Quicken Bill Pay enrollment

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Comments

  • SnowmanSnowman Member
    edited December 2018

    Thanks Mike.  I respect your experience and your comments.  I have a few minor dissatisfactions with Quicken, aside from the QBP issue.  (1) One is:  When I download from my 529 account, each time it makes me go security-by-security and accept each transaction (even if I initially hit "accept all"); then I have to elect, on some of them, average cost or FIFO.  I wish I could just select average cost for all the securities, and also be able to simply hit "accept all" and be done.  Wish Quicken could implement that.  (2) Another is:  I've noticed that after doing One-step Update, after I accept transactions on one account and then select the next account to review the new transactions there, sometimes the program seems to spontaneously hop out of the next account and go back to the one I just finished.  Wish Quicken could fix that.  I've told them about both of these things.  (3) Another issue is that when I do a search and find a list of transactions for that search, I wish that I could download those into an Excel spreadsheet, but it seems impossible or very difficult to do so.  It'd be great if they can fix that.  I am not a techie like you, but I am a detail person...

    However, I can live with these minor dissatisfactions, and am generally happy with Quicken.  They basically force you to upgrade every year, even though I'm not sure there is that much incremental change to the program.  But this just makes it like a subscription model, like Microsoft Office 365 went to several years ago.  If this is just life in the 21st century, then I'll just live with it.

    Sounds like a good plan. 
  • edited December 2018

    Thanks Mike.  I respect your experience and your comments.  I have a few minor dissatisfactions with Quicken, aside from the QBP issue.  (1) One is:  When I download from my 529 account, each time it makes me go security-by-security and accept each transaction (even if I initially hit "accept all"); then I have to elect, on some of them, average cost or FIFO.  I wish I could just select average cost for all the securities, and also be able to simply hit "accept all" and be done.  Wish Quicken could implement that.  (2) Another is:  I've noticed that after doing One-step Update, after I accept transactions on one account and then select the next account to review the new transactions there, sometimes the program seems to spontaneously hop out of the next account and go back to the one I just finished.  Wish Quicken could fix that.  I've told them about both of these things.  (3) Another issue is that when I do a search and find a list of transactions for that search, I wish that I could download those into an Excel spreadsheet, but it seems impossible or very difficult to do so.  It'd be great if they can fix that.  I am not a techie like you, but I am a detail person...

    However, I can live with these minor dissatisfactions, and am generally happy with Quicken.  They basically force you to upgrade every year, even though I'm not sure there is that much incremental change to the program.  But this just makes it like a subscription model, like Microsoft Office 365 went to several years ago.  If this is just life in the 21st century, then I'll just live with it.

    Thanks!!
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser
    edited December 2018

    OK, I take your points.  But do you use QBP?  Does it work well for you?  How long have you used it?  Is it worth it for me to stick this out, or should I just forget it?  Thanks.

    David, the moderators of this site (paid for by Quicken) will not allow discussions of the merits of various competitors to Quicken. You'll have to search elsewhere on the Internet for that.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • edited December 2018

    Thanks Mike.  I respect your experience and your comments.  I have a few minor dissatisfactions with Quicken, aside from the QBP issue.  (1) One is:  When I download from my 529 account, each time it makes me go security-by-security and accept each transaction (even if I initially hit "accept all"); then I have to elect, on some of them, average cost or FIFO.  I wish I could just select average cost for all the securities, and also be able to simply hit "accept all" and be done.  Wish Quicken could implement that.  (2) Another is:  I've noticed that after doing One-step Update, after I accept transactions on one account and then select the next account to review the new transactions there, sometimes the program seems to spontaneously hop out of the next account and go back to the one I just finished.  Wish Quicken could fix that.  I've told them about both of these things.  (3) Another issue is that when I do a search and find a list of transactions for that search, I wish that I could download those into an Excel spreadsheet, but it seems impossible or very difficult to do so.  It'd be great if they can fix that.  I am not a techie like you, but I am a detail person...

    However, I can live with these minor dissatisfactions, and am generally happy with Quicken.  They basically force you to upgrade every year, even though I'm not sure there is that much incremental change to the program.  But this just makes it like a subscription model, like Microsoft Office 365 went to several years ago.  If this is just life in the 21st century, then I'll just live with it.

    OK, thanks, that is understandable.  I've looked at some other services, but have not yet found any that I like as much as Quicken.  I do wish, given the comments in this thread, that Quicken would give its customers some reassurance about the longer term future of QBP, i.e., that they will support and improve it.
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    OK, I take your points.  But do you use QBP?  Does it work well for you?  How long have you used it?  Is it worth it for me to stick this out, or should I just forget it?  Thanks.

    I think something might have gotten missed here:

    There are many alternatives to QBP, better, faster and more reliable.  In all probability in 2020 it will be dropped.
    Can you name some of these alternatives and rank them?

    I assume David that you want to stay with Quicken?

    Well if that is the case you as the end user can't choose from the "many alternatives", only Quicken Inc can do that.

    Certainly anyone can pick to use a bill pay system outside of Quicken.  I'm sure your financial institution even provides one.

    The whole point here though isn't to just use a bill pay system, it is to use one integrated into Quicken.  For that you can't pick and choose.

    There are only two choices, Direct Connect which leverages the OFX protocol to talk directly to the financial institution and leverage their bill pay system.

    The financial institution has to support both Direct Connect and bill pay through it.  And there might be a charge for it.

    The other choice is "Quicken" Bill Pay, which of course the one provided by Metavante.

    And as a "customer" of the Metavante service Quicken Inc is most likely "complaining" to them when the Quicken customers complain to them enough, but there is just so much Quicken Inc as a "customer" can do, just as there is only so much you can do.

    Yes they can drop the service and get another one, but that is far from easy.

    If you think of this, if Metavante had "conformed" to Quicken they could have just provided an OFX server and it would operate just like any other financial institution that provides this bill pay through Quicken.

    Clearly though Quicken Bill Pay is instead "conforming" to what Metavante wants (use their APIs to send and receive requests)

    So if they choose to drop Metavante they will most likely have quite a bit of work to change over to some other services API/interface.  And there isn't any guarantee that other service will be that much better.

    BTW if I just judged on the comments I have read in this forum, which is really all I can do since I don't use the service, Metavante certainly sounds like a terrible company.

    On the other hand I see people posting "I have been using Quicken Bill Pay (which is Metavante)" for 15 years without problems.  So clearly they have provided good service to some people, at least in the past.  So it is very hard to judge base mostly on only the "bad comments" that you get in such a forum.
  • edited December 2018

    OK, I take your points.  But do you use QBP?  Does it work well for you?  How long have you used it?  Is it worth it for me to stick this out, or should I just forget it?  Thanks.

    Thanks QPW, for these helpful comments.  This leaves me still in a quandary about whether to use QBP.  But your details are helpful from a technical standpoint.  I guess it would have been much better if Quicken had asked Metavante to conform to Quicken as you put it, rather than the other way around.  If that had happened, Quicken could have asked Metavante to "provide a an OFX server and it would operate just like any other financial institution that provides this bill pay through Quicken."  I assume that would mean Quicken and QBP would be using Direct Connect, just like some banks do, if I understand you correctly.

    Then you say "Clearly though Quicken Bill Pay is instead "conforming" to what Metavante wants (use their APIs to send and receive requests)."  I just looked up "API" which refers to Application Program Interface.  But I'll confess, I do not understand what this means in this context.  Is Direct Connect an API, too?  

    I have the same question about OFX.  I read that "Open Financial Exchange (OFXis a freely-licensed unified specification for the electronic exchange of financial data through the Internet, and between or among financial institutions, businesses and customers. OFX is not a financial institution."  But I am still not sure how it applies here.  Is Direct Connect an OFX?

    Further explanation would be helpful.
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    OK, I take your points.  But do you use QBP?  Does it work well for you?  How long have you used it?  Is it worth it for me to stick this out, or should I just forget it?  Thanks.

    I assume that would mean Quicken and QBP would be using Direct Connect, just like some banks do, if I understand you correctly.
    That is correct.

    I have the same question about OFX.  I read that "Open Financial Exchange (OFXis a
    freely-licensed unified specification for the electronic exchange of
    financial data through the Internet, and between or among financial
    institutions, businesses and customers. OFX is not a financial institution."  But I am still not sure how it applies here.  Is Direct Connect an OFX?
    Yes and no.  :-)

    The history goes like this.  Intuit, Microsoft and CheckFree got with the "financial institutions (actually just the bigger ones)" and the result was the creation of the OFX standard, which is an open standard.

    Then right after that Intuit add a few fields to that standard, and called it QFX.
    The fields they added were to identify the financial institution, and the main use of that information is to "check if they are a participating partner".  In other words ones that have a support contract with Intuit.  This is one of the money streams that Intuit used to pay for all of this (and make a profit of course).
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Update - today I got the two micro-deposits.  So now it is "crunch time" should I go ahead and activate QBP and at the same time de-activate my SunTrust "PC Banking and Bill Pay which uses Direct Connect (I'd also have to tell SunTrust to stop billing me $9.95 per month for it)?  I guess there is no harm in trying out QBP; if it ends up not working well, I could always ask SunTrust to re-start their Direct Connect service.  If QBP does end up working well for me, then I'd be saving that monthly fee which was my motivation for going into this whole upgrade to Premier and get QBP free.  So I think I will try it.  This might be my last post - if QBP works well for me.
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    David, It's not an all-or-nothing situation. If you wish, continue your SunTrust service for the next month or two, and continue having them pay some of your bills -- but move one or two over to QBP to see if it works to your satisfaction. If you're satisfied after a couple months, then move the rest of your payments over and discontinue your SunTrust service.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • DanRDanR Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    I stopped using QBP due to lots of small issues, but also have the ability to pay bills with direct connect through BofA and PNC.  From what I recall, I wasn't able to use QBP and the bank's BP concurrently.  I could use QBP for one bank and use a different bank's BP through direct connect, but not QBP and direct connect BP at the same bank.
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Thanks jacobs and DanR!  Here is the scoop:  After spending several hours today, I got my QBP account all set up and activated, including confirming the two micro-deposits.  But QBP said that in order to use QBP I had to call Quicken and get disconnected from my bank's Direct Connect service, and then call my bank to cancel the service and monthly charge. 

    So I called Quicken but they warned me that if I disconnected from Direct Connect, I could use QBP to make payments from within Quicken, but unless my bank had "EXPRESS Web Connect" I would not be able to download transactions from my bank into Quicken (so would have to go to the bank's website to see them).  They said to check with my bank to see if they have Express Web Connect before disconnecting from Direct Connect. 

    So Quicken has three different types of electronic banking service:  (1) Direct Connect (full featured, works great); (2) Web Connect (not full-featured, doesn't meet my needs, based on past experience at a credit union); (3) Express Web Connect (said to to enable downloading transactions from bank into Quicken) and thus, combined with QBP would result in the same services I now pay monthly for with Direct Connect from my bank.

    So I called my bank, and was told that they DO NOT Offer Express Web Connect.  So that means that the only way to keep the electronic banking service level that I have now is to keep on paying my bank its monthly fee and keep Direct Connect through my bank.  That means not using the QBP account, that I laboriously set up, at all!

    I told the Quicken rep, who remembered me from when I upgraded to Premier a few weeks ago, that I thought that Quicken, in offering free QBP, should have told me that I would lose the ability to download transactions unless my bank had Express Web Connect.  He said well, some banks have EWC and some don't.  

    So, I guess I've come to the end of the road.  I will have to stick with my bank, pay their monthly fee for "PC Banking and Bill Pay" which uses Direct Connect, and not use my QBP account for anything.  It's been a very long and difficult learning experience.  I wish Quicken, in its offer of Premier, had clarified this limitation of QBP with certain banks and given a stronger warning both in the marketing of the upgrade to Premier and, again, when I called to upgrade to Premier.  What a huge waste of my time.  I'm not a very happy camper right now.

      
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Well that is news to me (about Quicken Bill Pay not being compatible with Direct Connect).  Learned something new, I don't think I have every heard anyone else mention this.  The more I hear about Quicken Bill Pay the less I like it (not that I would use it anyways!)
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    I’m also surprised. So surprised i’d Consider calling back on Monday and seeing if you get the same answer (although I would understand if you’re fed up enough that you just want to be done.)


    It doesn’t make sense to me that Quicken would offer a “premium” bill pay service which requires users to give up being able to download transactions. And like QPW, because I’ve never heard complaints about this before, I’m a little skeptical whether you got correct information.
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    I agree with Jacobs and occurs to me there is one thing that I have heard in the past, that you can't have two bill pay services setup for the same account at the same time.  So turning off the other does sound "right", but not the part about Direct Connect in fact if I go to an account that is setup for Direct Connect, but doesn't have the option to pay bills through Quicken, there is a button to turn on Quicken Bill Pay.
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  • SimonSezSoSimonSezSo Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    David Kosterlitz
    The answer you got defies logic.  If Direct Connect is required for you to use a bank's bill pay though Quicken, you would think that that would also be a requirement for QBP.

    But I think you would be ok, nevertheless, because I have a feeling your bank doesn't support EWC for Investment Accounts (which is not uncommon).  But I really think they would support EWC for your spending accounts, and  I think QBP support is saying you need to switch only your spending accounts to EWC, not your investment accounts.  So your investment accounts can remain with DC.

    Also, I think banks that require DC for investment accounts don't charge a fee.  So if you keep DC for your investment accounts, but switch to EWC for your spending accounts, and stop your bank's bill pay, you will no longer have a monthly fee for either DC or bill pay from your bank.
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    you would think that that would also be a requirement for QBP
    Quicken Bill Pay doesn't require Direct Connect, it is one of its "appealing features", the very fact that you can use it with accounts that don't have Direct Connect/Bill pay through Quicken to the financial institution.

    It would have been so nice if the way Quicken Bill Payee worked is if they just setup an OFX/QFX server and had Quicken connect to it.  But they didn't instead Quicken had to put in some kind interface to deal with Quicken Bill Payee, most likely using APIs that they provided.  And it seems that that somehow tied in with Express Web Connect, but I don't know the details.
    I have a feeling your bank doesn't support EWC for Investment Accounts (which is not uncommon).
    No financial institution supports investment accounts using Express Web Connect because Express Web Connect doesn't support investment accounts.  All investment accounts have to be downloaded using either Direct Connect or Web Connect (QFX file) or QIF file (and of course this last one is discouraged and not available on Mac)

    As for fees at financial institutions of Direct Connect and bill pay through Quicken to the financial institution.  Some provide both services and charge nothing.  Some will provide Direct Connect for free, but charge for the bill pay through Quicken.  Some it is a "package".  As in say they might have Express Web Connect for free, but you can get Direct Connect and Bill Pay for a fee, but you can't get just Direct Connect for free/lower price.

    And if I'm not mistaken this is all about bank accounts not investment accounts.

    It isn't impossible for a financial institution to offer Direct Connect, but not Express Web Connect.  In fact Chase just dropped Express Web Connect, but still offers Direct Connect to personal accounts for free (I think they offer bill pay through Quicken for free too).  Most likely they did it because all the complaints they have gotten over the years from trying to maintain Express Web Connect.
  • SimonSezSoSimonSezSo Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Thanks QPW .  No matter what, seems like a convoluted process.  It also looks like from David Kosterlitz 's experience, Quicken and Metavante don't have coordinated process in place to fully support QBP.  I think the problem is that the margin for this service is so thin and getting resources to handle volume and issues is just not there.
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Thanks, SimonSezSo, jacobs, and QPW.  To clarify, I am only talking about my SunTrust Bank checking account (my only checking account).  All my other accounts in my Quicken "Account List" are not at SunTrust, are saving, credit card or brokerage accounts, not used to pay bills in Quicken software, and download transactions to Quicken without any charge.

    The analysis must separate (1) bill paying from (2) downloading transactions.  Banks connect to Quicken software through DC, WC or EWC, but if you have QBP there is some entirely separate, fourth connection method, different from those three.  Interestingly, the list of financial institutions that connect to Quicken has only two columns for connection method, labeled WC and DC; no mention of EWC (why not?)  Who owns these connection services?  It would be nice if there was a paper describing all four of these connection services and the differences between them (let me know if you know of one).  Quicken really should provide that explanation.

    When I use  my checking account register in Quicken I can pay bills online and download transactions because I signed up for SunTrust's "PC Banking and Bill Pay" (PCBBP) at $9.95 per month.  PCBBP connects to Quicken using DC.  Apparently SunTrust pays somebody (who?; under a license?) for the ability to use DC,  which enables both (1) bill paying and (2) downloading transactions. 

    For a bank account, you can only have one connection method (DC, WC, EWC or QBP) at a time.  But if I disconnect my checking account's DC, and substitute QBP, that enables only (1) bill paying (not through DC, WC, or EWC and I've not been told how), but QBP does not enable (2) downloading transactions.  For that, my bank, SunTrust, would have to offer EWC (but SunTrust does not offer EWC). 

    For those who said I must have been given incorrect information by Quicken, I would like to know what is the correct information.  I can't speak to the issue of profit margins, but my sense is that the provider of WC charges banks less than the provider of DC does.  I've been satisfied with DC.  From past experience at a credit union, I know that WC has limitations that make it unable to satisfy my needs.  I don't think I've ever used EWC.  And the "fourth method" or "mystery method" that QBP uses to enable bill paying in Quicken would not meet my needs because it does not enable me download transactions since my bank does not offer EWC. 

          
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Here is a document on the connection methods:
    https://www.quicken.com/support/how-quicken-connects-your-bank

    Quicken Inc pays Intuit for these services.  And Intuit charges the financial institutions for Direct Connect and Web Connect support.

    The "aggregator server" for Express Web Connect where your transactions a stored until Quicken can pick them up during One Step Update, are Intuit servers.  Intuit controls/maintains all the "scripts" that log into the financial institution's websites to get the transactions.

    On the question about not being able to use Direct Connect to download the transactions if you are also using Quicken Bill Pay on that same account.

    Lets just say that we doubt it, but don't know for sure.  That is why the suggestion was to check again, and see if another Quicken Support person can confirm it.  Quicken Support people have been known to give out wrong information at times.

    On the connection methods.  You will notice that the article talks about downloading transactions and paying bill through Direct Connect.  It doesn't mention Quicken Bill Pay.

    Frankly what I think is that Quicken Bill Pay isn't a "connection method".

    If you look at the Online Services tab in account details you will see you have the connection method, and then below it you have whether you are using bill pay through your financial institution or if you are using Quicken Bill Pay, or if you are using nothing.

    So bill pay through your financial institution isn't a "connection method", the connection method in that case is Direct Connect.

    It is possible that Quicken Bill Pay has to go through the Express Web Connect connection method, but I think that is unlikely.  That would mean that Quicken goes through Intuit severs to get to Metavante servers.  I think it is much more likely that Quicken goes directly to Metavante through some API they have provided.

    That is why it has always been my belief that how you connect to your financial institution to get transactions is completely separate from how you would connect and use Quicken Bill Pay.  Quicken Bill Pay works by using ACH transfers to/from your bank account.

    But now that you mention the you are with SunTrust Bank I don't see why they say Express Web Connect isn't available.  Quicken thinks it is.

    If start the Add Account process, select Advanced Setup, Type in SunTrust Bank, Next.  It shows all three connection methods.

    This is also shown in the fidir.txt file which Quicken uses for this purpose:
    02801    02801    02801    SunTrust Bank    http://www.suntrust.com    1-800-382-3232    https://www.suntrust.com/microsites/PCBankingEnrollment/PCBanking/Agreement.aspx    ACTIVE    BANKING,PAYMENT,CREDIT,ACCOUNTINFO&DIRECT    BANKING,CREDIT&WEB-CONNECT         BANKING,CREDIT,ACCOUNTINFO&EXP-WEB-CONNECT    NOT_QBP    NA

    You can find the fidir.txt file in folders under:
    C:\ProgramData\Quicken\Inet\Common\Localweb\Banklist
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Wow, thanks QPW!  I read it once, but will have to read it again to try to understand it. 

    Why does life have to be so complicated?  Isn't it someone's duty (Quicken, Intuit, Metavante, the banks, or the government) to make sure that consumers have access to clear disclosure of what's what in electronic banking and bill payment?  There is a truth in lending law where an APR or APY must be stated.  Why is there no truth in electronic banking and bill pay law, where transmission methods, fees from banks to service providers (like Intuit or Metavante), bank charges to consumers for online banking and bill payment are stated on the same basis if calculation so that consumers can compare their options?  Should government agencies such as the FDIC, NCUA, CFPB, Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury Department, FTC or others start a program?  Should Congress legislate better disclosure? 

    You, and to a lesser extent, I are techies, or detail persons, digging into the weeds on this matter, but think about most people who likely lack the time or inclination.  Who is looking out for their interests?    

    But back to technical details.  You say that QBP uses ACH transfers.  That means Automated Clearing House.  I believe that ACH is a method by which banks transfer funds to each other.  If QBP uses ACH (and not DC, WC, or EWC) is ACH the "fourth" transmission service?  Who owns ACH?  What are the fees that banks are charged for using it?  Is QBP a "bank"?  Or at least functioning like one for ACH purposes?

    I really appreciate your attempt to educate me.  But I am still confused.  I already knew that my bank's "bill pay" service is not a connection method and that instead the method is DC.  That's why my bank charges me $9.95 per month, to have the use of DC.  If I want to stop that monthly charge, I will have to disconnect my checking account from DC.  DC is not free at my bank.  So, assuming I disconnected from DC, what I was trying to do was to duplicate the bill paying and transaction downloading that I have now with DC, but using some different transmission method. 

    By telephone, Quicken told me that QBP can duplicate the bill payment piece of the service (without any charge), but not the transaction download piece.  So QBP would give me half of what I have now.  But how would I get transaction downloads into Quicken when I'd be terminating DC, my bank does not have EWC, and WC is worthless to me?  Or are you saying that I am paying my bank only for bill payment software and that I would get to keep DC even if I stop their paid PCCBP service?  I doubt that is the case... but what do I know?  Or are you saying that because QBP uses ACH, that I will be able to get the download of transactions through ACH?  That seems doubtful as described below.  

    ACH transmits payments (money), but downloading transactions does not involve paying money, only transmitting my banks records of my account to my Quicken software so I can update it.  Does that distinction make any difference? 

    Oy!!!!!  
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    OK I think I'm getting a better picture of this and basically Quicken support is correct.

    Like I said before if and how a financial institution charges for Direct Connect is up to them.  In your case is sounds like if "You want Direct Connect your pay $9.95 per month, and can choose to use the bill pay through Quicken or not, but that doesn't change the cost."

    Given that it wouldn't make any sense to keep Direct Connect and get Quicken Bill Pay.  You wouldn't want to pay twice for the same basic service.

    If Direct Connect (but not bill pay through Quicken) was free it would be a different story.

    So to "make this work" as in reduce your costs you would have to go to Express Web Connect to download your transactions.  You said that Suntrust said they don't support Express Web Connect, but Quicken (the program) is telling me different.  It lists Express Web Connect being available for SunTrust bank.  It might be that the support person at SunTrust is wrong on this.  Often times this is the case since this happens way in the "background" and you have to get to the right person before they really know.

    But there is yet another possible problem.  As far as I know you can't mix Direct Connect and Express Web Connect accounts in Quicken using the same username.
    So that would probably mean all of your other banking accounts have to go to Express Web Connect too.

    Now on how Quicken Bill Pay works.  Metavante runs a bill paying system.
    Quicken is basically just going to be connecting to that bill paying system and be the "GUI" for it.  It sends and receives requests and results from it.

    That bill system is going to need you to fund it.  Metavante is registered as a financial institution.  As such it can setup to do transfers from your financial institution to their system to pay your bills.  And of course they use the US standard for doing that, a ACH transfer.  Whenever you do a transfer from one financial institution to another it is either a ACH transfer or a wire transfer.

    You can read more about it here:
    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/ach.asp

    Now on all the complications and who's responsibility is this or that.
    In one way I guess you can say that it the price of freedom.

    Our government hasn't chosen to regulate any of this.
    There isn't any government requirement of financial institutions to support any given system.  Interesting enough in the EU a couple of years ago they put in a requirement that their financial institutions support one or both of two systems for downloading transactions into personal finance software, which of course can also be used for financial institutions to consolidate accounts from another financial institution.

    And when you have over 35,000 financial institutions in the US alone with no standards, yes you get a mess.

    And note Express Web Connect isn't a standard.  Not only in the sense that no standard board "sees over it" or has published anything about how it works, it is also known not to have any kind of standards protocol.

    Express Web Connect can be summarized as nothing more than an agreement between Intuit and the financial institution on how to transfer the transactions from the financial institution's website to the Intuit servers.  And that agreement can be different for every financial institution.  Of course Intuit probably pushes to try to get them to give them the information in maybe just a few different possible formats.  But there is even a bigger problem, and that is just how to log in.  It is extremely clear that the financial institutions each want Intuit to log in using their log in system (which they might change tomorrow) and to play like they are the user.  Note that Express Web Connect was designed to run once a day at night, not an interactive system.

    The only thing that probably keeps some of this together is that a lot of the smaller financial institutions actually farm out this work to a third party.  And Intuit can deal with that provider, and as such get setup for multiple financial institutions at a time.

    Direct Connect/OFX on the other had is a standardized protocol.  But it hasn't been adopted by all financial institutions. In fact at its height it supported about 4,500 financial institutions, that number is down to about 2,500 now.

    It requires special software (and people to support it), and Intuit is charging for supporting it too.

    And of course these days the financial institutions have their own offerings and percentage wise Quicken users a small percentage.  And Quicken users don't like to pay the financial institutions for this service.

    Intuit doesn't charge for Express Web Connect, and for the most part the financial institutions don't have to run special software and such.

    I'm sure the reason Intuit doesn't charge for Express Web Connect is the same reason that Microsoft didn't charge for their "Direct Connect/OFX", they couldn't.

    In other words to "break into market" Microsoft choose not to charge anything, and the same would have been true for Intuit to try to expand to more financial institutions.
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Wow again QPW!  I really appreciate this further detail and info.  It seems the farther I get into this subject, the more complications arise.  Can you tell me where Quicken says that SunTrust Bank has EWC?  

    Here is my sense of things, bigger picture wise, non-technical, but practical.  DC is the fully-featured, fully-functional, most robust and best connection.  WC is not full-featured, and may cost less at some banks, but does not meet my needs.  EWC I have never tried, but I am suspecting that it is not as robust, fully-featured and reliable as DC. 

    So I look at DC as the "gold standard" of connection methods.  Using DC that is provided by SunTrust Bank in its PCBB service, I get all the features I need:  (1) bill paying from my SunTrust Bank checking account using my SunTrust Bank checking account register within Quicken, and (2) transaction download from my SunTrust Bank checking account into my SunTrust Bank checking account register within Quicken.  I am totally happy with this service.  It seems worth the cost of $9.95 per month.

    It was tempting to think that by switching going to QBP I would have the same features for free.  But I can see now that I was wrong to think that way.  QBP might be able to give me service #1 above for free, but cannot give me service #2 above unless my bank has EWC.  Quicken told me that SunTrust Bank does not have EWC available for my personal checking account.  If that was wrong, and, as you say, Quicken does provide EWC to SunTrust Bank for use with personal checking accounts, I'd like to find out authoritatively (so give me a link or some kind of proof if you can).  Only then might it make sense to switch to QBP, though I am afraid that even then, there may be unforeseen, hidden or subtle problems that would make QBP and EWC worse than my SunTrust Bank PCBBP with DC.  Those fears are my "reservations" referred to below.  

    You said that switching away from DC would mean that ALL my bank accounts (non-SunTrust Bank) would go off of DC (and I assume you mean my credit card and brokerage accounts, too).  I am confused. 

    Other than SunTrust Bank where I have my only checking account, I have other banks for savings accounts, not checking.  I have a brokerage account for investments, not checking.  I have credit cards, which are not checking.  All of those other three types of accounts, savings, investment and credit card, that I have at financial institutions other than SunTrust Bank, download transactions into my Quicken registers for each of those financial institutions.  I do not program in Quicken to have any of those accounts make any payments.  I either go to that institution's website to program a transfer (in the case of savings or investment accounts) or I give my credit card number to a merchant (in the case of credit card accounts).  Are you saying that those non-SunTrust Bank accounts are using the DC I get from SunTrust Bank PCBBP to download transactions from them to my Quicken software?  I wouldn't have thought so.  What I think is that each such non-SunTrust bank, brokerage or credit card financial institution has its own DC arrangement with Quicken (through Intuit) but they just don't charge me any fee for downloading transactions into Quicken.  If so, then my only issue would be with SunTrust Bank's charge for DC, and I would continue to have DC from each of those other financial institutions.  Then, if SunTrust Bank actually does have EWC for personal checking accounts (and at no charge) I could consider switching from PCBBP to EWC at SunTrust Bank and dropping PCBBP (though I still have my "reservations" noted above).

    So....    

     
  • jacobsjacobs SuperUser
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    David,

    I think you're torturing yourself. ;)  You actually answered your own questions:
    Using DC that is provided by SunTrust Bank in its PCBB service, I get all the features I need... I am totally happy with this service.  It seems worth the cost of $9.95 per month.
    I'd stop there.

    Just to clarify one of your points of confusion: each account you have in Quicken has its own connection method. You can easily have Direct Connect for one, Express Web Connect for another and Web Connect for another; each account is independent. (Well, that may not be true with multiple accounts at the same financial institution, but you get my point.)
    QMac 2007 & QMac Subscription • Quicken user since 1993
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Thanks jacobs.  I agree with you!  This whole QBP thing has been a misadventure!  
  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    I agree with both of you that Quicken Bill Pay isn't worth the trouble for you. 

    Personally I don't use any bill pay service, I choose "pull" instead of "push" my bills.  As in I go to the biller's site and sign up for them to automatically pay the bill from my credit card (preferred) or checking account.  Past that I probably wouldn't pay for a bill paying service I would just use the web site, but IF I wanted to pay bills through Quicken I would certainly go with paying what the financial institution want for doing it with Direct Connect.

    You are correct it is more reliable, and it takes two more players out of the picture.
    With Direct Connect Quicken is contacting your financial institution and sending/receiving the request to its bill paying system.  If a problem arises those are the only two "systems" involved.  And you can "fix things" at the financial institution's bill pay system if need be.

    With Quicken bill pay you have Quicken, Metavante, Intuit, and your financial institution.
    Quicken -> GUI
    Metavante  -> Bill Pay
    Intuit -> Download transactions (Express Web Connect)
    Financial institution -> Provides the funds through ACH transfers to Metavante.

    And whereas Direct Connect uses a standardized protocol, Express Web Connect doesn't, it is leveraging the financial institution's website, which can change and cause problems.

    Note Web Connect is just downloading a QFX file to get your transactions.  If is basically the "response" that you would get from a Direct Connect/QFX request for the transactions.  So it is limited to transaction downloading and you have to go to the financial institution's web site to get it.

    On the subject of mixing Direct Connect/Express Web Connect.

    I was talking about you can't mix them if the following is true:
    Multiple accounts, at the same financial institution, using the same username to log in.

    So this wouldn't affect you at all.

    But if say a person had both a checking account and a savings account at the same financial institution under the same username, they could have one setup for Direct Connect and the other setup for Express Web Connect.

    Also note Express Web Connect doesn't support investment accounts, they have to be Direct Connect or Web Connect.

    On the "authority" that Quicken supports Express Web Connect at SunTrust.
    https://ofx-prod-filist.intuit.com/qw2700/data/fidir.txt

    This is the server copy of the file that Quicken downloads from Intuit to know what is available.  You will also find it in the sub folders of:
    C:\ProgramData\Quicken\Inet\Common\Localweb\Banklist

    Here is the SunTrust line from it:
    02801 02801 02801 SunTrust Bank http://www.suntrust.com 1-800-382-3232 https://www.suntrust.com/microsites/PCBankingEnrollment/PCBanking/Agreement.aspx ACTIVE BANKING,PAYMENT,CREDIT,ACCOUNTINFO&DIRECT BANKING,CREDIT&WEB-CONNECT BANKING,CREDIT,ACCOUNTINFO&EXP-WEB-CONNECT NOT_QBP NA

    You can also see this when setting up a new account:
    image

    image
    image

  • QPWQPW Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    BTW speaking of the devil:
    https://getsatisfaction.com/quickencommunity/topics/unable-to-connect-to-suntrust-and-fidelity?topic-reply-list[settings][filter_by]=all&topic-reply-list[settings][reply_id]=19895631#reply_19895631
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    QPW, thanks very much again.  You, jacobs, Mike and the others have all been a big help.  I feel as though I've now "beaten this to death" and there is nothing to be gained by "beating a dead horse."  If it ain't broke don't fix it.  I will stay with SunTrust PCBBP and pay the monthly fee.  As far as this whole QBP fiasco goes, my only comment left is "lately it occurs to me, what a long, strange trip it's been!"
  • DanRDanR Member
    edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    David - it looks like you can pretty easily avoing the 9.95/month from SunTrust. Disable your online services(with SunTrust - inside Quicken), then re-establish using express web connect. Then setup your QBP. It should work just fine. If it does, cancel your direct connect with SunTrust and you should be set.
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    Thanks DanR,

    Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try what you say and see if it works...
  • edited December 2018

    I called Quicken Bill Pay today and they said my application is complete and that I should received the two micro-deposits in 1-3 business days.  Then I should sign in to QBP and confirm those deposits, then link my checking account through QBP (instead of SunTrust Bank PC Banking and Bill Pay through Direct Connect as it is now).  If all goes well, then I could stop the PC Banking and Bill Pay service through SunTrust Bank, saving $9.95 per month that it now costs.  I'd continue to use my SunTrust Bank account, but with QBP instead.  I will update this post for those developments.

    OK DanR,

    I did what you said.  It seemed like the download, using EWC, worked.  I did have to remove a few duplicate transactions because apparently EWC names the payees or creditors slightly differently than what I had in my register (from using DC).  Since I was just billed $9.95 for PCBBP on 12-7-18, but have de-activated Direct Connect, I think I can try downloading with EWC for the next couple of weeks, and paying any bills using QBP.  If that works OK, then in a couple of weeks I can cancel PCBBP with SunTrust, saving the $9.95 per month charge that would otherwise occur about 1-7-19 and future such charges.  I will keep my fingers crossed.  Can y'all believe this???  I'll update if I have any problems with this plan.

    I guess QPW was actually right in saying that SunTrust has EWC for personal checking accounts (and thus the guy on the phone from Quicken was wrong).  SunTrust Bank does not make it easy for a customer to figure that out.  Even when I looked at the proof QPW gave me, in that printout it did not seem clear that they provide EWC!  Thanks to you, DanR, with your step-by-step instructions, and thanks to QPW, you two have both led me to find out that I can use EWC to download!

    I might now be "cooking with gas!"


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