Quicken 2019 for Mac Launches With Web Access

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. pen79 macrumors newbie

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    #51
    I wouldn't think so. There has to be a way to access the file that doesn't require it being on app's own servers. Why can't it be saved somewhere users have direct access to like DropBox? If you ever want to delete your data from those apps/servers, how would you ever know if it was actually removed form their servers? I don't think it's something that should be taken lightly since it's all your finances plus the credentials to access those finances.
     
  2. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

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    #52
    Um... you already *can* store your Quicken files on DropBox.
     
  3. pen79 macrumors newbie

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    #53
    I'm talking about being able to use the same file across devices *without* having to upload it to Quicken's servers.

    While Quicken states you can store backups of your file on DropBox, Quicken has never recommended to use a file on DropBox. Their info clearly states to "Never open your data file or backup file directly from Dropbox. Always move the file to your desktop computer, then open it, to prevent file damage.". They consider DropBox suitable for backup purposes only, not for actual use. If you want to access your file on multiple devices you have to upload it to Quicken's servers. Banktivity is the same.

    Here's Quicken's info on DropBox:

    https://www.quicken.com/support/dropbox-frequently-asked-questions
     
  4. robbyx Suspended

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    Oct 18, 2005
    #54
    I use Banktivity and I don’t care about my data syncing. If a hacker gets a copy of my checking account register data, I’m not going to be too bothered.

    That said, I do care about my login credentials being stored. I don’t use Banktivity’s Direct Access service as I imagine that requires you to hand over login information. For OFX connections, Banktivity does not sync your login info. Accounts sync, but you need to enter all your passwords again on any new device. Banktivity saves your passwords on each device that supports OFX but does not sync the passwords.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 10, 2018 ---
    FYI, Dropbox is not a zero knowledge system. Certain Dropbox employees have access to your data. Although I imagine there are strict controls in place, the fact that their system is designed that way gives me pause.
     
  5. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

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    #55
    Fair enough. I've used it ON DropBox - with the file sync'd locally - so haven't experienced any issues. Plus, to date I've been the ONLY user.

    Thanks for the clarification!
     
  6. fate0311 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 31, 2015
    #56
    I love the vendetta against Quicken. As if there are so many competitors that match the aesthetics and data organization.

    Is it perfect? Absolutely not. It is still by a long shot the greatest option for financial organization.
     
  7. Elmo1938 macrumors member

    Elmo1938

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    #57
    wonderful product; great support; annual update

    http://help.infinitekind.com
     
  8. pen79 macrumors newbie

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    #58
    Greatest option to be data mined and totally screwed once their system is hacked and all of your login credentials and account numbers are compromised. It's not a matter of IF that happens, it's WHEN that happens. If the convenience outweighs that nightmare for you, go for it. If you ever had to deal with identify theft then you'd probably agree it's not worth it.

    I've used Quicken Mac 2007 for over 10 years now, but need to find an alternative. I won't put my data solely in Quicken's hands with this product they've been building on since Quicken Essentials. There is zero reason they have to have control over your file and store your account logins and account numbers on their servers. There's got to be alternatives that don't require you give away the "keys to the kingdom" just to track your finances.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 11, 2018 ---
    It wouldn't really bother me if someone had my checking account register either, but having to give it to them like you have to in order to use Banktivity on multiple devices does. There's nothing stopping them from data mining those files. Plus there's most likely more data in those files then you realize such as account numbers.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 11, 2018 ---
    Will check it out. Thanks!
     
  9. robbyx, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018

    robbyx Suspended

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    #59
    You are jumping to conclusions. Please review this page:

    https://www.iggsoftware.com/support/articles/ibank-5/is-cloud-sync-secure/

    In short, Banktivity encrypts your data on your local device and the data stored on IGG's servers is not readable by any IGG employees. This is, frankly, more secure than Dropbox.

    Direct Access is a bit different. They do use a third party to access data but, again, IGG does not store any of your info, credentials, etc:

    https://www.iggsoftware.com/support/articles/ibank-5/is-direct-access-secure/

    When it comes to syncing data between devices, IGG's implementation appears to be a zero knowledge solution. Your encryption password never leaves your device and login credentials are not sent to IGG's cloud servers. When it comes to Direct Access, a third party is used to retrieve the data and pass it along to your machine, but IGG doesn't collect, view, or store any of that data.

    Direct Access and IGG's own Banktivity ID are two separate services. One pulls data from your financial institutions. The other syncs your devices. I'd have some concerns about using Direct Access but syncing seems well executed from a security perspective.

    Sounds like Banktivity fits the bill.

    You're totally wrong about Banktivity. They can't mine data they cannot read.
     
  10. justme1, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018

    justme1 macrumors member

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    #60
    Alright, already! You've made your point. Give it a rest.
     
  11. robbyx Suspended

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    Oct 18, 2005
    #61
    I don't think that's true. MoneyDance and Banktivity both offer a comparable feature set. It's not a vendetta against Quicken. It's history. Intuit neglected the Mac for ages. Sure, Quicken is a new company now and they appear to be taking the Mac seriously again, but for how long? I'd rather support a Mac-centric operation like IGG than some private equity and investment company that bought Quicken for...what reason exactly? I mean, it's not like software is their business. It's pretty obvious they plan to move Quicken to the web and turn it into a subscription service. No thanks.
     
  12. MplsP macrumors newbie

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    #62
    I used Moneydance for years and switched to Banktiity about a year ago. Now, after a year, I’m done. People complain about Quicken’s ‘subscription model,’ but that’s exactly what Banktivity has - $45 per year for web access and yearly software updates are another $60. Beyond that, I have had regular issues with online connectivity - online connections breaking and not working or downloading duplicate transactions, making my registers inaccurate and requiring me to spend hours digging through the register to find the mistakes. I’ve had to contact tech support at least once a month regarding problems.

    Part of the reason I tried switching was because they had an ipad app, even though they charge you $20 for the ipad app, it’s not a full featured app and is best described as a companion to the desktop.

    I just tried switching back to Moneydance and had significant issues connection to banks and credit card companies to download transactions so I’m giving Quicken a try. So far, it seems like the best of the 3.
     
  13. fate0311 macrumors 6502

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    #63
    Unless you manually enter data into quicken...
     
  14. pen79 macrumors newbie

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    #64
    Thanks for adding to this conversation about Quicken and its alternatives. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. (Billy Madison Reference)
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    robbyx, thank you for linking their info and for your comments. Their current encryption practices does sound solid. However, I just don’t want to put my file on any app’s private server in order to access it from my Mac, iPad and phone I’m just not that trusting to rely that the app’s file encryption is and always will be bug free when it’s is out of my possession. This type of information is a gold mine for hackers.

    Their Direct Access info and linked legal info proved what I have suspected, their Direct Access “partner” is the Yodlee data aggregation service. Not sure why they’re hiding that in their legal mumbo jumbo instead of being clear about it. IGG might not store your account logins and account numbers, but instead hand them over to Yodlee which does store them. Yodlee data mines everything. It’s almost the first thing Yodlee mentions in their “commitment to its clients and their customers”. For anyone that doesn’t know what a data aggregation service like Yodlee is, it’s where you give you logins to the service and they periodically login to your bank as you to download your history which they keep indefinitely and allow you to access from an app or website. The login credentials have to be decrypted at some point to login to the bank’s website. IMO, it’s playing with fire to use financial data aggregation services like this. Plus most bank’s terms of use indicate that you void any fraud protection if hand over your login info for ay purpose (last time I checked anyway which I’ll admit was a couple years ago). Paying IGG a subscription for Direct Access only to data mined by Yodlee is just crazy.

    Also, Banktivity’s info about storing OFX login credentials is a show stopper for me. Their privacy statement indicates the download password is encrypted, but not the username which for me is my social security number for some banks and my account number for some others. There’s no mention if accounts numbers are encrypted.

    So Banktivity is out for me. To be honest, I’ve never really liked Banktivity/iBank in the many of the iterations of it that I’ve tried. It has come a long way, but it has always seemed they have focused on the new fads of macOS instead of general functionality or fixing the bugs people have reported with the app. I demoed Banktivity 7 thinking I’d go local storage only, but it crashed importing my QIF file four times! Lots of data needed corrected once I did get the QIF file imported. Then I had several other crashes just performing routine tasks. That has been a fairly common experience when I’ve tested their different versions over the years.

    I’m really looking for the “Apple” of money management apps in terms of privacy perspective compared to the “Google” perspective of having to data mine everything. I want to have my cake and eat it too. Demoing Moneydance. It seems to fit my (paranoid) needs for security, but I’m not loving the GUI.

    Thanks again to robbyx and to the rest that have posted constructive comments.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    Even if I just manually enter data into Quicken, you still have to upload your file to their private servers in order to use it on more than one computer, tablet or phone. That’s what I want to avoid. I’m don’t want to put all of my finances on a private server and blindly trust a company, whose primary business isn’t data encryption, to keep it safe.
     
  15. MplsP macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2016
    #65
    I understand and share your concerns regarding encryption, but ultimately, if you want to use a program like this on more than one computer, you must have a way to share the data between said computers which means having said data on some server somewhere. The only other alternative I can see is hosting your own server, which will ultimately be less secure for the vast majority of users.

    When I used Moneydance, I saved the file my Dropbox account. I ran into some issues because I also have my dropbox account encrypted with a program called Boxcryptor, so I ended up telling it not to encrypt the Moneydance data file. This was OK, since the file was encrypted anyway and it kept the file from getting corrupted.

    I tried moving back to Moneydance and am having a ton of issues getting online accounts set up, so I'm in the process of trying Quicken. The program itself seems nice, but from what I've read so far, there is no good or easy way to use it on multiple computers. The prescribed method seems to be download the file from your cloud server, then upload it again when you're done using it. certainly not ideal, but it would theoretically let you further encrypt the file before you upload it.
     
  16. robbyx, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018

    robbyx Suspended

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    Oct 18, 2005
    #66
    I say this with no disrespect, but if this is your attitude, you're not going to like the future. Cloud services aren't going away. If anything, they are becoming the norm. At some point you have to trust someone. IGG is using the same level of encryption that Apple uses for iCloud. Encryption is encryption. The data is encrypted on your machine, then transferred to a server, so what "bug" is there to worry about? The cloud never has unencrypted data, nor does it have your login credentials.

    What are you referring to? Where are they storing login credentials for OFX? I have multiple OFX connections set up in Banktivity. When I added a second Mac recently and synced the new machine, Banktivity made me enter my username and password for each account on the new machine in order for OFX to work.

    That's unfortunate. I thought iBank was pretty weak, but Banktivity 6 changed my mind. It imported my Quicken data almost flawlessly. I had to make some corrections to my investment accounts and a few transfers were erroneous, but it didn't take long to find the problem. And, frankly, it's hard to know whether the problem lies with Banktivity's import or Quicken's export functionality (my guess is the latter, as there have been problems with QIF files for decades).

    I've now been using Banktivity for several years and it's never crashed on me. I don't agree with your assessment of the application's functionality. I used to run Quicken for Windows and when I switched to Banktivity, I didn't miss anything. Feature-wise it's quite comparable, the UI is nicer, and the reports are easier to create and more flexible in my opinion. I can't really speak to bugs as I haven't found anything major, haven't had any crashes, and I use it every day. I have 15 accounts at 6 different institutions. Five of those institutions are updated daily via OFX.

    Again, I don't see the problem with Banktivity, other than your reported bugs and crashes (which might be deal breakers). From a security perspective, though, I don't see any issues. If you use Direct Access, yes, you expose yourself to data mining. But Direct Access is not required. I don't use it. The only thing IGG has on their servers is encrypted register data. They do not have my usernames or passwords.

    Well that pretty much rules out trusting any company that produces financial software, doesn't it? I mean, if a company's primary business is encryption, they're probably not selling financial software, just like Quicken or IGG's primary business isn't encryption. Apple's primary business isn't encryption either. I'm curious, do you use iCloud Keychain? Most companies are using the same standard encryption technology, AES-128 and AES-256. You're basically making it impossible for yourself to find a product that meets your excessive security requirements.


    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    While you might be unhappy with Banktivity, stop spreading FUD. You make it sound Banktivity requires Direct Access at $45/year. It does NOT. I've never used Direct Access and I've used Banktivity for several years now. I have multiple accounts that update via OFX. Banktivity offers Direct Access for accounts that don't support OFX (which is really an issue with your bank), but it is not required.

    If your bank does not support OFX, you can login to your bank's website, download your transactions and import them. If the convenience of importing directly is worth $45/year, you have that OPTION. I've never used it, so I can't speak to how well it works, but I can say that in several years of using Banktivity and importing data via OFX, I have never had a single duplicate transaction.

    And what's this nonsense about yearly software updates? Did Banktivity 6 stop working for you when 7 was released? No. Because it's NOT a subscription service. Upgrade if you want to or stick with what you have.
     
  17. Positive Ben macrumors newbie

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    #67
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    I'm great with the subscription model - I subscribed earlier this year. Quicken doesn't get enough money from users buying a new version every (5) years. That said, the online product is not working. Both on my Mac and also in Quicken's tech support Mac, you're not able to see all of the data (transactions) in your accounts. And yes, I've synced, so that's not the problem. They'll get it right eventually, but they're going to piss off a lot of customers by "releasing," a beta product.
     
  18. pen79, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018

    pen79 macrumors newbie

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    Denver
    #68
    This is pretty much my point. The data needs to be somewhere and that somewhere should be a very, very secure place. Quicken and Banktivity are in the business of developing finance apps. Their primary business is not data storage or data security. They shouldn’t force us to use their private data storage and trust it is secure when that’s not their primary business. Given the number of bugs these apps have it's a hard pill to swallow their data storage and encryption processes are bug free. I’m a whole lot more conformable storing data on iCloud or DropBox then using some private server that I don’t have direct access to.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    I utilize DropBox and iCloud everyday. I have no problem storing finances on those services. My Moneydance file is on iCloud right now. The primary business of services like DropBox and iCloud is data storage and its security. It is the custom private servers apps try to force on users that bothers me. We have no direct knowledge of these private servers, but are supposed to blindly trust they are secure. It is great that you’ve never experienced crashes with Banktivity, but based on every review site and their Reddit page there’s definite issues. Encryption is not encryption if it isn’t done correctly. There is zero reason they need to use a private server. They should focus on making their app and leave the data storage and encryption of data to the data storage experts.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    Their legal pages state the password for OFX connections are stored in the Apple Keychain. It states the username is not and is instead stored within the file. There’s no mention of where account numbers are stored. Since usernames can be vital pieces of info such as your social security number or account number they should be treated as securely as passwords. Any idea if they store account numbers in the keychain as well?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 12, 2018 ---
    Why do they need to use a private server? Why don't they use DropBox or iCloud or any other professional data storage service?

    I use DropBox and iCloud to storage everyday. I do store passwords and other info in Apple Keychain (both local and iCloud). Although Apple’s primary business isn’t encryption either, I’m a lot more willing to trust their encryption practices due to their vast resources and obvious knowledge/integration with the operating systems. I would suspect the iCloud division within Apple is probably bigger than the combination of every company that develops finance apps.

    Thanks again MplsP and robbyx for very constructive and insightful comments.
     
  19. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #69
    It'd be surprised if Quicken is hosting this kind of stuff themselves.

    The URL for their new "Quicken on the Web" service resolves to CloudFront, which a CDN for AWS... so it looks like there's real high chance that Quicken is using Amazon Web Services to host that application.

    Which makes sense, IMO... they wouldn't want to spend their resources reinventing the wheel themselves (encrypted storage) and DropBox/iCloud are consumer-facing services that companies don't use to build their web apps/hosting around... but AWS, with features like their encrypted storage, seems like a great fit...

    Have you seen anything that leads you to believe that Quicken is hosting this stuff themselves?
     
  20. robbyx Suspended

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #70
    According to Dropbox:

    "Like most major online services, we have a small number of employees who must be able to access user data when legally required to do so. That's the exception—not the rule. We have strict policy and technical access controls that prohibit employee access except in these rare circumstances. In addition, we use a number of physical and electronic security measures to protect user information from unauthorized access."

    What does this mean? This means your data is NOT secure on Dropbox. They have intentionally designed their system to allow employees to access your data. The only consumer-facing cloud service I know of that is truly zero-knowledge is SpiderOak.

    After trying, unsuccessfully, to get a straight answer from Apple tech support, I sent an email to Apple legal asking if iCloud was a zero knowledge system. This is a simple yes or no question. Either you have no knowledge whatsoever of the data I am storing on your system, or you have the ability to access it. I did not get a straight answer. Instead, I got a whole bunch of legal mumbo jumbo and info about access to meta-data, etc. My conclusion? iCloud isn't zero knowledge either.

    Bottom line...if the system is designed for employees to access your data, even if multiple strict protocols are in place, that means the POSSIBILITY exists for a hacker to do the same. A true zero knowledge solution like SpiderOak, or what IGG claims for Banktivity, means that it's impossible for a hacker to access your data. You might instinctively trust Apple or Dropbox more than a small software company like IGG, but the reality is, Dropbox and Apple aren't zero knowledge systems whereas Banktivity's sync appears to be one.

    Don't you think most of these companies are using AWS anyway? I seriously doubt IGG is running a server farm just for the Banktivity ID service. That would make no sense. Most likely they are doing what everyone else does: use Amazon.

    Well, according to IGG, they have subjected their system and encryption to third party review. Plus the fact that their data is encrypted on your device and credentials never leave your device means that it's pretty much impossible for a hacker to get any information. Again, this is more secure than Dropbox, a company that openly admits that some of its users can see your data.

    There are issues with every software package. There's no such thing as a perfect, bug-free application. As for encryption, I think you're having problems separating encryption versus data storage. Encryption is encryption. These are standards, not some home spun encryption protocol. Data either encrypts and decrypts or it doesn't. As I said before, Banktivity is using the same encryption standard that Apple uses for iCloud. For all we know, they are using Apple APIs to encrypt the data before syncing. Data storage is a separate issue. I don't know why Banktivity doesn't use Dropbox or iCloud, but the fact that my data is encrypted BEFORE it leaves my device means that I'm not relying upon the storage provider to provide security. Whatever level of security they offer is a bonus, essentially. My data is already encrypted.

    For starters, your entire Banktivity files does not sync with the cloud. Your file resides on your machine. Register data is synced, not usernames, passwords, account numbers, etc. As I said before, when I added a new machine and synced it with my Banktivity ID, I needed to re-enter all of my OFX usernames and passwords on the new machine.

    Again, they probably are. Most likely they are using AWS. I'd be truly shocked if they are running their own servers.

    It seems like you just trust Apple and Dropbox because they are big companies and you assume they take your privacy more seriously. If that's true, why aren't their systems zero knowledge? Why can their employees see your data and hand it over to the government? I don't trust that. I want my data encrypted on device and I want my cloud storage provider to have no access whatsoever to my data. So in that respect, I trust IGG more (based solely on their description of how their encryption works) than I do either Dropbox or iCloud.

    Likewise!
     
  21. pen79, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018

    pen79 macrumors newbie

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    #71
    I think my reference to a “private server” has been taken too literally. By “private server”, I’m referring to these apps not allowing you to choose where your data is stored and instead forcing their own custom location on users. I agree with you guys and doubt they’re actually running their own servers. In this current time, it’s almost guaranteed they’re both using AWS.

    My point is why force this? Why should we trust their implementation of this? Why not provide the option to choose where the files are stored? How many reports of application X or website Y had a bug where it didn’t actually encrypt data or allowed access to decrypted data does there need to be for people not to be so trusting?

    I understand the point that most consumer facing data storage options are not zero knowledge systems. “iCloud” covers way too many actual services to be generalized though. iCloud Keychain is a zero knowledge system while most other iCloud services are end-to-end encryption. I feel a lot safer choosing the location and being able to do things such as keeping files in encrypted DMGs if desired. Perhaps I’m too trusting of the larger data storage companies, but their bottom line entirely depends on it. If/when there’s an issue I believe they’re going to address it ASAP and with disclosure compared to these apps trying to perform this on their own. Do you trust that Quicken, especially while being under private equity control awaiting a new buyer, would address an issue as quickly and be transparent about it? I don’t. I’m much more comfortable with complete access over the storage location, such as iCloud or DropBox, and being able to put my data on it and off it at will. Banktivity could just as easily be doing what they’re doing now with an open data storage location. Like aristobrat said, why reinvent the wheel? I just really think there's something to be gained about being able to choose where your data is and being able to delete it when desired without having to trust the app is handing your data correctly for you.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 13, 2018 ---
    This brings up something that also I'm not clear about. How much data fragmentation appears to be going on with Quicken and Banktivity? I've read some Banktivity reviews that reference different settings/options in the macOS vs iOS apps which data fragmentation would explain. Also that attachments don't sync. I'm curious if its setup where there's one "master" file with all the info and the rest of the devices are feeding off partial information or information specific to version of the app for the OS in use. Not sure how Quicken is handling things now and if there are still completely different data formats in use across their Windows, macOS, iOS and now web based versions. Has anyone checked if Quicken 2019 allows you to open a Windows file in the Mac version and vice versa or if they're still incompatible data formats?
     
  22. MplsP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    #72
    If I wanted to go to the web site of every account and credit card I had, manually download a file and then manually import it into my software I could simply use an Excel spreadsheet. A major part of the convenience of having financial software is automating this task. Moneydance did that for me for every account except one, Quicken does it for all of my accounts. Banktivity required the yearly direct access subscription to access several of my accounts. If all of your banks can be updated via OFX, then lucky for you, but there are enough out there that don't that this is likely to be an issue for a signifiant number of people.

    I do see that this year they added the ability to get a discount on an upgrade to version 7 if you purchased via the App Store. They have also made the various fees more clear, which is good. When I bought version 5, they updated to version 6 a month and a half later and I was told I had to pay full price to upgrade since I'd purchased though the App Store.

    The interesting thing is that at $45 per year, Banktivity's direct access subscription is $10 more than the annual subscription to Quicken Starter. What it comes down to for me is that I can get an up to date version of the software and full access to my accounts for $35 per year with quicken, $30 if I buy a 2 year subscription vs $45 per year with Banktivity if I never update the software.

    My major complaint about Banktivity isn't the fees, however. It's the fact that even after all that, it wasn't reliable. I repeatedly had issues with the online account connections not working, or randomly downloading duplicate transactions, meaning I was never sure if my account info was accurate and wasted several hours correcting ledgers and connectivity issues. Currently I have 4 accounts that won't download at all leading me to try Quicken to see how it compares to Moneydance.
     
  23. pen79, Oct 14, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018

    pen79 macrumors newbie

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    #73
    If your bank or credit card doesn't provide you with OFX downloads then there basically giving you the middle finger and saying go be a effin data mine. In the states, if the downloads are not done via OFX then there done via a data aggregation service such as Yodlee (Banktivity), Plaid, or whatever Quicken is using (probably still Intuit's). Using these aggregation services puts your logins and account numbers at additional risk and the fine print of everyone one I've read indicates they data mine your information. To some the convenience is worth being a data mine, to others its not, and then for 99.9% they don't even know that's what's going on behind the scenes because hardly anyone reads the fine print. You really should be careful when using data aggregation services as doing so can void any fraud protection that your bank or credit card offers since you're handing over your logins and account numbers to a third party (check the fine print).
     
  24. nj1266 macrumors 6502a

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    Long Beach, CA
    #74
    How is it at tracking investments, specifically mutual funds.
     
  25. nj1266 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
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    Long Beach, CA
    #75
    I have a lot of data on my Quicken. Is it easy to import it into Banktivity.
     

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