A real CapitalOne Fix?

Hey YNAB support,

There are a ton of forum posts where you're trying to avoid taking responsibility for what's going on with CapitalOne.

It's true -- they have made it nearly impossible to steal customers' usernames and passwords and impersonate them to webscrape information. That's how your import partners work with many banks. It's a terrible security model, and CapitalOne has been playing whack-a-mole against this for years.

But -- you can still access CapitalOne accounts. You (or your import partner) just need to do it a little differently. You need to work with them to become a linked app. You need to take responsibility for the fact that 1) many of your customers use CapitalOne, and 2) you are selling direct import -- and you need to do the needful to get this working. Stop shirking responsibility and fix it.

Look, I'd love to live in a world where we had bank data regulations that required that all the banks implemented a standardized API so consumers could easily access their data with any service. You could help us get there by either 1) taking a leadership role in establishing a working group with the banks, import providers, and other financial services apps, or 2) lobbying our government to provide such regulation. But you do neither. Instead, you take our money promising a capability and then refuse to provide service credits when that capability breaks. Nor do you seem to put any actual effort into resolving these issues.

If your product and budgeting philosophy is so against automated import, why do you offer it? Because consumers demand it, and you can't sell your product otherwise? That's great, but if you're advertising snake oil, truth in advertising laws are going to catch up to you eventually. 

Please get it together and solve this problem. Or stop selling what you can't actually honor.


Another long-time, ticked off user

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  • Hi Gold Router !

    We aren’t able to troubleshoot Bank Importing issues in the forum, so we try not to bog down the forum with reports of these issues.

    Capital One has been a long term issue and our Direct Importing team has been working with our Import Partner in an attempt to come up with a solution. While we do everything we can to fix these issues as quickly as possible, it’s just not something we have the power to eliminate (and trust me, we really wish we did).

    I know direct import issues are frustrating, and I completely understand where you’re coming from. It does feel unfair to pay for something when it isn’t working as expected—I get that.

    However, we believe very deeply that YNAB is worth the price without Direct Import, and if this one feature causes more trouble than it’s worth, you can absolutely use YNAB—and get the full benefit, remaining in total control of your money—without it. There are many other ways to keep your budget updated without entering every transaction by hand, including File-Based Importing (in the web app) and Scheduled Transactions, available in both the web and mobile apps.

    If those options don’t work for you, I understand that as well. Given the imperfect nature of transaction aggregation, it might mean that YNAB just isn’t the best option for you.

    If you fill out this form our Direct Import team will get back to you and can offer more details about where we are as far as working towards a solution or any available alternatives for moving forward. 

      • Vermont Mom
      • Maroon_Hammer.3
      • 10 hrs ago
      • Reported - view

      Faness I wish you did not promise a feature you can't support. I likely would not have bought it no matter how proud you are of the other features and capability. Can I get my money back?

  • Faness  Thanks for pasting the same response used elsewhere. As expected, it was totally non-responsive to my two main points:

    1) Don't advertise (and therefore promise) a feature you can't deliver, then balk when customers try to hold you accountable.

    2) Try harder than just "working with your import partner." Think outside the box. Create a standards working group. Lobby. Implement the darned third party API CapOne wants you to use. Your "working on it" hasn't yielded any results. Try something new.

    I would appreciate some confirmation that this feedback has been passed along to your product and marketing teams. Not a copy and paste of the same old helpless line.


    • Gold Router 

      I understand how seeing direct import advertised as a key feature can be misleading since we prefer for it to be used as a back-up to manual entry. Our team has discussed this in the past and I'll make sure to pass this feedback along.

      Have you seen the Upcoming Changes to Direct Import thread? Our CPO, Todd, went into more detail on where we currently stand with direct import and the direction we hope to move toward in the future. I've mentioned it elsewhere in the forum, as does Todd, that we've gone through four import partners in hopes of improving direct import. We still have a long way to go and we agree, a more out of the box approach would help here - Todd mentions a few other things we're working on to help improve importing on our end.   

      We in no way mean to balk at accountability. We know that, ultimately, direct import issues affect your experience with YNAB and we want it to be both enjoyable and effective. It will take us some time, but we'll continue working towards those improvements.

  • Hi Faness ,

    No, I hadn't seen the CPOs note. I appreciate the link.

    I would like to follow on to one of the things he mentioned (which relates directly to one of my suggestions):

    In the US banking system (unlike the EU, for example), there are essentially zero standards for data formatting and consumer access. So, if you want to aggregate data from 15k financial institutions, you essentially need to build 15k integrations. Any change that any one of those banks can make breaks one of those integrations, and they typically don’t tell you ahead of time. That’s going to be customer-facing immediately. Also, many of those banks aren’t equipped to handle the volume of requests that are enabled by aggregators. It’s like everyone logging into their accounts 3-4 times a day, and they just weren’t built for that.

    Like I said, one of the things YNAB could be doing to buy some credibility in the realm of showing you care about direct import would be to take a leadership role in getting the banks together to create an open standard for securely and properly offering financial data to aggregators. Why publicly complain about the lack of standards when you could have a significant role in helping define those standards and pushing adoption?

    Though if I take the frequent complaints of your EU users on this forum, the existence of a shared and open standard doesn't mean you'll implement it.

      • Scott
      • In the beginning the budget was created. This has made many people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move
      • Scottgoeshiking
      • 3 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Gold Router By and large, it is not in the bank's interest to build such a standard because most banks can't support the volume of inquiries that would accompany it, and further, most have already invested in some sort of API and would have to bear the cost of standardizing.

      Banks have zero incentive to do this also. If having a functional API mattered, you'd see people dropping CapitalOne for banks that provided better integration. But you don't. You see people complaining but not putting their money where their mouths are.

      I'd point you towards Betterment as a great example of how third party integrations should be handled.

  • The issue I have with this is I don't think people understand YNAB is still a very small business. 

    Betterment for example is aimed at robo investing and I am sure they have a more substantial investment capital than YNAB. YNAB's small team is devoted to helping people budget money, not integrate with banks and other institutions to show people where there money is. I wish YNAB would shift into a bigger tool, but some people say doing one thing and doing it well is a good business. 

    As a person who does integrations for a living, I can tell you I don't get paid enough and I am sure anyone who works with integrations would say something similar. I can't say I've worked with all the government regulations and privacy concerns such an integration system would have. 

    Working on it means talking to the direct import provider (Plaid, Square, etc...). But the world we live in now is full of consulting companies, so I don't think it will change. 

    Like 5
  • This actually appears to be an issue on Capital One's side.

    "An upgrade at Capital One cut off the data aggregator", https://www.paymentssource.com/news/visas-5-billion-plaid-deal-takes-a-possible-rival-off-the-table

    It seems that both parties (Plaid and CapOne) are being difficult though. https://www.americanbanker.com/news/in-data-dispute-with-capital-one-plaid-stands-alone

    I would like to note, I have been using Mint, a FREE app, and have had NO trouble connecting to my Capital One account  on it. I'm not sure what integration firm it uses though.

    Perhaps YNAB needs to look into using another company for integration? If YNAB hasn't reached out to Plaid with the threat of moving to a different provider yet, perhaps they should, and then dump Plaid since they haven't resolved the dispute yet (and likely won't it seems). I believe Yodlee is the next largest option.

    Like 1
      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Mask Actually CapOne works perfectly now that they introduced OAuth. I think you have to be on their non-plaid provider to use that, though. Which support can do if contacted. Since they introduced OAuth, I haven't had to reconnect my CapOne accounts once and transactions come over as expected.

      Like 1
    • Tobias you're saying an individual needs to contact YNAB directly and ask for a different integration method specifically for that account?

      • Tobias
      • Toviathan
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Mask YNAB uses Plaid and MX for direct import. If you are having issues with your bank connections, you should contact YNAB support and they can see if switching which provider your account is set up through will improve your connections. For CapOne, it seems MX is the one that can connect through OAuth, so you should absolutely contact YNAB support to see what they can do. I had to have my accounts changed to MX a while ago to support my credit union, so I already happened to be set up through them.

      Like 1
      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Spring Green Mask If you are having any direct import issues, yes, you should definitely be contacting support.

      Like 1
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