Many of you already know Moneydance is one of the few applications capable of directly downloading your transactions directly from your bank. Sadly sometimes it’s not easy as it should be. Setting up direct OFX servers is costly for banks, and many opt to forgo that expense. Many instead use what is known as webconnect.
Webconnect is basically a mere lightweight alternative to true direct OFX. Instead of securely connecting to a dedicated OFX server, applications that use webconnect open a built in browser and then load up a secure webpage. And then it downloads a QFX file into some random folder somewhere on your computer and imports that into the software.
Moneydance doesn’t do this obviously. If you want to import a QFX file (or QIF or OFX files for that matter) into Moneydance, we urge to you to go to your Bank’s website and download it from there. Importing is a simple matter of opening the file with Moneydance. You can also import them via the import options in the file menu.
I like direct OFX connections; they’re simple and easy. Once you set up the connection details, all you have to do is hit download and bam! Your transactions are in your register, and you can go back to making mojitos for your loved ones. It really is nearly effortless.
But not all banks offer this service, because like I said, it’s pretty expensive to set up and maintain. But you know what? I think that cost is worth it. People switch banks to get this service. Right now there is a thread in our forums where someone is wondering to which bank she should switch her accounts. She wants direct OFX connections, and she wants them cheap (read: no fees!). I get several emails asking for the same thing everyday.
There used to be banks that offered free online banking, and not any of that watered down browser or webconnect based nonsense. Big banks like LaSalle and Netbank used to provide direct OFX for free. I wonder if there are any left that see the value in providing customers with such a vital service. Customers are clamoring for it.