QMac: Betterment Support?

Unknown
Unknown Member
edited June 2018 in Investing (Mac)
I recently purchased Quicken for Mac and was stunned that Betterment was not a supported bank (should have checked). That said, I have used Banktivity, Mint, Personal Capital, MoneyDance (to name of few) -- all of which seamlessly download Betterment Investment Accounts. I just find this perplexing at best.

Comments

  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2017
    It works more like this: you have to ask Betterment why they don't support Quicken. They control who has access to their servers.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    So are saying that they have chosen to support other software developers but not quicken?
  • John_in_NC
    John_in_NC SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2017

    So are saying that they have chosen to support other software developers but not quicken?

    Correct. There are licensing agreements that must be arranged before banks jump on-board. And yes, there likely are costs involved. We both know everything comes down to money.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017

    So are saying that they have chosen to support other software developers but not quicken?

    It's funny that Betterment doesn't support Quicken because on their Web Site they mention that "Quicken is one of the best financial tools out there, especially for Windows. One of the great things about Quicken is that it makes it easy to reconcile your accounts regularly by automating the integration of your financial data.". Is it possible that Quicken only supports Betterment on Windows or Betterment has decided not to support Quicken?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2017

    So are saying that they have chosen to support other software developers but not quicken?

    Yes and yes. It's possible Betterment dropped Quicken support, although that seems unlikely based on the praise you quote on their web site. If they find that it's costing them $x per year and a relatively few number of their customers are using Quicken, they might decide to drop it.

    And yes, it's possible that they support Quicken for Windows but not Quicken for Mac. Some institutions dropped their Mac support for the legacy Mac product (Quicken 2007) and haven't gotten back on board since the next-generation Quicken 2015 was launched.

    In quickly Googling Betterment and Quicken, I found a few results (like this one) which seem to discuss Betterment not providing export of financial data. Your best bet is to try to dive into Betterment's technical support and hope to find someone knowledgeable about their support (or lack thereof) for Quicken.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though.

    What's that supposed to mean?
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    It means Betterment will support downloading their transactions into quicken from a technical standpoint, but won't pay Quicken't outrageous fee to allow it to happen.

    Betterment already supports transaction download into Mint, Personal Capital, H&R Block tax, Turbo Tax, and others. But that is just Betterment providing the necessary data connection for those software packages to access user accounts. 

    Quicken wants money to allow it into Quicken software. That was ok in 2000 when finance packages were all the rage. Today, it is table stakes, and if their business model continues to have that funding requirement, I fear we will see more and more banks drop support for it given alternative financial packages that do it for free.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    If the previous response was from Betterment, that's a pretty BS answer. 

    They're open to Quicken downloads...but no, not really.  Because we're not paying Quicken.

    That's certainly their option if they don't feel like paying Quicken for the opportunity to download transactions to Quicken software.

    But don't put it out there like, "hey, we're open to Quicken download"...but "no, we won't do it". 

    That's marketing corporate speak at it's finest.  
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    @edhans: Many (most?) large financial institutions provide support for Quicken. (Banking accounts can provide Quicken connectivity for free, by the way, but investment accounts require a higher level of connectivity and security, and such institutions do need to pay a fee.) Betterment can choose not to do so, and say it's their way of keeping costs down for all their customers -- but let's not make it seem like Quicken is the one who is suddenly doing something unusual. Quicken, like Betterment, has a business model. There has been no major exodus of financial institutions dropping Quicken. (And if there were, Quicken would need to adjust their pricing or business model.) Conversely, if enough Betterment customers told them they wanted Quicken support, they might adjust their business model to provide the support their customers were asking for for fear of losing customers to the thousands of other financial institutions which provide Quicken support.

    I can understand that as a Quicken user and a Betterment customer, you're stuck between the two companies' policies. While you're entitled to lash out at Quicken if you so desire, it seems to me that Betterment is the outlier here by not agreeing to the same terms (whatever they are) that most other investment institutions do with Quicken.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    1. I am not lashing out at anyone. I don't agree with how Quicken does stuff in this regard, which is why so many other products like Personal Finance or Mint support way more downloads. That isn't lashing out though.
    2. You "super users" can call it what you want, but from a technological standpoint, Betterment is ready to do it. Probably already do for the most part given the formats needed for Quicken probably aren't terribly different from those needed by Mint or others. But Betterment isn't willing to pay the fee. That isn't a BS answer. That is an honest answer. There are a lot of things I am willing to do, but not at any cost. I am willing to get a new iPhone this year. But not at $2,000. I am willing to go to a movie this weekend. But not at $150 per ticket. Betterment is willing to provide the download. But not at $xx,xxx they were quoted from Quicken to do so, whatever $xx,xxx was.
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    Isn't the OFX an open source format and doesn't Quicken supposedly supports OFX? If this is true, why can't Betterment provide that format or does Quicken use a modified OFX format that requires payment?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    @edhans, you clearly think Bettermint is right and Quicken is wrong here. I was only saying that most financial institutions have chosen to support their customers and sign on with Quicken.


    Neither you nor I have any idea how much the annual fee is -- my understanding is there are different levels available-- so speculating that it's way overpriced like your examples doesn't have a basis.


    Maybe Quicken's business model is outdated and they will eventually fail because of it -- but expecting anything to change on their end because your particular financial institution has chosen not to play ball with them (when many thousands of others do) is unfortunately an exercise in futility. If I were a customer if Betterment, I'd be lobbying them to provide the support I need as a customer. In the end, your choice is to enter your transactions manually, switch off of Quicken to a product which better meets your needs, or switch to another financial institution which better supports your needs.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    @BruceG

    Quicken uses it's own proprietary version of .ofx called .qfx.

    It is modified slightly for use in Quicken.  But it IS different...and financial institutions can't use the .qfx format unless they enroll with (and pay) Quicken for the right to use that format.  

    @edhans

    You're completely correct.  Betterment doesn't have to pay whatever Quicken is asking.  That is their choice.

    And you're stuck out in the cold.  Once again, plead your case to Betterment.  Doing it on here is falling on deaf ears. 
  • Unknown
    Unknown Member
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    On a slightly different subject, is the reason I get multiple downloaded transactions from my FI the fact that Quicken can charge that institution more or does anyone know if the Fis pay an annual fee for making data available to Quicken?
  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    edited July 2017
    edhans said:

    Betterment won't pay Quicken the fee Quicken wants to be included in their downloads. That is what Betterment support told me. Banks supported by Quicken don't get to be in that list for free. Betterment is totally open to Quicken downloads though. Many other services support Betterment, as noted in the OP. It is just one way Betterment keeps fees down.

    @BruceG: Quicken says they have some 14,000+ financial institutions that work with Quicken (the numbers vary based on Mac or windows, and even year of the product). My understanding is that the vast majority of those are banks which do *not* pay Quicken anything.

    The lowest-level is Web Connect, where you download transactions in a file and them import them into Quicken. I believe there is no fee for banks to offer this (although in one Quicken FAQ it says they do), but they still have to sign up with Quicken.

    The highest level is Direct Connect, where the Quicken program provides a direct interface to your bank, and you log in and download transactions on demand, direct to your local data file, whenever you connect. Direct Connect is required for interactive transactions like online bill payment. There is a fee to financial institutions for Direct Connect, and I believe there may be more than one level of fee which determines the amount of branding there is for the bank in Quicken. Some banks charge customers a monthly fee for this level of access.

    The middle level is Express Web Connect (called Quicken Connect in the Mac products); this is where a Quicken back-end server logs into your bank account once a day (typically at night) as a proxy for you, to download your transactions and hold them on the Quicken server until you connect to Quicken's server to import them into your data file. There is no fee to banks for this, but there may be a paid option for them to have some bank branding.

    (Someone with more inside knowledge about this may correct me if I'm not quite accurate on some detail of this, but I know the gist of it is correct.)
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
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