I just set up Open Banking with my accounting software in 45 seconds

Why can't YNAB do this?

Literally, setting up a bank account (Barclays) to auto import into FreeAgent (my online accounting software) - took 45 seconds, including logging into my bank via my phone app to authenticate.

It's easy. Reliable. Simple. Why do YNAB not offer this? I don't pay my bank anything, but I pay you £7 a month - for what exactly?

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  • We're currently working on expanding into international Direct Import, and I hope we'll have something to announce soon.

    Matthew  That's the most promising thing I've read about this - please try and keep us informed - silence on this subject is what frustrates people -as you can see above. 

    Good news though 🙂👍

    Like 1
    • Anvil Yeah, I want to be clear that "soon" probably isn't as soon as you or we would like. This just isn't as simple as signing up with the right partner or supporting Open Banking. There are all kinds of issues, including making sure we're ready to handle it on the support side.

      Like 2
  • I'd like this too, but having looked into this, I'd imagine that part of the issue may be regulatory. In the UK, even if using a third party provider, you need to register with the FCA as handling financial transactions. There are fees involved (both one off and ongoing) as well as lots of paperwork. I imagine the situation is similar in the EU.

    I looked into the third party options available with YNAB but obviously not ecstatic about an additional fee, plus I'd be concerned that as they don't seem to have regulatory approval (that I can see) they may be shut down at any point.

    TrueLayer (a provider mentioned above) wrote a blog post on this, and their opinion was that YNAB or similar organisation _would_ need to register

    1. If you’re a customer of TrueLayer using us to acquire the bank data of your customers, and then you provide this consolidated data back to your customers, then you need to go through the FCA and get a RAISP, since you are providing AIS;

    (from here)

    Like 2
  • I will be brutally honest. I am getting more and more frustrated with YNAB. It moved to cloud and now its a subscription. Okay said I and moved from YNAB 4, but i see no benefits there. Only more pain now as the credit cards now totally screwed between the way they used to work.

    And now I started looking into other apps. And I found them. I am currently on a trial version of several other apps. Which have the import and 4 times cheaper (20USD a year on average). So unless YNAB gets import done from Europe banks or gives me some really good reason to stay (which I am not even sure what). I will be gone by the end of this year subscription.

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

      Silver Stallion Please let us know what software you end up with. I haven't found any nearly as effective as YNAB. Also, you can change your CCs to work the same as in YNAB 4 by transferring them to checking accounts.

      Like
      • Dmitrii
      • Silver_Stallion.12
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone so I spent last 48 hours (or so). Doing only 1 thing. Trying different software which works in Europe and will Sync with banks. I found a lot of alternatives (moneywiz -> it's an app but syncs on its own, YNAB 4 on steroids and has a manual to migrate from YNAB, Toshl -> Good alternative, i did not like the TAGS management they have and so on).

      I ended up configuring and reconfiguring and importing my YNAB settings. And now I can say that so far I did find something somewhat better for cheaper. Buxfer. It ticks all my boxes. AND it connected to my Morgan Stanely account for Employee Stock plan (investment incentive for employees). And all my banks. And my credit card looks awesome there and it's automatic from bank. And yes yes you will have to spend some time configuring your Tags aka. Categories. But I did. And now it looks great now. I setup my tags and categories. When I rename a category nothing get's lost (which I had problems with YNAB). I can change category on the whole set of things.

      And yes it is somewhat more complicated in some way, that you can create automated rules which will place in a correct category, but also they can change your description to make it uniform. And the rules can be complex like IF description contains Auchan AND more then 100 per say do one thing. If not the other.

      But you dont have to use it. It now sounds like I am selling it. Which I am not. I am just a geek and 2 days spent researching and trying.

      P.S. List of other software worth to take a look with auomatic Sync working smoothly in Europe:

      - Money Wiz (it's an APP which requires install. Like YNAB 4 but then it will use it's own internal things to sync across devices. I did not like reports on it, cannot just click feel a bit dated in a way)

      - Spendee

      - PocketSmith (I would steer clear from it, as no proper trial and just trying to get you signed up, very aggressivley and feels like scam)

      - toshl.com (it has a nice webby look, but somehow I find it not appealing, though it seems to have good enough options)

      P.P.S ah yeah and most of them are twice as cheap as YNAB which makes sense. Especially for a software which does not do anything for me. I cant see anything different between YNAB now and YNAB 4 except it's being in a browser. Nothing change for more than 3 years with syncyning in Europe.

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      • Superbone
      • YNAB convert since 2008
      • Superbone
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Dmitrii Thanks, I will check out buxfer. I hadn't heard of it. I see they're directly competing as they have a YNAB vs Buxfer page on their website. I do see that it is more expensive, $10 per month, if you want all their features including goals.

      Like
      • Dmitrii
      • Silver_Stallion.12
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone well honestly. With what they have like investment and things. I really do not need goals. I bought a PRO version for 1 month to see how it will go for me.

      But from what I've done in last day with that is already looking equal if not better then what I have in YNAB to be fair. I mean really connection to banks already paying of. No manual entry at all for me anymore. My:

      1) Revolut
      2) Bank
      3) Company provided Stock options
      all got synced automatically.

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

      Dmitrii I just realized that buxfer is not a true envelope/zero-based budgeting solution. That's a no go for me. That was the most important thing that turned my financial life around. Best of luck to you in your financial journey!

      Like
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Superbone I had a very cursory look at it. It sells itself as a more flexible budgeting software than YNAB, which definitely means you can make it something different than envelope budgeting. But I was wondering, is it possible to implement a strict envelope budgeting? I intend to have a closer look later in any case as it's good to keep an open mind (not on the budgeting method but on the budgeting software).

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

      Ceeses I don't know. That's a good question. I didn't look into it enough to see if you could enforce your own zero-based system. I did realize that I'm paying less than their Pro version for YNAB due to my early adoption and their Prime version is twice the cost of their Pro version. So, it didn't make sense for me to explore it further.

      I did try it enough to see that their direct import is miles ahead of YNAB. I'm curious about Buxfer's history. From my limited research, it looked like it was about dead in 2010 but has been resurrected. I found their twitter page but the last tweets were from April about a connection issue they fixed. Before that, the last tweet is from 2018.

      Like
      • Ceeses
      • Ceeses
      • 1 mth ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Superbone Indeed. For the same price as YNAB, I would have bank syncing which I wouldn't use (I don't share my bank login details with anyone on principle), multiple currencies support (very limited and sporadic use, far from essential), IOUs (I never have any in either direction), more sophisticated payee renaming rules (the only one that might be of some interest to me). So in short, it would add next to nothing to me.

      But I can see how it could be interesting to others. Depending on the budgeting...

      Funny history.

      Like 1
  • I’m very pleased to see that YNAB are looking into this. YNAB has really turned my financial awareness around - perhaps to the degree that I decided not to pay for the third party subscription.   I’m not sure I’ll like or use the auto-import feature - but I do think that it’s extremely important to show that YNAB are listening and supporting their customers properly. I was a bit put off a while back when I reported a bug in YNAB (dragging a downloaded file onto YNAB consistently gave a message that the file didn’t contain any transactions the first time, but imported properly the second time) and it felt like they dismissed my report. Eventually sheer persistence of reporting it they fixed the bug and my opinion of YNAB was restored.  
     

    Though my knowledge of these things is limited, it feels as though the Open Banking API should be designed in a way that YNAB should be able to integrate it without needing a third party, and I assume that avoiding third party involvement, if done properly, should be the most secure way of achieving this functionality with the least risk of privacy issues. 

    Like 2
  • There are so many apps, even before open banking, that are quick, easy and efficient for connecting bank feeds. Unfortunately non are YNAB. I got to the point where I was finished waiting (and paying) in the hope this would get to be a priority. It's not just to do with countries. A big part of the trouble is that YNABs method of importing transactions is out of the ark. It's not even allowed in the UK anymore. Because my partner likes to do things manually I still have the subscription going out of my account, but I've given up on it now. I'm still trying various other things. Emma is quite good and plays really nicely with my Starling account. I also use the 'spaces' in Starling. Starling are offering me a business account with built in books for a modest charge. At this rate, I'll end up using some kind rolling budgets/home finance directly on my personal Starling bank account before YNAB pulls its finger out. 

    Like
  • With respect to using other software/apps, Superbone got it right. The others aren’t YNAB and, for me, this is because no-one else provides a zero-sum budgeting solution. 

    People may not have heard this term before but it is the difference between arbitrarily setting individual budgets for different categories and seeing how you go against those budgets versus budgeting everything you have down to the last penny and then having to swap between those categories if you go over, that is the beauty of the YNAB offering. They make you account for all of your money in a category somewhere and so the budgets aren’t arbitrary, they are a balance/compromise across all your available funds. 
     

    I have tried all the different ones mentioned above and none of them do what YNAB does. I use syncforynab too as it is better at remembering to enter my transactions than I am. And my categories are detailed enough that auto-categorisation is rarely wrong.

    Like 1
    • I totally agree with that. I put up with the other shortcomings because it's a working zero-sum budgeting app.

      But if another app came along with true zero-sum capabilities who also took direct import / auto categorization seriously, I would abandon YNAB in the middle of a forum post.

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

      Gold Router Now, that's quick! 😄

      Like
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