Is Direct Connect Being Discontinued?

I recently received an email from Quicken indicating that my Bank of America (BofA) connection was being changed to provide a faster, more reliable one.  Since I've not been having issues with my connection, I didn't understand the need, but figured that the change would make it even better.

But, in reading the email, I learned that Express Web Connect (EWC) and Direct Connect services are being discontinued and replaced with EWC+.  As a Q’ user (with Bank of America) since 1994, I can’t think of another change (except maybe eliminating One Step update) that would have a greater negative impact on my use (and I suspect other Direct Connect users) of Quicken, because:

 Having a Direct Connection to the Bank:

  • Significantly minimizes the necessity of logging onto the Bank website.
  • Allows bill payments to be made directly in my Q’ date file checking account register by using the “Send” option in the “Check#” field.
  • Once the account is updated, I'm able to confirm the Bank’s receipt of the payment by viewing the Bank assigned check number (which has replaced “Send”) in the account register Check# field.  I'm also able to view the payment on the Bank's website, if desired.
  • I can transfer funds between my various accounts at the Bank, including loans, credit cards, savings and checking accounts all from the applicable registers in your Q’ data file – without ever going to the Bank website.
  • My Online Payee List, which contains over 80 entries, is in both my Q’ data file and on the Bank website.  I can modify it in either location and the changes will automatically show in the other.
  • I can use my Q’ data file Online Payee List at ALL Banks which offer Q’ Direct Connect w/Bill Pay.  No modifications are necessary to move between Banks.
  • In moving to Quicken Bill Pay, per Quicken’s email referenced above, I will have to recreate my 80 + entry list from scratch.  And it won’t be the same one as on the Bank’s website, which is another problem for me.
  • My Direct Connect w/Bill Pay service at Bank of America is free and has been since the beginning. If I moved to Quicken Bill Pay, my transactions are limited.

In recent conversations with Bank of America On-Line Tech support, I was told that they were not aware of any plans to eliminate Direct Connect, that change could only be coming from Quicken.  Further, the Bank has never sent any notification of such a change to me.

My daughter, also a Q’ lover and user, called Truist Bank about the status of Direct Connect with their bank.  They indicated that they have no plans to discontinue Direct Connect as it has a large body of users, and the group is expanding as Q’ users were moving from other banks to keep their Direct Connect services.

While I’m an advocate for continual improvement, I also believe in the adage: “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.” 

I am hoping that other members of the Quicken Community will share their experiences with Direct Connect and request that it be retained at Bank of America and remain a connection option at all Banks.

Comments

  • Ps56k2
    Ps56k2 SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just browse thru all the recent CHASE migration postings - going on now. 
    Yes, it would appear that financial institutions are moving away from DC to EWC+ … like Schwab, Chase, etc 
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    FlyerFran said:

    I am hoping that other members of the Quicken Community will share their experiences with Direct Connect and request that it be retained at Bank of America and remain a connection option at all Banks.

    Note that people have to talk to Bank of America.  It is the financial institution that decides, not Quicken Inc.

    As for your questions, with the exception of this question:
    • Significantly minimizes the necessity of logging onto the Bank website.
    You are going to be negatively impacted on all the rest.

    See my discussion on the different systems:
    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7916268/my-explanation-of-the-different-term-services-that-quicken-has-provides-and-provided-in-the-past

    Also note I'm not 100%, but I think even if you move to another financial institution that uses Direct Connect and has bill pay through it, I don't think your online payees will carry over.  In this setup Quicken is really more like being a GUI for the financial institution's bill pay system.  As such, the new financial institution wouldn't have your list of online billers, and I sort of doubt that Quicken is good enough to sync what it has from Bank of America to the other financial institution.

    At any rate you will definitely not be able to use them with Express Web Connect + and Quicken Bill Manager.  And even though Quicken Inc has said they will make it free for a while it has limits on that and how long they will make it free.  And it has no transfers, and it has no "send" that lets you see the status in the register.

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Also,  You may believe in this statement:
    FlyerFran said:

     “if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.”

    But the world doesn't.  Or more precisely in this case, Bank of America does believe that they are fixing something that is broken.  That just doesn't line up with what you want.
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  • Dennis@1
    [email protected] Member ✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:


    Also note I'm not 100%, but I think even if you move to another financial institution that uses Direct Connect and has bill pay through it, I don't think your online payees will carry over.  In this setup Quicken is really more like being a GUI for the financial institution's bill pay system.  As such, the new financial institution wouldn't have your list of online billers, and I sort of doubt that Quicken is good enough to sync what it has from Bank of America to the other financial institution.

    Several years ago I switched from Union Bank to Chase, both with Direct Connect, and my online payees carried over just fine. This tells me that they do reside in Quicken also. I don't understand why they aren't able to carry over into Quicken Bill Manager as well.
  • FlyerFran
    FlyerFran Windows Beta Beta
    @Ps56k2 - not sure the banks are driving this.  BofA for one had nothing to do with making the change, and as I wrote above knew nothing about it.
    @Chris_QPW, I appreciate your detailed response and particularly your discussion on "Different Terms of Service."  seems that your response confirms that I will be negatively impacted w/o Direct Connect and your discussion does a great job of explaining why all the options to Direct Connect for Bill Pay are flawed.   
    @[email protected], thanks for sharing your positive experience in transferring online payees between banks.  Glad to know that it worked for someone else
  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    FlyerFran said:
    @Ps56k2 - not sure the banks are driving this.  BofA for one had nothing to do with making the change, and as I wrote above knew nothing about it.
    BoA stopped offering Direct Connect to new customers years ago, and they are one of the many banks participating in developing this new standard. I have no trouble believing that the customer service rep you talked to knew nothing about it (and was all too willing to throw Quicken under the bus to get you off the phone) but the idea that BoA as an organization had "nothing to do with it" simply isn't true. 

    And your earlier implication that Direct Connect is an option at all banks has never been true. Currently less than 10% of the institutions that Quicken Mac can connect to support Direct Connect, and of those only a third support Bill Pay. It's just never been very popular with banks.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Chris_QPW said:


    Also note I'm not 100%, but I think even if you move to another financial institution that uses Direct Connect and has bill pay through it, I don't think your online payees will carry over.  In this setup Quicken is really more like being a GUI for the financial institution's bill pay system.  As such, the new financial institution wouldn't have your list of online billers, and I sort of doubt that Quicken is good enough to sync what it has from Bank of America to the other financial institution.

    Several years ago I switched from Union Bank to Chase, both with Direct Connect, and my online payees carried over just fine. This tells me that they do reside in Quicken also. I don't understand why they aren't able to carry over into Quicken Bill Manager as well.
    Thanks for clearing this up.  I didn't really explain what Quicken is doing clear enough.

    It isn't totally just the GUI, it does play that part, but yes it does keep copies of the payees in Quicken. What was really in doubt for me was if Quicken's copy of the payees had enough information in them to re-establish them on the new financial institution.

    So, I should have really said it is a GUI with the ability to sync the payees and status information back and forth, and that I wasn't sure what it could sync to the new financial institution.

    And as for you contacting BofA and them telling you that they have nothing to do with the change, all that proves is that you can't trust their support people.

    There is no way in this world that Quicken Inc or Intuit for that matter can dictate to a financial institution to do anything.  If they could we would all have Direct Connect now on all our financial institutions.

    To be sure Quicken Inc/Intuit are "onboard" with the change, but they don't decide if and when it will happen. That is entirely up to the financial institution.
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  • FlyerFran
    FlyerFran Windows Beta Beta
    I'd want to emphasis that my intention for this post is to find out if Quicken is planning to discontinue Direct Connect at all banks.  In case they are, I'm requesting comments and Up-Votes for keeping it.  

    So, Direct Connect users or users who might want it (see above reasons) please comment and Vote!

    Finally, since no news is not always good news, it seems pretty certain that I'm losing my BofA Direct Connect service, I've set up a checking account at TD Bank, because:

    • I get all the Direct Connect benefits as described above
    • They offer Direct Connect with Bill Pay at no Charge
    • Their Tech Support Dept. fully supports Quicken
    • The Online Payee List in my Q' data file works with TD Bank.  So far, I've sent a payment using one of my Q' Online Payees and when updated the payment was shown on the bank website.  I also sent a payment (with a new Payee) from the bank website and when updated the payment showed as "Sent" in my Quicken Register and the new payee was added to my Q' Online Payee list.     
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    The banks are driving this change, and TD is among them, so don't count on having Direct Connect there indefinitely. Read up on the Financial Data Exchange.

    https://financialdataexchange.org/FDX/FDX/About/About-FDX.aspx 

    https://financialdataexchange.org/FDX/FDX/The-Consortium/Members.aspx 
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    FlyerFran said:
    In case they are, I'm requesting comments and Up-Votes for keeping it.     
    People can only vote if you submit it as an Idea.  To do that go to the Home page and select New Post -> New Idea.

    My take on this is that Quicken Inc isn't the one driving this and as such can't really predict the future, and in fact no one can.  It is the financial institutions that decide if they want to use a given connection type or not.  As such the only people MIGHT be able to tell you what is going to happen for a given financial institution is that financial institution.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 18
    BTW if you are leaving a financial institution because they are dropping Direct Connect I suggest that you tell them why you are leaving.  It is also a good idea to tell the financial institution that you go to why you changed to them.  Money/customers are really the "deciding factor".
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  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    There is absolutely no point in voting on this. It is not under Quicken's control.
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  • FlyerFran
    FlyerFran Windows Beta Beta
    @Rocket J Squirrel can you please tell me how to find the articles on Direct Connect in the 2 links you sent.  Thanks.  BTW in countless conversations this week with numerous tech support, customer assistance personnel and managers at TD Bank they're telling me they have no thoughts of discontinuing DC.  They, like Truist, are saying that people are coming to their banks because of Direct Connect.

    @[email protected]_QPW -- agree, I did tell BofA and TD Bank why I was moving.  Thanks for the info on how to get the Vote Button to work.  I've been trying to figure that out for a while.




  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @FlyerFran customer support reps are often the last to know anything. You can see from the FDX Consortium link that TD Bank is a "sustaining member" of FDX. This suggests, at least to me, that they will transition from OFX (Direct Connect) to FDX (EWC+). But we have no idea when.
    I just learned something interesting: in 2019, OFX merged into FDX and apparently continues to exist as a sub-group. See this page about OFX on the FDX site . So maybe there's hope, or maybe this is an indication that the OFX API will be subsumed by the FDX API. Like you, I'd strongly prefer DC and would like to see banks continue using OFX. But it doesn't sound likely from what the FDX says:
    FDX is a non-profit industry standards body operating in the US and Canada that is dedicated to unifying the financial services ecosystem around a common, interoperable and royalty-free technical standard for user-permissioned financial data sharing, aptly named the FDX API.

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  • Jon
    Jon SuperUser, Mac Beta Beta
    It's possible that TD Bank will keep DC around if they think it's winning them customers they otherwise wouldn't get. I might be tempted to open an account if they had any branches near me but they're all out on the east coast, and a brick & mortar bank just isn't very appealing without the brick & mortar.
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  • ricklynchcore
    ricklynchcore Member ✭✭
    Trying to understand the upcoming Sept 26 change. I went through the reauthorization that ended up reauthorizing my accounts by downloading messed up duplicates of my accounts. I deleted those accounts. Chase sees me as reauthorized, however I keep getting the notice to reauthorize every time I download. Question, is direct connect downloads of Chase accounts going away, or just direct connect bill paying which I dont use????
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Direct Connect is going away, not just paying bills through it.
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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @FlyerFran customer support reps are often the last to know anything. You can see from the FDX Consortium link that TD Bank is a "sustaining member" of FDX. This suggests, at least to me, that they will transition from OFX (Direct Connect) to FDX (EWC+). But we have no idea when.
    I just learned something interesting: in 2019, OFX merged into FDX and apparently continues to exist as a sub-group. See this page about OFX on the FDX site . So maybe there's hope, or maybe this is an indication that the OFX API will be subsumed by the FDX API. Like you, I'd strongly prefer DC and would like to see banks continue using OFX. But it doesn't sound likely from what the FDX says:
    FDX is a non-profit industry standards body operating in the US and Canada that is dedicated to unifying the financial services ecosystem around a common, interoperable and royalty-free technical standard for user-permissioned financial data sharing, aptly named the FDX API.

    Here is what their FAQ has to say on the subject:

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  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    BTW if anyone is interested in find the OFX web page at the FDX site, here is the direct link:
    https://financialdataexchange.org/OFX
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