Back in the 2000s the only way to automatically download transactions from a bank into personal finance software was to use OFX Direct Connect. This is a standardised communication protocol that many banks support. It allows installed apps, such as Moneydance or Quicken, to directly talk to the bank's server and retrieve any new transactions. With Direct Connect, your passwords are stored locally on your computer and are only sent to the bank when a download is requested. There is no middle man and all is secure.