Is there a character limit for the <NAME> tag in the QFX file?

nhmartens Member ✭✭
I've been going around with my bank on an issue. I download my transactions into Quicken but I've got this one transaction where the description on my bank statement is truncated when it gets loaded into Quicken. The bank claims there is a limit to the number of characters allowed. Here's the entire text from the statement (ignore the quotes): "NOW Withdrawal Zelle To JACQUE DENNIS-JACKSON +1-800-877-80)" and this is what appears in the QFX file: "NOW Withdrawal Zelle To JACQUE ".

So, is the character limit on your side or is my bank doing it on their own? Do you have a work-around if the limit is on your side? I guess I could use the 'renaming rules' when uploading the file but I was hoping to avoid this.



  • NotACPA
    NotACPA SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    There's a 30 character limit, which you've reached, in the OFX spec.

    Q user since February, 1990. DOS Version 4
    Now running Quicken Windows Subscription, Business & Personal
    Retired "Certified Information Systems Auditor" & Bank Audit VP

  • mshiggins
    mshiggins SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @nhmartens, why would you want to avoid renaming rules? Renaming rules will normalize your payee names, making it easier to automatically categorize transactions and do reporting by payee. 

    Quicken user since Q1999. Currently using QW2017.
    Questions? Check out the Quicken Windows FAQ list

  • nhmartens
    nhmartens Member ✭✭
    Why is there such a ridiculously low limit? It's a text field, after all. And doesn't this tag map to the Payee column in the database? You allow a whole lot more than 30 characters in that column. If you have to impose a limit, why not make it the same length as the database? And sometimes, there may be multiple transactions that are actually different but have the first 30 characters in common.

    I've used renaming rules in the past so I know what they are and how to use them. I just resist adding unnecessary complexity to a simple process.
  • UKR
    UKR SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    There are two data fields available in Quicken registers: Downloaded Payee Name and Downloaded Memo.
    Add those to your 2-line register view, temporarily, to see what actually gets "seen" by Quicken.
    For creating new transactions from downloads, Quicken uses a concatenation of both fields.
    The bank should make use of both fields in a meaningful way, e.g.,
    • Payee Name = "To JACQUE DENNIS-JACKSON"
    • Memo Text = "Zelle NOW Withdrawal" (forget the phone number)
    It'll probably take an act of Congress to make the bank change their download programs ... but you can always ask them ...
    Meanwhile, one of these might help you get around the issue:
    • a Renaming Rule plus a correctly defined Memorized Payee List entry seems to be one way to make a proper Payee Name appear in your register
    • alternatively, manually record this transaction with desired Payee Name and Category BEFORE you download transactions from the bank. Quicken will match the downloaded data to the already existing register transaction giving you good results.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    nhmartens said:
    You allow a whole lot more than 30 characters in that column. If you have to impose a limit, why not make it the same length as the database? 
    First off let me state the limit is 32 characters even though it doesn't matter much.  Second this limitation isn't dictated by "you/Quicken or Quicken Inc", it is dictated by the OFX standard.  You don't violate standards just because you feel like it.

    And Quicken Inc didn't create your QFX file, your financial institution did, and they should be aware of the fact that the OFX standard has limitations and what they are and format the NAME field appropriately, but they choose not to.  On the other hand, their backend that generates the QFX file does do the right thing and truncate the field.  You can open up that QFX file in Notepad and see that the NAME field is truncated.  Even if Quicken Inc wanted to violate the OFX standard, they couldn't get the truncated characters back for you.

    And in fact, Quicken allows for 64 characters in the payee field when you manually enter it, but during the download they do adhere to the OFX standard and even if your financial institution didn't truncate it, Quicken would report it as a syntax error.

    So, it isn't even a matter of asking the financial institution to change the length, the OFX standard would have to be updated.
    On the other hand, the financial institution could stop putting useless information at the beginning of the payee's name, maybe moving it to the end, but good luck convincing them to do even that.
    This is my website:
  • nhmartens
    nhmartens Member ✭✭
    This makes infinitely more sense, now. And you're probably right that it would take an act of Congress to get the bank to agree. And I'll probably get the same response that our REAL congress is giving these days. LOL.

    Thank you.
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