Bank of America Discontinued Access for Quicken and Other 3rd Party Software

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rmcray
rmcray Member ✭✭
A few weeks ago I suddenly began receiving an error message when attempting to run a One-Step Update using Direct Connect to download transactions from Bank of America in Quicken Deluxe for Windows. The error said that Quicken could not connect with the bank's server. The error only happened with BoA, not with other financial institutions. The instructions said to try again the next day and then to contact customer support.

I spent a couple of days going back and forth between Quicken Support and BoA support, each saying it was the other's problem. Quicken suggested escalating the support request with BoA to a higher level, which took a couple of days. I was finally told by BoA that they had discontinued all access from any 3rd party software (Quicken, QuickBooks, etc.) because of constant fraud issues. They had done this without informing their customers and apparently without informing Quicken. I reported this back to Quicken Support and they told me how to use WebConnect to download transactions.

I have been doing that for a couple of weeks, which is a multi-step and tedious process, and bills now must be paid from the bank's website. I'm not happy with the situation. I decided I should report the issue here, in case others are facing the same problem and can't find an answer.

Comments

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    B of A Direct Connect continues to work perfectly for me. Maybe try disconnecting and reconnecting your accounts. You must use "Bank of America-All Other States" as the FI name.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022
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    I second @Rocket J Squirrel's response above.  I manage my in-laws Quicken file and their BofA's Direct Connect (DC) continues to work.  Mine on the other hand is Express Web Connect (EWC) and that works flawlessly as well.  So I don't need to resort to Web Connect.
    rmcray said:
    I was finally told by BoA that they had discontinued all access from any 3rd party software (Quicken, QuickBooks, etc.) because of constant fraud issues. They had done this without informing their customers and apparently without informing Quicken.
    What you were told is incorrect or possibly the BofA agent was referring to this:
    BofA discontinued the DC for new Quicken users about 10+ years ago; and those who had already per-established a DC connection with BofA became grandfathered-in (like @Rocket J Squirrel , my in-laws and you).  Seems like you may have been one of the privileged users.  However, if you make any changes to your BofA's login/ID or a new account under a different login/ID, you will lose that privilege. In which case your next two options are either EWC or Web Connect.
    I suggest you do a test to determine where the issue is:  Create a new blank Quicken test file and try to add your "BofA - All other States" with Direct Connect selected to it and see if it is successful in that test file.  And if for some odd reason you lost your DC connection for good, EWC is your second option which has worked for me without issues for years.  Of course the tedious Web Connect is your third alternative as you are aware already.
    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
    - I don't use Cloud Sync, Mobile & Web, Bill Pay/Mgr

  • rmcray
    rmcray Member ✭✭
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    Thanks, BK. Apparently no one with whom I spoke at Quicken Support (and I spoke to several) or at BoA (and again I spoke to several, including at the higher escalated level) knows anything about the options or history you discussed. But finding anyone who knew much of anything about this was a challenge (most of the BoA agents didn't even know the difference between Quicken and QuickBooks!). No one mentioned anything called Express Web Connect. I have been a BoA customer and Quicken user for probably 20 years or more. I don't think I changed my login, though I may have had to change a password.
  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022
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    You are welcome @rmcray
    I won't comment on knowledge of support folks as it varies depending on who you have on the other end.
    The objective is to troubleshoot and resolve your issue.  What version of Quicken do you have (Help > About Quicken)?
    Given that you are certain that you had established Direct Connect (DC) in the past with BofA and you have not made any changes to your BofA's ID since then, my guess is some glitch in your current Quicken data file.  Hence the test file I suggested in my prior comment is a good first step.  Please let us know if you are able to add your BofA account via DC or EWC.  Note that you must select the "Advanced Options" to select you desired connection method.  Start with DC first and if that does not work, choose EWC.
    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
    - I don't use Cloud Sync, Mobile & Web, Bill Pay/Mgr

  • BK
    BK Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022
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    Here is the info from BofA's website - look at the second and third headings. 
    What is unfortunately missing from BofA's write-up on Quicken is the availability of Express Web Connect method.  This partial and missing info may have led to the misinformation users may be receiving.  It is a shame that no corrections have been communicated.  FYI this topic comes up a few times a year on this community.
    - QWin Deluxe user since 2010, US subscription on Win11
    - I don't use Cloud Sync, Mobile & Web, Bill Pay/Mgr

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    rmcray said:
    I don't think I changed my login, though I may have had to change a password.
    A knowledgeable B of A person told me Direct Connect is tied to the B of A user ID. So double-check that your ID didn't change. If it did somehow, changing it back might solve your problem.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @rmcray Also, just in case you haven't logged in to the B of A web site in a long time, you "might" need to perform this verification step. There is nothing you can do to make this appear, it either will or it won't.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • rmcray
    rmcray Member ✭✭
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    Final resolution (a few weeks ago, I just forgot to report back). I started the process of trying to connect with EWC as mentioned by BK above. When I reactivated, Quicken automatically connected with DC and everything worked fine. I have no explanation, but at least it has been working normally.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022
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    Well, B of A is dropping DC in favor of EWC+. This will be a painful loss, as bank bill pay will disappear along with DC. I wonder whether any banks will maintain DC with bank bill pay.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Biz & Personal Subscription (US) on Win10 Pro.

  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2022
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    My impression is that Quicken is pushing the termination of Direct Connect.  If so, USAA and Citi (my only other DC FIs) will not be far behind.  I expect that any form of bank direct bill pay through Quicken will go away as well.  

    Quicken user since 1995
    Win11 Deluxe Subscription thru 2024

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    jrich75 said:
    My impression is that Quicken is pushing the termination of Direct Connect.  If so, USAA and Citi (my only other DC FIs) will not be far behind.  I expect that any form of bank direct bill pay through Quicken will go away as well.  
    I would state it differently.  The "industry" is pushing to go to Express Web Connect +.  Quicken Inc is certainly "in favor of it", but the main thrust comes from the financial institutions themselves.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    BTW Quicken doesn't really have the "clout" to push anything on any financial institution. Even Intuit, which is really the one implementing this has that kind of clout.

    The financial institutions have many aggregators like Intuit that want to get at customer data.  To them this is a move to standardization and more security.  One has to understand that all the other aggregators are using something more like Express Web Connect, none of them use Direct Connect.  So this is to get all them on the same protocol at least for the part connecting to the financial institution.  And it doesn't matter if Direct Connect is actually better or not (it is better BTW).  And Quicken users don't usually realize that they are a small percentage of a given financial institution's customers, and as such don't hold the "weight" with the financial institutions that they think they have.
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  • rmcray
    rmcray Member ✭✭
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    Yes, a few hours after sending that update reporting my issue with DC was resolved, I got this email from BoA indicating the problem is coming back. Sigh.
    ________________________

    Bank of America is changing the way it connects with personal finance management solutions like Quicken. To keep Quicken connected to your Bank of America account, you'll need to switch your connection method on or before October 10, 2022.

    Once you change your connection, you won't be able to access Bank of America Bill Pay in Quicken. Any scheduled or recurring payments you've already set up will still go through. However, to schedule new payments, make changes, or make account transfers, you'll need to use Bank of America's website or mobile app.

    If you'd like to continue to pay your bills within Quicken, we've added FREE access to Quicken Bill Manager to your account until October 31, 2023.

    Use Quicken Bill Manager to make payments in Quicken at no additional charge—up to 12 electronic payments using Quick Pay and 5 checks using Check Pay each month.

    Please note that Quicken Bill Manager does not provide a connection to or make payments through Bank of America Bill Pay, so you will need to re-establish your payees in Quicken Bill Manager. You can set up and try out Quicken Bill Manager in parallel with Bank of America Bill Pay to see if it meets your needs.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    Chris_QPW said:
    jrich75 said:
    My impression is that Quicken is pushing the termination of Direct Connect.  If so, USAA and Citi (my only other DC FIs) will not be far behind.  I expect that any form of bank direct bill pay through Quicken will go away as well.  
    I would state it differently.  The "industry" is pushing to go to Express Web Connect +.  Quicken Inc is certainly "in favor of it", but the main thrust comes from the financial institutions themselves.
    To get a feel for what I'm talking about look at the members of "The FDX Consortium".  Note that the FDX protocol is what Quicken is calling Express Web Connect +.  Also note, this just describes the connection between the aggregator (Intuit in this case) and the financial institution, not the full path back to Quicken Desktop.
    https://financialdataexchange.org/FDX/FDX/The-Consortium/Members.aspx

    Nice long list until you realize that there are more than 35,000 financial institutions in the US alone.
    I predict the same thing will happen that happened to Direct Connect, the majority of financial institutions will never adopt this new standard.  What's more this standard is not nearly as good because you have multiple players in the path to get the data.  With Direct Connect when there was a problem it was almost always the financial institution's fault.  Now you will never know if the problem is Quicken (the program), the Quicken servers, the Intuit servers or the financial institution's servers.
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  • Greg Brown
    Greg Brown Member ✭✭✭✭
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    I just saw the email. This is NOT good. I have many many payments going through BofA. ALL of them to be exact, and it's way more than 12. Wonder what the cost will be, over 12?? Currently BofA doesn't draft my account until the pay date I indicate. I suspect Quicken will draft account as soon as I initiate the payment. Man I didn't need this...

    Quicken Business and Personal-R56.9 Windows 11 PRO current on updates

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
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    I just saw the email. This is NOT good. I have many many payments going through BofA. ALL of them to be exact, and it's way more than 12. Wonder what the cost will be, over 12?? Currently BofA doesn't draft my account until the pay date I indicate. I suspect Quicken will draft account as soon as I initiate the payment. Man I didn't need this...
    Personally I wouldn't risk my credit score on the unreliable system they are calling Quicken Bill Manager, which uses a third party service to log into each biller's website to schedule payments.  I personally setup automatic payments at all of my biller's websites, but I'm an human that can deal with changes and understand any kind of fees or such, not a "script".  What's more I just set them up to pay the balance so I don't have to go into each site each month.  I have been doing this for more than 25 years without problems and most of them are taken out of my credit card account which not only means I get cash back from it, it also means I have at least 20 days to contest any charge.

    If you aren't going to do it the way I do it I suggest that you either do it on the financial institution's website or find another financial institution that will support Direct Connect/Bill Pay through it.  But If you look at the financial institutions jumping on this it that last alternative might be short lived.
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  • Greg Brown
    Greg Brown Member ✭✭✭✭
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    I hear ya, I used Quicken's Bill Pay back in the old days, and don't have fond memories of it. I thought about moving to a diff bank, but as you say that would be temporary and require some unwanted funding actions on my part. Since I have a little more than a month, I will probably set some accounts up to see how it goes. I also have the ability to pay them from my Bank of America online account, but that would also be a pain. It's VERY easy for me right now, I guess that's why they're changing.

    Quicken Business and Personal-R56.9 Windows 11 PRO current on updates

  • scott66
    scott66 Member ✭✭
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    This is clearly, "the end of an era" and the change is painful. It will take at least a month to cycle through all the vendors to whom we made payments through Quicken Direct Connect. Honestly, for the 25+ years I have been doing things this way, I never understood how or why anyone would do it any other way, as it was so convenient, and basically "free" in terms of subscriptions and in terms of errors. I never had any hacking issues in all this time! (The only one I ever had was via a fraudulent PayPal transaction.) Nevertheless, the transition begins now, and I plan to set it up the way Chris_QPW mentions above, i.e., set up the vendors to pay the balance due out of my credit card account whwere possible, and by direct from my B of A checking account where it is not possible. A little cash back may take the sting out of the transition.
    Speculation on my part is... the banks will slowly "absorb" the functionality so critical to Quicken users - mainly thinking about the reporting and accounting features - and they will charge mightily for that functionality in the future. All of which will herald the death of Quicken once and for all for all those except those who manage their investment accounts through it. Bye-bye Quicken... it has been a wonderful few decades.
    What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears... they just kill you.
  • denmarfl
    denmarfl Member ✭✭✭✭
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    Here's why I won't go with Direct Debit Bills from issuers' to my Credit card.  If you ever lose that Credit card (and I have), or a merchant where you used your Credit card gets hacked, your card was not impacted but to be safe the Bank closes your card (it has happened to me several times)...you must contact all the Companies that were Direct Debuting your Credit card to provide them with the New Credit card Number.  Did that once, and Terminated Direct Bill Pay. I know of NO Bank that will contact the Billers and update the Credit card Number.  

    Why would Quicken Support EWC+?  I know 1st hand from a Conversation I had with the president of a Bank where I discussed DirectConnect and EWC....that the Banks costs for EWC was much less than DirectConnect.  Actually the words said by the Bank President, I save a BUNCH of money by just providing EWC rather than Direct Connect. 

    I don't see this as a good thing for the future of Quicken. I wrote elsewhere, been using DirectConnect for 20 years...how nice was it to bank from one Piece of Software...thinking that if I want the benefits of Quickens Report I will need to do entry at bank Sites, manually enter Transactions in Quicken...and Pay for a Quicken Subscription for what I see is a less benefical Product. 

    Will research Wells Fargo and Truist who offer, for now, DirectConnect.  In my opinion from what I have read, this is a bank Industry Push, reasons 1) less Security Risks (No Uploads where a Security breach can be uploaded to a Bank 2) Money Savings; EWC+ less costly than DC  3)...looking furhter into the Future, getting customers to solely Bank online at the Banks Website...EWC+...eventually terminated as well. 
This discussion has been closed.