Update on Direct Import in the UK and EU

Hey everyone—but especially our customers over in Europe. I want to give you an update on UK and EU Direct Import. 

To put it as plainly as possible, the process is underway. Our initial focus is on the UK, but we are optimistic that at least a few EU countries will not be far behind. In order to turn on Direct Import in the UK with Plaid, one of our transaction aggregation partners, we are required to set up a legal entity in Europe, and that’s what we’re working on currently. There are contracts and lawyers and regulators involved, and things are moving as fast as they can when contracts and lawyers and regulators are involved. It's hard to say when the legal portion of the implementation will be completed so any date target I give you today would be a guess. However, once we’re in the clear there, we’ll make the required changes to add UK institutions to YNAB. 

I also wanted to address some of the questions about TrueLayer. For anyone not yet aware, this is the transaction aggregation partner Sync for YNAB uses to import transactions. Implementing TrueLayer would mean going through the same legal process we are currently working through with Plaid, so there’s no way for us to shortcut or expedite this. We’re also not looking to add another transaction aggregation partner to our mix at this time. 

Last year the team that works on connections, accounts, and transactions (all seven of us!) completed several large projects, alongside the usual bug fixes and smaller improvements. Since Todd’s last update on Direct Import we’ve reduced the number of transaction aggregation providers from four to two, released pending transactions, and added support for OAuth institutions. Our work on OAuth was a prerequisite for supporting Direct Import in either the UK or the EU, and we had a few other stray ducks we needed to line up before expanding into new regions. 

If there’s one thing you take away from this message it should be this: Direct Import for the UK is happening. It’s no longer a dream and it’s more than an intention. It’s in motion and we’re working on it right now. We hope that the EU will not be far behind. We are unbelievably excited to bring Direct Import to many more customers this year—we know it’s been a long wait. I’m around if you have any questions. 

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  • Any updates?

      • Hannah M-M
      • Product Manager
      • hannahmm_ynab
      • 2 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Cyan Panther unfortunately, nothing notable that I can update on at this time. Regardless, thanks for checking in! 

  • For the sake of this discussion I'm a Portuguese YNAB customer and I don't use it much anymore indeed due to the sync missing in EU banking. Furthermore stock market (brokers) and Crypto would be a must for me as well. With this said I can say that Plaid works perfectly with all these. I use also an app called Toshl and I have there automatic sync with PT banks, Revolut, N26, paypal, finance, cypto.com, interactive brokers, etc.....and it is perfect, thought the tools does not arrive to what YNAB can do....:( so this for me is "hope"......

    Like 2
    • Green Unicorn nobody using ynab gets those. so i doult they would bring it. I would also rather get a reduction for not using all the features in plaid. I don't want my investments mixing up with my budgeting. they are two different things. the same reason why i don't have my mortgages into YNAB. 

      next someone will come and say filing for his taxes is a must. 

      just wait for the direct import and be happy we will finally get the full product like the US counterparts. 

      Like 3
  • Hi Hannah, do you have a timeframe yet for UK bank feeds? Ta

  • Any update at all would be very welcome

    • Maroon Sidewinder John Smith Thanks for checking in! We're continuing work on getting the legal and regulatory requirements in place. When more concrete timing is available, we'll shout it from the rooftops!

  • Maroon Sidewinder John Smith Sea Green Griffin Tomato Colt 
    Thanks for checking in! As Nicole mentioned yesterday, we're still working through the legal/regulatory requirements to begin offering Direct Import in the UK (and EU). In the UK, due to the nature of the PSD2 legislation and the requirements imposed by the FCA, we have to contend with changes that will touch many aspects of the company, not just the transaction register within the YNAB app. I promise that we're working on implementing those as quickly as possible, but it's very difficult to estimate how long they will take (clearly, my initial estimates were overly optimistic), and we appreciate y'alls patience. I hope to have more concrete timelines soon.  

    Like 2
    • Hannah M-M Thank you for checking in and for the reassurances.

      It seems that you are blocking progress on EU/EEA support on getting the UK sorted. This is a defensible choice.

      It is unfortunate for all the people in any one of the other 30 countries in the EEA which are subject to PSD2, all of which fall squarely within your target addressable market.

      I wish you luck navigating the complexity and lots of success.

      Like 1
  • At this point picking Q3 or Q4 for 2021 would be fine

    Like 1
  • Jumping on this thread to say that things have actually now gotten worse for me. The one connection I was able to make directly in YNAB (as opposed to through SyncForYNAB) was to American Express. This now no longer works because Plaid "do not support the method of 2FA" that American Express are using. Doesn't bode well that your preferred connection partner can't cope with a connection to Amex Germany. 

    *le sigh*. Really wish you'd been sorting this a lot earlier - it feels a bit like you woke up one day and went "hey we have these customers outside the US that we should maybe think about looking after".

    It's frustrating to be paying for a service that has now actually decreased in usefulness. At least I could rely on my Amex transactions importing automatically (which, given that I do most of my day to day spending on it, was very useful!). Now I have another account I have to maintain manually. 

    Jealous of all the US based customers who've been getting that preferential treatment all this time (and much better value for money, what with not having to pay for a second service to get close to what US customers have). 

    Like 2
      • Tomato Colt
      • Tomato_Colt.1
      • 11 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Cornet That's a little worrying.   As Scott Robinson of SyncforYNAB is working for YNAB and how well his solution works it's a surprise to.

    • Tomato Colt Well, yeh. It's not an issue with Syncfor though, it's an issue with the direct connection from YNAB to Plaid for Amex.

      At least Scott has Amex working for France with Syncfor via Truelayer, but unfortunately Truelayer don't seem to support Amex Germany.

    • Magenta Cornet same here. I’m an eu customer as well and I was rely in Amex direct connection. Sync4ynab is still not ready but for France and UK. Proved that YNAB’s policy has been weak against european audience, al of you can write to syncforyanb from their site to let them forward our requests to add new connections to Truelayer. 

      • Blue Flute
      • Blue_Flute.10
      • 9 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Magenta Cornet I just wish they added the bank syncing as a bolt on.  It’s one of their big selling points, and the fact you can’t use it due to location, yet pay the same as others is a bit disappointing.

      I’ve spoken with support, and their reasoning to why it isn’t an issue, is due to the fact that some customers that can use it, choose to manually reconcile.  And they advise of the alternative, which is to pay for another service that allows us to do something that’s should be part of the monthly cost.


      If it was an add on, then the reduction in subscription would allow us to pay for syncfor without feeling short changed.


      I’m happy they are working towards the uk and eu getting it, but from reading others issues with syncing via YNAB, I’m not too hopeful this will be seamless…. Or at least, not without degrading your bank security (ie turning off 2fa etc) to get the ‘free’ version of bank syncing.  

      That being said, I do love YNAB, which is why I’m still here, but I just wish they I would discount features they can’t provide, especially if it’s a key feature.

  • Great news. I've always despised reconciliations in YNAB.  This will be a welcome and long awaited enhancement.

  • This wait is too long.  I notice someone in the forum spun up this exact facility 2 years ago. Why are you not getting this done and how many more years do you expect us to wait?

  • Does anyone know of any good YNAB alternative that supports live UK bank feeds? I've always been fiercely loyal to YNAB, but after 12 years as a customer, the glacial pace of progress and constant dithering on this feature means I'm open to trying other apps

    • Tomato Octopus I guess https://www.spendee.com/ is good place to start. It has a lot of connectivity (via partner as well, just a decent one unlike the ones YNAB uses), even with cryptocoin support.

      Like 1
  • Thanks. I’ll take a look. I’m fed up with YNAB’s excuses and lack of progress on this. They’ve had more than enough time to sort this out. It’s not important to them and neither are we as customers. 

      • pgauntlett
      • pgauntlett
      • 4 days ago
      • Reported - view

      Tomato Octopus I am fairly sure that Spendee does not have a “budget to zero” facility. If that is not important to you I would thoroughly recommend taking a look at Moneywiz 2021 - it has superb bank syncing for the UK and is very feature rich and ever improving.

      Disclaimer: I personally prefer manual entry and reconciliation as many of my transactions are already scheduled. But I am with you in not wanting to pay for bank feeds that YNAB cannot provide!

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