Using NASA FCU Bill Pay with Quicken

I've had a NASA FCU account for years, but have always used Quicken Bill Pay. Thinking about switching to use NASA FCU Bill Pay directly with Quicken. Just wondering if anyone already does this and if it works well.

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  • PeterK
    PeterK Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks. The link you posted doesn't really have a lot of information. Just brings me to a generic Quicken page.

    I was having some issues, so figured I'd create a separate Quicken file to test things. I'm able to set it up to download transactions, but when I try to set up billPay, it doesn't seem to recognize the login. See attached. I assume I should be using 'NASA FCU - Direct Connect' as opposed to 'NASA Federal Credit Union'. I'm using my regular NASA FCU login, which is also what I used to set up the transaction download

    I noticed that Quicken always assumes I'm using Quicken Bill Pay, so I have to tell it to use Advanced Setup in order to even initiate using my bank's bill pay. Is this normal?

    Is there anything else I need to do in order to activate Bill Pay?
  • Quicken_Tyka
    Quicken_Tyka Alumni ✭✭✭✭
    Hello @PeterK

    Thank you for the response and for providing additional details.

    When I select the above link I am taken to the NASA FCU website, if the link was incorrect previously it appears to have been corrected.

    If after completing the steps at the NASA website you continue to experience difficulties enabling Direct Connect, I would contact the financial institution directly for assistance.

    In Quicken, to change the connection type you will want to use the "Advanced Setup" option to choose the connection type.

    I hope this helps!

    -Quicken Tyka

    ~~~***~~~
  • PeterK
    PeterK Member ✭✭✭
    Yes, the link goes to NASA FCU, but the only link they have on that page goes to Quicken.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
    @PeterK I will bet that the reason they just link back to the Quicken site is because they don't need to setup anything for you, and as such figured that Quicken's generic procedures should be enough.

    But sorry to say you can't do bill pay through Quicken with them.  Yes they have Direct Connect, but that is just the starting requirement.  It is also required that they support bill pay through the Direct Connect, and they don't.

    Looking for NASA I see two different entries for the NASA FCU.
    The first one is for Direct Connect (it will allow for Express Web Connect setting too, but Direct connect is more reliable).
    I tried the "NASA Federal Credit Union" link and it is only for Express Web Connect.

    So check your financial institution, I suspect that it is "NASA Federal Credit Union".  You will need to deactivate all your accounts with them and reactivate using NASA FCU - Direct Connect (be sure to link to your existing accounts).  Note you will get about a month's worth of duplicate transactions when you first switch over.

    If they supported bill pay it would be shown on the Online Services tab, but it won't be as indicated by the entry in the fidir.txt file at:
    C:\ProgramData\Quicken\Inet\Common\Localweb\Banklist\UNZIP

    You can right click on the image above and your browser should have something for showing the image at full size.

    I have put in PNC as an example.  You will notice it has PAYMENT where the NASA one doesn't have it.
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  • PeterK
    PeterK Member ✭✭✭
    I'm already using the NASA FCU - Direct Connect institution. Are you saying that it still doesn't support Bill Pay? The link at https://www.nasafcu.com/digital-banking/ebranch/quicken-direct specifically says it does. Is this an FCU problem or does Quicken just need to be updated?
  • PeterK
    PeterK Member ✭✭✭
    Here's what I see in the Online Services tab
  • PeterK
    PeterK Member ✭✭✭
    Well, I called NASA and after finally getting to the right person, apparently they specifically do not support Bill Pay with Quicken. They don't want to open that up at all. This is really too bad because I was hoping to start using it instead of Quicken Bill Pay, since the new Bill Manager is such a mess.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Well I see you got the right answer (I wasn't on here yesterday).
    On the Online Services tab, I will bet it is like my USAA account, which also supports Direct Connect, but not bill pay.

    It looks like you would get bill pay through your financial institution, but if you click on Set up Now...
    This is what comes up:


    BTW the link you gave says only this about bills:
    "Pay your bills on time"

    That doesn't imply that you can do online bill pay through them with Quicken, just that you should be aware that you need to pay the bills before they come due.

    Personally I flip the problem on the head and setup everything I can for automatic payment.  So the "biller" withdraws the money instead of using any "bill payer" system.
    In fact most of them I can setup to come out of a credit card account that pays me cash rewards.  That also makes the cash flow quite easy since I mostly just have to make sure I have enough in my checking account to pay that credit card (and the few bills like utilities that are withdrawn directly from the checking account), and I have at least 20 days to know what that amount is going to be.  I have been doing that for over 30 years without any problems.

    If I was going to use a bill pay system I would probably just use USAA's website.
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  • PeterK
    PeterK Member ✭✭✭
    Yup, you were right. And yes, that's exactly what I see on the Online Services tab. Just like what you see for USAA. It never occurred to me that they wouldn't support Online Bill Pay.
    And yes, I thought "Pay your bills on time" sort of implied that you could pay your bills through this interface.

    I've been using Quicken Bill Pay or equivalent for over 30 years. Just hard to have to change to a new way. I really gave Bill Manager a shot, but it seems to have too many issues. And I hate the fact that it uses a totally different interface. Don't know why they couldn't use the same interface and just have a checkbox for 'Use Quicken Bill Manager', just like now that have a check box for 'Use Online Bill Pay'

    P.S. How do you embed images in your posts? I tried it yesterday, but couldn't figure it out. And there doesn't seem to be much difference between 'Attach file' vs 'Attach image'
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    The reason that Bill Manager works differently is because frankly the "back end" works differently.

    I don't know the exact details on Quicken Bill Pay, but the history is that bill pay through Direct Connect came first.  And just like Express Web Connect is shoehorned into that system by changing the data into/out of the OFX protoocol Quicken Bill Pay seems to have basically done the same thing as in it is mostly just a translation in and out of the OFX protocol so that Quicken didn't have to change much to use it.

    The history of Bill Manager is quite different.
    People wanted "Bill Presentment", so Quicken Inc went looking for a third party to do that for them.  And in case it is obvious that they used the API that that company provided pretty much directly.  That is why they rewrote the Bills tab for this new system.
    When they left Intuit they still had an active contract for Quicken Bill Pay.  They also had lots of complaints about the company.  And there could also be different costs in play.  Now that company that provides bill presentment also provides bill pay through the same API.  So for whatever reasons they decided to go with "Bill Manager" which is to say this second third party that is already providing the bill presentment.  And that is why you see everything coming off of that screen instead of the old method of doing this.

    For them to take that system and "translate" it to the old system would have been a very big and probably error prone project.

    One the embedded images.  The forum restricts what you can do based on how many "points" you have gotten.  When you first start the forum won't even allow you to include an image.  Pretty quickly you can post images, but not embedded.  With more points you get its expanded interface that allows for embedded images and URLs and other formatting.
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  • PeterK
    PeterK Member ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the explanation of the history of Bill Manager. I might understand it better, but that doesn't mean I have to like the end result any more :-)
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah I hear you, there is lot to be desired from the new interface.  Personally even if I was using a bill pay service I would use it from what I see posted about it.

    The main sticking point for me would be the "hidden nature" of the third party.  I have a good idea of which third party this is, but that doesn't mean that in any way you would be able to get direct support from them.  And you certainly can't use their website.

    One of the things I liked about using bill pay through Wells Fargo something like 35 years ago was that everything I did in Quicken was just sending commands to their website bill pay.  So if anything every went wrong I could just log into the Wells Fargo website and fix it from there.  I don't remember a lot of problems, but I really liked that idea.

    With Bill Manager if anything goes wrong you are dependent on Quicken Inc either fixing it or contacting the people can really fix it.  All the while a payment might be "not working" or sent to wrong place or something like that.

    What's more the "Bill Presentment" interface has been far from perfect.  For years it was buggy, and still seems to be somewhat buggy, but certainly has problems with some "billers", which isn't really surprising because it works the same way Express Web Connect does.  Which is to say there isn't a "financial institution standard" for doing it, "ad-hock".

    In fact me using the "Bill Presentment" system corrupted my data file so bad it was unusable.  It took Quicken Inc days to fix it.  And the only real reason they fixed my data file is because I gave it to them to find the root cause of the problem that was destroying lots of user's data files.
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