Does Quicken pull transactions directly from the user's computer or through an aggregator?

sbergmann Mac Beta Beta
(I guess this is not specifically mac-related but I use the Mac version and could only choose one or the other...)

My subscription is pending renewal so I've been doing my due diligence and been checking out the competition 👀. I've noticed that whenever I sync accounts with any of them then the accounts that require OTP (via SMS) would always require it (as in they're being connected to from a new device). This does not happen with Quicken. I've also never seen Canadian banks warning people against using Quicken, in contrast to services such as Mint or YNAB. I've also noticed that Quicken stores the bank credentials in the macOS keychain. This leads me to believe that perhaps Quicken is the only software in the market that pulls transactions directly from the bank without involving a third party to whom the user have to surrender their banking credentials?

What I find confusing though, is that if this is indeed the case, then I would expect this to be all over Quicken's marketing materials... Instead I haven't been able to find an answer to this and hence I'm posting it here...

Anyone knows?



  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Quicken has different methods of connection; Direct Connect creates a live connection between your Quicken and the financial institution, while Quicken Connect is a service where a Quicken server logs into the financial institution once a day to download transactions, which are then held on the server until your computer connects and pulls those transactions in. This page has more or an explanation.
    Quicken Mac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    The answer depends on which connection method you have chosen (and have available) for each bank. Direct Connect connects directly to your bank as the name implies. Quicken Connect uses an aggregator. See this for more info:

    Connection Methods

    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • sbergmann
    sbergmann Mac Beta Beta
    The page you linked actually suggests that in both quicken and web connect methods the communication is done directly between the user and the bank. There's nothing there to suggest that a server is involved:

    "With the Express Web Connect (EWC)/Quicken Connect and Direct Connect methods, Quicken communicates directly with your bank on your behalf. You don't have to sign into your bank's website and manually download transactions - Quicken does this for you. With Direct Connect, Quicken can even talk back (for bill pay, money transfers, etc.)."
  • RickO
    RickO SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    Quicken Mac Subscription; Quicken Mac user since the early 90s
  • smayer97
    smayer97 SuperUser, Mac Beta, Canada Beta ✭✭✭✭✭
    And since you mention Canadian banks, be aware that the only connection methods available are Quicken Connect (similar to EWC), where Quicken aggregating servers are used, and Web Connect, i.e., downloading QFX data files. Direct Connect is not available in Canada.

    For QFX downloads, Quicken servers are used to verify that FI/bank is registered then to perform clean-up of Payee names and aggregating categorization, if that option is enabled (on by default).

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    (Canadian user since '92, STILL using QM2007)

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