 months ago and to me it feels like their 3rd party provider has some sort of exclusive deal and therefore they cannot use a different one or implement it in house for a different market / country.

      Open Banking is an excellent initiative especially if you are developing an app like YNAB, but it's not clear whether:

      1) UK is not a market big enough for them to justify the investment / effort
      2) there are limitations due to existing agreements with 3rd party providers
      3) there are technical limitations

      I'd like to think that if something like Open Banking were available in the US, it would take them less than 6 months to implement it.

      Reply Like 3
    • John21 Seems strange to me that I have been using YNAB for 2 years and happily importing.

      Now that Open Banking has come along, I'm excited to use it and getting impatient with the developers for (a) not implementing it and (b) not talking about it at all.

      Reply Like
    • Stepan John21 Hey there!

      I saw I wasn't too specific here previously and there were still some questions floating around, so I wanted to clear them up if possible! :)

      We actually work with three different Direct Import partners at the moment - all in an attempt to improve the direct import experience and broaden the options we're able to offer. 

      However, out of the three providers we're using, none of them have definitive outlines or plans for Open Banking. While it's an amazing opportunity, and we're hopeful at least one of them will take advantage of it, direct import for foreign financial institutions has always proven difficult. One of our Direct Import partners began offering some UK options, but the connections were unstable and ran into consistent issues - they're more like tester connections, so they can see what's causing issues and how they can try to improve. 

      We currently don't have the resources to tackle direct import internally. However, since releasing our API, some users have managed to create a number of incredible interfaces. It's possible other users using the API will have a foreign direct import option before one if released by our Direct Import partner.

      Reply Like
      • Michael
      • Developer
      • ganey
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness Have YNAB looked at working with Teller.io ? They already cover various UK banks that you don't yet support.

      Reply Like
    • Michael I can't say for certain where we are on adding another Direct Import partner (we really wish there was one with a magical solution to handle all of the connections). However, we're always listening! If you want to submit a Feature Request, you can let our development team know about that option! :)

      Reply Like 1
  • I lost my patience with YNAB. It's actually ridiculous the lack of investment to make this integration on a paid service that is not cheap.

    So I'm going to use Monzo and their pots and budgets to make it work.

    Reply Like
  • Yolt is also worth a try.  It has exactly the functionality of directly importing and automatically tracking transactions, and is Europe-focused.  Budgeting included - not quite as well as YNAB, but definitely worth a look. 

    Reply Like
      • Michael
      • Developer
      • ganey
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

       Tomato Viper I have Yolt, Emma, Cleo and a few others, unfortunately YNAB has the best desktop support. I also find YNAB easier for working with longer goals, the others work great for day to day spending though.

      Reply Like 1
  • +1 from my side!
    Also will have to look for alternatives if direct import won't come for EU banks as well :(

    Reply Like
  • Integration with UK Financial Institutions started a  nice to have but is becoming critical to success for me and YNAB.  My partner is not getting the need to enter as they go but will happily "budget" with me.   Appreciate this isn't my area but don't understand why its so difficult - particularly with Open Banking here in the EU.

    Reply Like
    • Hi Tomato Colt !

      Sorry you're having trouble! We truly want direct import to work for international institutions (and so do our direct import partners!), but it's proven to be a daunting task. They try to support some UK institutions but the connections aren't stable and come with their own unique issues. They're working on improving those connections. Hopefully, once those are ironed out, they'll be able to move on to other countries!

      Reply Like
      • Freitas
      • Violet_Captain
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      Faness do you realize that these comments are unhelpful? There's no timeline and it's repeating what's been said year after year.

      If your supplier can't make it work, there's an easy solution... Another partner.

      It's just crazy to hear these excuses when there are so many players with decent integration in the UK.

      Reply Like 2
    • Freitas Well put. I'd like to see either a statement that says "we hear you, and we aim to have it working by X date", or "as a US based company the UK isn't a priority for us, so we're not actively pursuing this". At least then we'd know where we stood. The current statements don't really tell us anything.

      Reply Like 2
    • Freitas Tim Bishop

      We're currently partnered with three different direct import providers in attempt to find a larger variety of supported institutions. That being said, all three of them have moved away from supporting banks outside the US and Canada, so international support isn't in our plans for the immediate future.

      We're hopeful this will change but for now, we aren't able to provide a possible time line. I wish I had a better answer but right now we're holding onto open-ended hope. :)
       

      Reply Like
    • Faness  

      international support isn't in our plans for the immediate future

      Thank you for the clarity.

      Reply Like 1
    • Faness appreciate the frankness but not a great endorsement for potential non US customers.  Numerous apps are available in the UK offering a single interface for all ones bank, credit and savings accounts.  Why not just find out who they are using and work with them.

      Reply Like
    • Tomato Colt Integration with international institutions has proven to be more difficult than we expected. One of our Direct Import partners used to support a number of banks in the UK, but they slowly moved away as they ran into issues they weren't able to fix (for instance, one institution was converting transaction amounts to US dollars, regardless of the actual currency, others couldn't maintain stable connections).

      If you have any providers in mind, you can let our development team know by submitting a Feature Request. We're open to suggestions here but changes for direct import, especially when involving a new provider, take time. 

      Reply Like
    • Faness I'm out of my depth here technically.  It does though seem very strange, that when the UK has Open Banking  (8months) and banks make their API's available to third party developers, that there are apparently more problems than in the US which doesn't have Open Banking.    The perception is that the non US market is just not important enough to you.  

      Reply Like 3
    • Tomato Colt Our Direct Import partners moved away from supporting financial institutions outside of the US and Canada because of the number of issues they were running into with those connections. However, this decision was made before Open Banking was made available. We're hopeful they'll take a new look at international banks, but since this would require building a new integration (utilizing the API) for each institution, it could take some time before we see any changes.

      Reply Like
    • Faness Sorry then look for another. This is not difficult other can do it too. I have been a supporter of YNAB from the start but my patience is running thin. If you can't support the NUMBER1 request from non us customers then it makes no sense anymore to support you financialy 

      Reply Like 2
    • Navy Blue Mainframe  This is exactly where I struggle with YNAB's postion Faness   Why wait for your suppliers if they can't/won't make it a priority?  Use a different partner who is focussed on supporting the UK/European market.  

      Reply Like
      • Stepan
      • stepan
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Tomato Colt Navy Blue Mainframe (921c4670f192)

      Also feeling the same. For $84 a year I don't have the feeling the development goes toward our (non-us) user-base. The communication from Faness might be sincere and true, but it does not show me commitment for what I am paying for (+ it is not insignificant amount, much more on the expensive side of applications)

      Reply Like
  • Just another +1 for this.    It's annoying that at the moment YNAB's non-US customers are subsidising direct connect for American customers but not getting any benefit.

    Reply Like 5
  • Completely agree. Been using YNAB since v4 came out. Subscribed to v5 but not really using it because of Yolt, which uses Open Banking. Yolt is nowhere near as good feature-wise but saves me so much time entering data... will only renew next year if YNAB has started using Open Banking. 

    Reply Like 2
  • Faness

    For the best UK / EU support, YNAB should look at working with https://truelayer.com/ as they are providing a good uptake with UK / EU banks. It's also who some of your 'competition' is using for direct import.

    Reply Like 2
    • Michael Would you mind submitting that information via our Feature Request form? That goes directly to our development team so they can take a closer look at that option! :)

      Reply Like
      • Michael
      • Developer
      • ganey
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

       Faness Thanks, I've submitted it via the Feature Request form 🙂

      Reply Like 2
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