on-line bill pay vs downloading transactions

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office.quest

25 May, 2018 04:06 PM

I use MD not only as a transaction & reporting software, but also to have additional detailed information attached to a transaction. I have been going onto my Bank Web Site entering my Bill Payments, then going to MD and re-entering same Bill Payments (with additional information that the bank is not going to track). Then I download transactions from the Bank and verify them, also this catches any transactions via Debit card not entered in MD. I hope it is obvious that this requires that I enter utilities, my mortgage and other larger planed payments twice, once so the Bank Pays and a 2nd time on MD to make sure Bank does pay and to track additional information.

I thought using MD's On-line Billing would alleviate double entry, but when I select On-Line Bill Payment nothing happens, so I can't create a Payee and I can't Pay a Bill through a Connection between MD and my Bank. I can get Connected through MD to my Bank, I can even go into my Bank's Bill Payment area and enter Bills to be Paid, but MD does not recognize and store those transactions.

All the not-archived directions only talk about downloading transactions, I do not want to just blindly download transactions, I am using MD as a reconciliation software to make sure what happens at the Bank is what I think should be happening.

I am probably missing something, but it is getting frustrating to not have updated instructions to us On-Line Bill Pay through MD.

Thank you,
Alisa

  1. 1 Posted by -Kevin N. on 25 May, 2018 04:28 PM

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    Hi Alisa,

    ...but when I select On-Line Bill Payment nothing happens...

    Can you confirm that when you click on the 'Set Up Online Bill Payment' menu item, that you are viewing the account in question and NOT the Summary Page?

    Most of the 'Online' menu items are deliberately disabled when viewing the Summary page.

    -Kevin N. (not a member of MD support)

  2. 2 Posted by office.quest on 25 May, 2018 04:37 PM

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    Yes, it is (but I did make that error several times too), both On-Line Bill Payment & Send On-Line Payment do nothing.  When I go to Open Account Website it goes to BMO Harris log in screen just fine.  I even created the bill payments and longed back on not through MD & the pending transactions were there just like if I had entered them directly w/o going through MD.
    Thank you,Alisa

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  3. 3 Posted by office.quest on 05 Jun, 2018 09:22 PM

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    Hello,

    So, does the automatic e-mail I got saying they received it, and giving me suggestions to read (that I already had), mean, someone from Infinite Kind is going to contact me and trouble shoot the problem with me?

    Newish user, not really sure what the process of getting individual help is.

    Thank you,
    Alisa

  4. 4 Posted by dwg on 05 Jun, 2018 09:52 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    One thing you may be able to check up on is if your bank supports online bill bay via Direct Connect. Supporting automatic transactions downloads using the protocol does not mean that they also support Bill pay via the system, it is possible that they only partially implemented the OFX protocol.

  5. 5 Posted by office.quest on 05 Jun, 2018 10:07 PM

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    I'l call them tomorrow, but It's Bank of Montreal - Harris, they are pretty big. But I'll find out if there is a special something on their end.
    Thanks,
    Alisa

    Didn't get done working on 1 Child missing Team Picture because of summer school, the other needs POA's & again, we pay & she can not do it because she's over 18, just like doctors appointments & college. Seriously, I never thought I would say this, they just need to make it all 21, so parents don't get screwed.

    I'll call tomorrow, "tomorrow is another day."

  6. 6 Posted by office.quest on 12 Jun, 2018 05:11 PM

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    So, after talking to three different people in various parts of BMO Harris, one of the Financial Advisor's staff said they only use Web Connect & Express. So, I'm guessing that means I am out of luck & I will have to continue double entry.

    If this is the case, let me know if anyone has a work around for this.

    Thanks for your help,
    Alisa

  7. 7 Posted by dwg on 12 Jun, 2018 09:53 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    Web Connect and Express Web connect are protocols that were developed by Quicken, even though they use the same underlying OFX file format as Direct Connect they are proprietary and not freely usable to other vendors.

    In any case these protocols do not support Bill Pay they were developed to support the automated download of transaction information only from the banks online website i.e. the website you use to do Internet Banking, either directly or indirectly in the case of Express Web Connect.

  8. 8 Posted by office.quest on 13 Jun, 2018 12:23 AM

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    It's a bummer that the industry hasn't gotten to the stage of a non-proprietary standardized protocol or at least a limited number of interfaces used by all institutions and programs.

    Thank you for all your help and explanation, I will go a head and close the conversation.

    Thanks again,
    Alisa

  9. 9 Posted by dwg on 13 Jun, 2018 04:57 AM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    Direct connect is the non-proprietary standard protocol developed by a consortium within the industry. But Quicken developed the web connect methodology which I believe is cheaper to implement, layers on top of your existing web services but has more limited functionality.

    It would have been fine if Quicken had released it as an open protocol and could be used by those organisations wanting something simpler and cheaper, but I think for an organisation like Quicken, having something proprietary that locks people into using their software or trying to force other vendors to pay licensing fees to use it is more attractive.

  10. 10 Posted by avp2 on 16 Jun, 2018 04:54 PM

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    Additionally, some banks offering DC (direct connect) bill pay charge for it, even if they do not for the DC transaction download (US Bank for instance). And, when a bank has both DC bill pay and website bill pay, payments made in one (website or MD) often do not show in the other, until actually "clearing" at the bank.

  11. 11 Posted by office.quest on 17 Jun, 2018 06:53 PM

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    WOW! Thanks, because I pay bills for my Mom, and she uses US Bank. This is great information regarding coordinating and reconciling transactions between two systems (one being a bank). If it doesn't show then you stand the risk of over-drafting your account when it clears. Also, knowing that the banks are inclined to charge extra for anything that makes your life easier, even if it is already in place, and they are probably using it too.

    All really good info. when you are trying to get a seamless result.
    Thanks,
    Alisa

  12. 12 Posted by dwg on 17 Jun, 2018 10:32 PM

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    From a computer systems perspective delays in transactions appearing between the systems should be expected. These are actually three different and independent systems with an interface to pass information between them.

    The core systems is where the bank holds all of your banking information. Quite frankly this system should not be directly accessible by a user via any method and especially via the internet!

    Firstly you have the website system. This system probably has reasonably complete read access to the back end (core) system (to avoid the need for extensive storage capability) but I would expect it holds transactions that you post through it in the short term. Many of the back end systems are batch oriented so it does certain things at certain times. All transactions for all users entered that day are probably batched up and processed at the same time by the back end system, in my part of the world the backend systems are predominately large mainframe systems.

    Direct Connect is different again, it is often a much more separate system in that it holds a subset of transactions, as many have seen often the last 30-90 days worth. Your application software, in this case Moneydance, communicates with this system and they pass information.It may be in one direction i.e. downloads or it could be bi-directional if the DC systems support bill pay.

    Again the DC system communicated with the backend in order to pass data and again I expect that the data could well be batched processed.

    Batch processing means that the the systems are not immediately updated but it is very efficient ans allows for a very high volume of data to be handled - think of very large banks that could handle millions of transactions a day.

    So the web system and DC system have no direct link, all data is processed by the back end and depending on when it is processed and when data is made available to the systems determines when you see transactions posted to your account in the relevant system.

    It is probably wise to think of the front end systems like you would think when you write out a cheque by hand and give it to someone in exchange for goods or services. You know you have written it and record it as such but it will not be posted to your account until it reaches and is processed by your bank's back end computer system.

  13. 13 Posted by avp2 on 18 Jun, 2018 02:23 AM

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    What I was talking about is not really a delay. For some banks, scheduled bill payments made in MD never show up on the corresponding account website bill pay view/s, and vice versa, until the payment is cleared.

    This does not have to be the case. I have used banks where scheduled payments did show on both MD and the bank's website. I suspect it has to do with whether the bank uses a third party to provide the DC connection/function. I also suspect that the reason some banks have dropped DC bill payment is to force more website use (probably for many reasons of which cost is one of the least).

    The delays I see before account transactions show in DC download are around 24hrs - sometimes longer of the weekend or a business holiday. These probably are due to batch processing and synchronization of separate systems.

  14. 14 Posted by office.quest on 20 Jun, 2018 03:31 AM

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    Thank you to both of you for all the information, it always helps to have a better understanding of the technical process and what others have found works for them.

    Thank you again for the information. Unfortunately it looks like, for the time being, I will have to continue doing double entry.

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