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Topic # 207582 4-Jan-2017 00:47
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I've been using the "You Need A Budget" (YNAB) app for a couple of years now and the aim for 2017 is to finally get the household finances fully under control. I find the biggest issue with YNAB is having to manually download the transactions from my online banking each week. And with small children this is getting harder to find the time to do...

 

I've contacted YNAB and they have no plans to integrate any of the AU/NZ banks into their bank feed functionality so this leaves me looking at some other means of downloading this info. If any bank in NZ just offered a pure "read only" api feed then I'd happily move all my accounts and banking services to that bank but after some extensive searching I don't think it's possible or will be in the near future.

 

Another option would be to use a different "app" potentially like PocketSmith which is built in NZ and does communicate with all the NZ banks.... However I do very much like the "Envelope Budgeting" approach that YNAB uses and PocketSmith seems quite different.

 

Any advice, info or discussion would be greatly appreciated.


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Mr Snotty
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  Reply # 1698143 4-Jan-2017 04:19
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To offer an API is a potential, major security risk even if it is read only so no bank in their right mind would do that. Intergration to internet banking for banks requires major testing before something can be implemented - again, for security and the cost to do this for finance software companies is eye watering as they have to adhere to the banks security policies, PCIDSS etc to ensure that customers data doesn't end up in the wrong hands. Also creating automation (something I have personally considered in the past) to download the transaction history by logging in, scraping the download URL and importing is also a major breach of your terms and conditions for internet banking with any bank - this is why banks do not at all endorse PoLi since this is esentially logging in for you and the security risks that come from things like that is again - massive.

 

So afraid to say it - you'll never see this from any NZ bank and unless if a bank officially supports an app (you'll know as it'll be an option to enable it from your internet banking) then it'll likely be a breach of your internet banking terms of use. Banks are quite harsh when it comes to internet banking to more or less protect their customers from potential fraudalant activity.

 

Trust me when I say this - I do work for a bank and banks do not take non-approved automated scraping lightly. At the moment for most banks the only options are your banks in-house solution (like ASB's money management built into their IB) or verified tools like Xero or MYOB that can connect to your online banking web feed with some banks.





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  Reply # 1698158 4-Jan-2017 08:02
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Some are the euro banks (or just England) are being forced to implement apis for switching banks, which includes transaction downloads, so conceivably ours could to. But I doubt our government would step in.

Banks have also implemented close apis for access to their smart phone apps. But the whole integration for downloading and bill payments that was acccessible in the us, I'm not sure is ever going to come here.




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  Reply # 1698173 4-Jan-2017 08:29
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How long does it take you to download/load the transactions each week?




BlinkyBill

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  Reply # 1698181 4-Jan-2017 09:10
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I thought the YNAB mantra was to "Give every dollar a job"

 

It seems mass downloading your bank details is an after the event and not really helping you manage your finances as it's already been spent.

 

 

 

If you're wanting to just reconcile the manual approach is probably best...





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  Reply # 1698183 4-Jan-2017 09:15
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how i do it, is every time i make a transaction I record it, any automated payments are automatic in YNAB.  for the odd thing that come out unexpected (currency conversion on a CC when it can take a few days to show up, thats the tricky part).  but most of the time, if I record everything as I do it, and manually adjust it if I see it out of sync, then its not much effort each week.


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  Reply # 1698232 4-Jan-2017 11:37
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I do the manual download/upload dance too. It's not the end of the world but it is a pain. There is no way I'm going to give full bank credentials to any third party, let alone some offshore 4th party like Pocketsmith uses. I would consider giving credentials to retrieve transactions r/o, because there is a lot of convenience in having them already imported, and categorizing them more often (less forgetting, hunting through big piles of receipts etc).



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  Reply # 1701111 10-Jan-2017 19:55
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At the moment getting the "better half" to enter transactions as she spends money is pretty hopeless. I understand that "bulk loading" bank transaction after the fact is not the idea of YNAB but that's why I think if I could get a feed at the end of every business day then at least it's just catching up the last one or two days so the budget and spending in the app would be pretty accurate. Once the transactional data in YNAB is over a week old it's pretty pointless relying on it for budgeting and checking spending :-(

 

I've decided to give the new YNAB a try, start my budget completely from scratch and do my best to keep the transactions in line with my online banking. It could just mean sitting with two phones on the sofa comparing both screens till they balance.

 

If just one bank offered something as simple as a daily email with an OFX attached of my transactions for yesterday then I'd move all my banking to them in a flash!


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  Reply # 1701115 10-Jan-2017 20:35
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Do you really need to update your data daily?

 

I just do a weekly OFX download for my BNZ accounts, load it in, code the transactions, then reconcile the account. It takes about ten minutes each week.

 

I always have enough in my budget each month to cover my rent, food, bills, and any major one offs that I'm expecting, so monitoring my budget every day just isn't necessary. 


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  Reply # 1701138 10-Jan-2017 21:32
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I am a very happy PocketSmith user. Have used Quicken, MS Money and Money Dance before but now well settled on Pocket Smith. Have used it for at least the last two years.

Have feeds for all my working accounts; ASB, BNZ, Westpac and love the way it lets you do cash flow forecasting. I must admit the budgeting side was confusing at first but now I just use the forecast calendar to do most budgeting and it works a treat. Really useful in setting savings goals and forecasting ahead to see where you land. Scenario analysis is also great before you make a purchase that impacts on your cashflow.

It is a bit scary reporting on your spending though. Amazing how much a person can spend on beer, coffee and gas.


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  Reply # 1701212 11-Jan-2017 07:24
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How does Pocketsmith get the data from the banks? Do you have to give them you internet banking credentials, or do they have some sort of arrangement with the banks to get the data on a read-only basis as referred to above?


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  Reply # 1701239 11-Jan-2017 08:39
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They use a third party called yodlee which I believe Xero uses as well. Yes, you do need to provide credentials. Every time you log in it does a sync with all feeds in the background.




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  Reply # 1701501 11-Jan-2017 16:53
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And as far as I'm aware using a third party like Yodlee is in breach of your internet banking agreement with your bank so I'm not sure how PocketSmith get away with this?


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  Reply # 1701640 11-Jan-2017 20:24
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TommySharp:

 

And as far as I'm aware using a third party like Yodlee is in breach of your internet banking agreement with your bank so I'm not sure how PocketSmith get away with this?

 

 

That was what I was thinking. I wouldn't be comfortable with this and, as I mentioned above, I find it very easy to just do a manual data transfer once a week.


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  Reply # 1701726 11-Jan-2017 22:14
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alasta:

TommySharp:


And as far as I'm aware using a third party like Yodlee is in breach of your internet banking agreement with your bank so I'm not sure how PocketSmith get away with this?



That was what I was thinking. I wouldn't be comfortable with this and, as I mentioned above, I find it very easy to just do a manual data transfer once a week.



Yeah fair point. I used to do the manual upload when using other products but it got a bit tedious. How does Xero pitch it given they use Yodlee too?

BTW you don't have to use the auto sync, you could do a manual import into pocket smith.

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  Reply # 1701736 11-Jan-2017 22:45
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I think Xero have direct feeds with some banks and use Yodlee for the rest. Certainly neither Xero nor Yodlee have my bank login details and I had to fill out a paper form which Xero sent to the bank to activate the feed.

 

 


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