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ALLY Bank getting Error 221-A and 221-B - using Web Connect

I downloaded on 4/30/2019 everything is fine starting on 5-1 2019 getting error 221 a and b
anyone else having issues.  I use web connect I prefer to download each one separately.
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  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you haven't already, you may want to review: https://www.quicken.com/support/quicken-discontinuation-policy
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • hornyak1957hornyak1957 Member
    edited May 2019
    I have a current quicken product 2019 version so that would not apply
    its working on my other bank's Citizens and my credit card downloads so
    its something with the bank I believe.  if I go back to some of my old downloads from
    ally bank they don't give me an error message... I'm posting to see if any other users are having the same issue.
  • I am experiencing the same issue mentioned above using 2017.
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    It appears Ally may be generating bad QFX files.  Until the issue is resolved, I suggest you maintain the Ally registers in Quicken manually.
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    SBaiera said:
    I've been having issues downloading transactions from Ally since upgrading to Quicken 2019.  I contacted the bank and made them aware of the situation stating that Quicken is working with other financial institutions.  However, they sent me some bogus instructions on using Quicken connectivity and suggested that I contact Quicken with any issues.  I've advised them that I will close my accounts and go elsewhere if the issue isn't corrected.
    I'd also advise Quicken that after decades of use, I'll drop their product too, if this isn't corrected.  I've not paying for stuff that doesn't work.
    I noticed that there appears to be additional header info in the downloads that work from other institutions.  This info is not present in the Ally downloads.
    Everyone that is having an issue needs to contact both Ally and Quicken support until this is resolved.
    This is an issue only the financial institution may correct.  You may complain to Quicken all you want but it is Ally producing the bad QFX files. 
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • ps56kps56k SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just updated my Ally - all ok - three accounts, but no recent transaction activity -
    MM - Savings - CD -
    Quicken 2020 Deluxe - Subscription - Windows 10
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    ps56k said:
    Just updated my Ally - all ok - three accounts, but no recent transaction activity -
    MM - Savings - CD -
    Did you use the Web Connect connection method?
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • ps56kps56k SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    All three are separate accts - each shows EXPRESS Web Connect -


    Quicken 2020 Deluxe - Subscription - Windows 10
  • hornyak1957hornyak1957 Member
    Something new with downloading from ALLY BANK I was able to update my checking account by using one-step to update automatically.  But it downloaded others that were already on my register since February  I spent two hours fixing the account.  but if you try to update manually from the ally screen that is above the checking account that does not work.  I am going to type up a letter to ally to see if their tech support understands.  I got a long letter from customer service is of no help.
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    ps56k said:
    All three are separate accts - each shows EXPRESS Web Connect -


    So. the answer is no.  You did not use the Web Connect connection method so you did not replicate the issue.  If you want to replicate the issue, disable the Online Service,  download available transactions for an account from the financial institution and attempt to import the QFX file.
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • ps56kps56k SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sherlock said:  So. the answer is no.  You did not use the Web Connect connection method so you did not replicate the issue.
    I guess my question would be - if Express Web Connect was created for my online connection, and it works - then WHY would I - as a user - want to handle transactions manually any other way ...
    Quicken 2020 Deluxe - Subscription - Windows 10
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    ps56k said:
    Sherlock said:  So. the answer is no.  You did not use the Web Connect connection method so you did not replicate the issue.
    I guess my question would be - if Express Web Connect was created for my online connection, and it works - then WHY would I - as a user - want to handle transactions manually any other way ...
    The Express Web Connect is the least reliable and least secure connection method and usually provides stale data.  If you haven't already, you may want to review: https://www.quicken.com/support/how-quicken-connects-your-bank
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • Oliver104Oliver104 Member ✭✭
    I'm also seeing the issue and I use Quicken 2017. I looked at the .QFX file that downloaded from Ally and it looks like an almost well-formed XML file (e.g. it has closing tags for every element.) I compared that to a .QFX file from another bank and its .QFX file was quite different (it looks like XML but doesn't have a lot of closing tags.) Since my Ally QFX file only had a single transaction in it I just manually changed the Ally QFX file to match the other bank's format and after saving the modified QFX file I was able to successfully import it into Quicken 2017. I download manually from Ally once every month (its not an account I use heavily) and I'm pretty sure I've imported from Ally since the most recent Quicken 2017 patch R19.1 so I'm definitely thinking Ally has started to produce invalid QFX files (as opposed to Quicken changing how it parses QFX files in its last update.)

    I also downloaded a QFX file from a third bank and its format was more like well-formed XML though it did have a few differences to that of the Ally QFX file, such as having an XML declaration and OFX declaration at the top plus an <INTU.BID> element. I had tried to copy the XML and OFX declarations into the Ally QFX (this was before succeeding with the other banks QFX format) but when I tried to import it Quicken gave an error saying it couldn't validate the bank (or something like that.) Maybe that was because I didn't add the missing <INTU.BID> element.
  • Phil LevintonPhil Levinton Member ✭✭
    I am having the same problem with Quicken 2017. I spent an hour on the phone with Quicken support, and we were able to get three of our 5 Ally accounts working. The last two are resisting. We've tried deactivating online services, re enabling and what happens now is nothing gets downloaded. I suspect it is an Ally file problem, but at least for me has selective effects. 
  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oliver said:
    I'm also seeing the issue and I use Quicken 2017. I looked at the .QFX file that downloaded from Ally and it looks like an almost well-formed XML file (e.g. it has closing tags for every element.) I compared that to a .QFX file from another bank and its .QFX file was quite different (it looks like XML but doesn't have a lot of closing tags.) Since my Ally QFX file only had a single transaction in it I just manually changed the Ally QFX file to match the other bank's format and after saving the modified QFX file I was able to successfully import it into Quicken 2017. I download manually from Ally once every month (its not an account I use heavily) and I'm pretty sure I've imported from Ally since the most recent Quicken 2017 patch R19.1 so I'm definitely thinking Ally has started to produce invalid QFX files (as opposed to Quicken changing how it parses QFX files in its last update.)

    I also downloaded a QFX file from a third bank and its format was more like well-formed XML though it did have a few differences to that of the Ally QFX file, such as having an XML declaration and OFX declaration at the top plus an <INTU.BID> element. I had tried to copy the XML and OFX declarations into the Ally QFX (this was before succeeding with the other banks QFX format) but when I tried to import it Quicken gave an error saying it couldn't validate the bank (or something like that.) Maybe that was because I didn't add the missing <INTU.BID> element.
    I added the missing INTU.BID to the SONRS and the QFX file imported successfully.
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • Gary VGary V Member ✭✭
    Can't download Ally Bank
  • Frank SandyFrank Sandy Member ✭✭
    I just upgraded to Quick 2019 because you stopped letting me download data on April 30.  I still can not download from one of my banks and get error message:
    "Quicken is unable to complete your request QL-221-A"


  • Quicken_TykaQuicken_Tyka Moderator mod
    Hello Frank,

    Sorry, to hear that you are having difficulties updating your account.

    I have a few questions..

    What is the name of the financial institution? 

    This error refers to importing a file that was downloaded from the bank's website, is this how you are attempting to update the transactions?

    Lastly, have you installed the new 2019 version and this where the error is occurring or you still using the previous version?
    -Quicken Tyka
  • Ally confirmed to me that it is a problem resulting from a website upgrade and that they are working to correct the problem. They have no estimate on when the problem will be solved, so I guess keep trying every day.
  • Frank SandyFrank Sandy Member ✭✭
    1) Ally Bank
    2) Yes
    3) This is the 2019 version I installed yesterday.  The old 2016 version worked fine.
  • lcfillolcfillo Member ✭✭
    I tried a few minutes ago today and having the same error message as documented above.  Error still not corrected
  • lcfillolcfillo Member ✭✭
    Sherlock said:
    Oliver said:
    I'm also seeing the issue and I use Quicken 2017. I looked at the .QFX file that downloaded from Ally and it looks like an almost well-formed XML file (e.g. it has closing tags for every element.) I compared that to a .QFX file from another bank and its .QFX file was quite different (it looks like XML but doesn't have a lot of closing tags.) Since my Ally QFX file only had a single transaction in it I just manually changed the Ally QFX file to match the other bank's format and after saving the modified QFX file I was able to successfully import it into Quicken 2017. I download manually from Ally once every month (its not an account I use heavily) and I'm pretty sure I've imported from Ally since the most recent Quicken 2017 patch R19.1 so I'm definitely thinking Ally has started to produce invalid QFX files (as opposed to Quicken changing how it parses QFX files in its last update.)

    I also downloaded a QFX file from a third bank and its format was more like well-formed XML though it did have a few differences to that of the Ally QFX file, such as having an XML declaration and OFX declaration at the top plus an <INTU.BID> element. I had tried to copy the XML and OFX declarations into the Ally QFX (this was before succeeding with the other banks QFX format) but when I tried to import it Quicken gave an error saying it couldn't validate the bank (or something like that.) Maybe that was because I didn't add the missing <INTU.BID> element.
    I added the missing INTU.BID to the SONRS and the QFX file imported successfully.


    I substituted the header of another bank's QFX file into Ally's saved QFX file using NOTEPAD and manually imported it with the corrected header information.  The file imported successfully.
  • lcfillolcfillo Member ✭✭
    This is a similar reported error that many are experiencing.  See this link for the documentation.

    https://community.quicken.com/discussion/7853473/ally-bank-getting-error-221-a-and-221-b-using-web-connect


  • Frank SandyFrank Sandy Member ✭✭
         Quicken 2019 seems  to require a header line like:
    OFXHEADER:100
    before the <OFX> data. 
         Earlier versions of Quicken didn't seem to need it and Ally Bank doesn't add it to their qfx download files.  If you save the dowloaded qfx file from Ally bank and add that header line with notepad, it can then be imported by Quicken.

        Other financial institutions seem to have learned about his requirement and include that header line and other header lines ahead of the <OFX> data.  I have no idea what if anything the information in those header lines does, but it would be helpful if Quicken would document it.


  • SherlockSherlock SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2019
         Quicken 2019 seems  to require a header line like:
    OFXHEADER:100
    before the <OFX> data. 
         Earlier versions of Quicken didn't seem to need it and Ally Bank doesn't add it to their qfx download files.  If you save the dowloaded qfx file from Ally bank and add that header line with notepad, it can then be imported by Quicken.

        Other financial institutions seem to have learned about his requirement and include that header line and other header lines ahead of the <OFX> data.  I have no idea what if anything the information in those header lines does, but it would be helpful if Quicken would document it.


    Quicken does not require the OFXHEADER line.  We only need to add the INTU.BID to the SONRS.
    Quicken user since 1997
    Premier on Windows 10
  • Ob StreperousOb Streperous Member
    As of this morning, Ally Bank acknowledges there is an ongoing issue regarding their QFX file download format.  No estimated date for resolution is currently available.

    I think Frank Sandy may be on to something.  Using web connect, I also was receiving the 221-A error despite having the INTU.BID within my SONRS element.  Using notepad I inserted the following header (from another financial institution) at the very beginning of the QFX file:
     
    OFXHEADER:100
    DATA:OFXSGML
    VERSION:102
    SECURITY:NONE
    ENCODING:USASCII
    CHARSET:1252
    COMPRESSION:NONE
    OLDFILEUID:NONE
    NEWFILEUID:NONE 

    The modified QFX file now uploaded in to Quicken without difficulty.

    If you google "web connect specification intuit" the .pdf called "Web Connect Specification - Intuit Financial Institutions" on page 6 shows a recommended format for bank statements which includes an OFXHEADER: 100 element, unlike credit card statements (bottom of page 7).  I know this document is dated 2012 however it is still referenced in current intuit ofx support web links.  I hope this helps some people.
  • I added OFXHEADER:100 to the beginning of my file in notepad and was able to import as well. 
  • Ob StreperousOb Streperous Member
    Good news.  As of this morning, Ally appears to have added the following header to the beginning of its QFX download file.

    OFXHEADER:100
    DATA:OFXSGML
    VERSION:102
    SECURITY:NONE
    ENCODING:USASCII
    CHARSET:1252
    COMPRESSION:NONE

    I'm guessing this may resolve the issue for everyone. 
This discussion has been closed.