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Quicken cannot connect to Government TSP site

RoyChandRoyChand Member
edited November 2020 in Before you Buy
I had to cancel my Quicken annual subscription due to the lack of support for government employees TSP accounts. Since its 25% of my retirement portfolio, I want to be able to easily manage it. Your workaround was unacceptable and I am waiting for whatever contracts you can't seem to sign with the government. Not sure why other companies have no issues like [removed - no soliciting].
I would prefer to use Quicken since I have been using it for decades but lacking TSP account management, is really holding me back from going back to Quicken.

Comments

  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020
    It is more than a "contract" that is holding this back.

    For investment accounts Quicken only supports importing using Direct Connect or Web Connect.  Other providers like Personal Capital import with a system that is similar to Express Web Connect (an aggregator).

    Direct Connect requires the financial institution to provide a OFX server so that Quicken can connect directly and send requests/get transactions back using the OFX standard.  Governments aren't inclined to provide such a server/service.

    Web Connect is the "response" to a Direct Connect request, just in file format.  So to support that the financial institution has to be willing to export the transactions in a file in that format.  Again something that the Governments are willing to provide.

    So for Quicken Inc to provide support for TSP accounts would require major changes to both Express Web Connect (which is provided by Intuit not Quicken Inc) and Quicken itself.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • miklkmiklk SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    It would be nice but since the government said it will not provide or allow any access to Quicken, there really is nothing that Quicken can do about it. 
  • RoyChandRoyChand Member
    Thank you for responding so quickly. This was the same response from several years ago. I guess nothing has changed since then. I fail to understand how they allow other companies to connect. I guess I will have to keep waiting until something changes.
  • splashersplasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    RoyChand said:
    Thank you for responding so quickly. This was the same response from several years ago. I guess nothing has changed since then. I fail to understand how they allow other companies to connect. I guess I will have to keep waiting until something changes.

    The other companies sign in to TSP and act like they are you and "read" the screen to get the data.  The Quicken Direct Connect & Web Connect processes require software on TSP's servers to provide that data.  TSP is unwilling to expend the costs and energy to do that.  There is probably small print on the TSP website stating that by giving your login information to a third party relieves them of any issues due to identity fraud.
    I remember 40 years ago when I wanted to send an allotment to my mortgage company.  I wasn't able to do so because the mortgage company was going to charge a $.50 fee out of every deposit and the government rules were that the mortgage company had to credit the FULL amount and was not allowed to charge a fee on the deposit.  So I had to write a check every month.  The government just doesn't want to spend the extra money to make things nicer for their employees.
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    If I recall correctly, the TSP website WILL allow you to download quotes ... just not transactions.  SO, you can at least get that much info from them.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • RoyChandRoyChand Member
    You are correct that you can download quotes and CSVs to manually import into Quicken. It's just very cumbersome. Not easy to sort out employee contributions, loan repayments, government matching, etc.
    I do agree that the US government and US Tax Payers should not be paying anything for a select group to see the retirement when it's directly provided on their site. Quicken is a paid annual subscription and should foot the bill to even do the screen scrape that others do if it can't be done directly via an application. This was the minimum I would have expected.
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Citing your own logic,  why should Q (i.e., all  the the users of Q) foot the bill for the select group that happen  to be current,  or former USG employees?
    I'd think that those employees themselves  should foot the bill for the needed development.
    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • RoyChandRoyChand Member
    As a private business Q should want to expand its customer base and keep its subscription costs down. There are currently 5.6 million TSP Participants (including members of the military). That is a huge amount to simply ignore for the last decade. Usually companies pander and line up for any type of government contracts. Who else is willing to pay $600 for a toilet seat.
    As I said, others are able to do it. Even services that are free are able to screen scrape the accounts. Intuit used to own Q before selling and they own MINT and MINT is able to connect and download. I am also able to do connect and see from Vanguard and CitiBank....and these services are free...
    They are just NOT as good a Q. These other companies found a way to deal with this issue.
  • NotACPANotACPA SuperUser, Windows Beta Beta
    Again, your logic contradicts itself.
    HOW can Q "keep its subscription costs down" if it's paying for features that only a few of it's users need or want.   There may be 5.6M TSP participants, but how many of them use Q???
    And why can't they pay for this feature themselves when it doesn't, in ANY WAY, benefit the vast majority of Q users.
    Mint connects to TSP by pretending to be you and then, basically, stealing the data. That just isn't Q's business model.

    Q user since DOS version 5
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription,  Home & Business
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2020
    RoyChand said:
    I am also able to do connect and see from Vanguard and CitiBank....and these services are free...
    The services aren't free.  You pay Vanguard and CitiBank for those services one way or another, and as such they go out of their way to support programs like Quicken.

    Quicken downloading certainly isn't free to these financial institutions.  Especially ones that are supporting Direct Connect since they have to maintain an OFX server for Quicken to connect to.

    They do it because it makes sense to them.  The governments have a different opinion of their customers.  They have clearly stated by their in action that Quicken support isn't worth it to them.

    And do you think that if Intuit/Quicken could make "$600 toilet seat" type contracts with the government to provide Quicken support that they wouldn't do it?  There are no such contracts.  The government doesn't think you are worth anything, certainly anyone that is going to provide this kind of service has to offer it to the government for free, and do it in a way that the it doesn't cost the government a cent. 

    On the other hand for Quicken which doesn't have any of the framework for doing this in place it would be a MAJOR project for a small minority of customers.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • RoyChandRoyChand Member
    edited November 2020
    You are correct, I guess the TSP customer base is just too small to be worthwhile. Maybe one day H.I.G. would foot the bill to build an interface like the others. I don't expect the US Government to change it position. Until then, I will keep using [removed - no soliciting] and check back occasionally.
  • splashersplasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭
    RoyChand said:
    … Maybe one day H.I.G. would foot the bill to build an interface like the others. …
    What and put ads in the software?  That is how Mint and the others do it for "free".
    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list

This discussion has been closed.