Accommodate Amazon/PayPal Categorization better

Downloading transactions from Amazon or Paypal is a PAIN! Virtually, every transaction that comes from these sources, the payees are all listed under the Amazon CC for instance as Amazon. Logically, this is correct, but it creates havoc when it comes to categories.
My suggestion is to standardize input from Amazon/Amazon CC type sources as follows:
Payee - Amazon (no change)
Action - Refurbish this field to be more useful. To do so is to view Action not just as "Dep," etc. but to consider it to be the repository of 2nd level Payees. These types of payees would be kept separate in theory (this is a negotiable thought) but are in a sense the payees that sponsored the primary action for this transaction. For example, if I had an Acorn TV subscription, the Payee would be Amazon, but the Action would be attributable to Acorn TV. (You could create a new field for this type of data, but I have found online that the Action field is a relic.)
Category - Category fields for these types of transactions such as Amazon or Paypal would not key off the payee field, but the "action" field, allowing a chance for better assigning of categories to these transactions.
I spend an hour each month going through my Amazon transactions updating the categories. This is a ridiculous waste of my time and I have to believe for many others!
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  • jacobs
    jacobs SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    While I completely understand this request, it would require an entirely new approach to downloading transactions. Transaction downloads are performed using an application programming interface (API) called OFX (Open Financial eXchange) which is a standard used by 7,000+ financial institutions. The OFX standard describes a common language and syntax for every type of financial transaction, from banking balances to deposits to purchases, all forms of investment transactions, bill presentments and bill payments, etc. (Quicken and its service provider, Intuit, use a minor variant called QFX which adds a unique financial institution ID number so only those institutions contracted with Intuit will work with Quicken.)

    To implement what you're asking for here would require a significant extension of OFX to support the transmission of additional data, just for Amazon (and PayPal). Keep in mind that Quicken users have also asked for not just the name of a subscription, as you did here, but for information about what has been purchased (electronics, clothing, home goods, etc.). Amazon would need to transmit this additional data to whatever credit card provider processes the payment, and all the credit card companies would need to format and transmit this data to Quicken. As much of a retailing behemoth Amazon is, the entire financial industry is not going to change the OFX standard just for users to get a deeper dive inside transactions from Amazon.

    Alternatively, it has been proposed in this Idea post that Quicken instead develop a way to log into users' Amazon accounts to download order information and use that to categorize purchases. That seems like a long shot, too, but I think it's more likely than getting 7,000 banks and brokerages to revamp OFX for Amazon purchases. 
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