Paying Utility Bills

John's Avatar


08 Apr, 2020 06:30 PM

Does MD support connections to Utility, Mortgage and other vendor web sites to download balances and due dates to setup bill payments automatically?
If not, is there an extension?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ethan on 08 Apr, 2020 07:08 PM

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    Moneydance can only connect to Bill Pay services through one's bank. I'm not familiar with utilities offering the ability of programs like Moneydance to directly connect to their servers in a similar way.

    You can set up reoccurring bills as reminders in Moneydance, regardless of if your bank offers compatible bill pay services or not:

    If you haven't already, I encourage you to download our free trial version from and experiment with the program before you decide if you would like to purchase it. The demo version is fully functional and allows you to manually enter 100 transactions. Imported transactions are not limited, so you'll be able to fully test things like importing from other programs and connections with your bank. If you decide to purchase the program at a later date (from you can keep all your data, the license key simply unlocks the ability to manually enter more transactions.

    In case you haven't found it yet, detailed information on how to use the program can be found at

    Infinite Kind Support

  2. Ethan closed this discussion on 08 Apr, 2020 07:08 PM.

  3. mioukrio re-opened this discussion on 08 Apr, 2020 07:31 PM

  4. 2 Posted by mioukrio on 08 Apr, 2020 07:31 PM

    mioukrio's Avatar does it. Only problem, it does not have a desktop version, let alone Linux. I think they do it via HTTP with some sort of pattern match. They collect vendor site credentials to pull balances/due dates.

    I'm an old MD user. I quit using MD because of the overhead having to manually enter transactions or do manual imports. Just checking on progress to see if an MD License upgrade makes sense. I think the above would be a nice improvement.

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  5. Support Staff 3 Posted by Ethan on 08 Apr, 2020 07:47 PM

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    I've skimmed over what little Prism has on their website, and from what I can gather, that service involves giving them your login information for your utility sites? It probably then uses a screen scraping program to extract information from your bills, and gives some options to pay them. They write a lot about "encryption" and "firewalls," but that process alone seems like many huge security risks. One basically has to trust that company with all that information, both the login information and the actual data. I'm doubtful we'll ever go down the route of developing something like that on our own, or steering people to such a service. We've in general taken the stance that one's data should be stored encrypted in one's data file on one's computer (and bank information, if using the established secure bank connections), not run through a third-party aggregation service.

    Infinite Kind Support

  6. 4 Posted by mioukrio on 08 Apr, 2020 08:32 PM

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    Yes, that is what they are doing. It actually is their selling point. As you said, not a comfortable position security wise, especially on a phone with cloud connection.
    There are ways of using a local encrypted credential store and SSL to the vendor site and as long as the store and comms channel stay local on the desktop it would be secure. MD would still be a 3rd party aggregation service, but isn't it already? Also for bank connections, MD is currently doing something similar. Only difference is a protocol that is pre-accepted by the bank and the client app.
    When I go to the utility website, I use a browser on my desktop and let the browser pass the stored creds to the server. I would be comfortable letting an MD local web client service do the same. After all I trust you enough to let you store my bank creds in your app cache.

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  7. 5 Posted by dwg on 08 Apr, 2020 09:09 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    Moneydance is not an aggregation service.

    With aggregation services you are giving them your login information to store on their machines, they use that to retrieve the data and that data is then stored on their machines for your retrieval at a latter data. The third party hence has access toall of your data plus it holds the information to access your accounts

    With Moneydance the data is stored on your machine under your control usernames and passwords are only exchanged between your machine and the Bank's servers.

  8. 6 Posted by mioukrio on 08 Apr, 2020 09:30 PM

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    Good comment to clear up semantics.
    To keep the discussion on track, this thread was started to see if less manual transaction entry is possible in MD without sacrificing security. The process DWG is describing between MD and Bank is exactly what I'm inquiring about but between MD and a Utility Company or other vendor with a web portal.
    It's more of a downloader/parser complexity concern. Security and data aggregation levels don't need to change to generate new Bill Pay transactions for the exact amount and due date of each bill.

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  9. Support Staff 7 Posted by Ethan on 08 Apr, 2020 09:45 PM

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    I agree that we're not an aggregation service in that sense. But I do think reasonable points were made about still having to have a basic level of trust in Moneydance as well to enter anything into it. To revise my answer a bit, I suppose we wouldn't necessarily outright reject supporting an existing type of secure connection to such an aggregation service if they offered it. Like if Prism offered the same bill pay connection functions through direct OFX connections that many banks do. I don't think we've ever had to make that decision, since I can't recall any of these services offering that. Since the app appears to be free, I assume they're making money by getting people to pay their bills through whatever service they offer. And probably with whatever else they're doing with all that data. I guess we'd have that conversation when we're faced with that option. I don't think there would be any problem with connecting to a utility that offered some way for Moneydance to directly connect, but I'm not aware of any that do.

    But I'm certain we have no intention to develop such a service like that of our own. We've been pretty clear over the years that we don't want our customer's login information or financial data, especially anything we'd have to be responsible for storing on our own servers.

    Infinite Kind Support

  10. 8 Posted by sprimost on 08 Apr, 2020 09:50 PM

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    From: sprimost

    Just a fellow user.

    Having been presented this problem, and wanting to reduce the number of
    manual entries into the register, may I suggest the following:

    (1) I set up a reminder that auto-commits 7 days before the bill is to
    be paid.
    (2) I set up, through the utility company, the authorization of an
    electronic funds transfer on the date that the bill is to be paid,
    usually one day before it is due.
    (3) the catch is that you never know the amount, but the utility company
    sends me an e-mail 14 days before (the billing date) of the amount. I
    then modify the amount in the reminder setup for that amount.

    Yes, I am trusting two companies to get it right, but it has never
    failed. I eliminated three manual transactions  mouth (cable, gas, and
    electric. No account or password information is passed. In a siilar
    fashion, I pay my condo fees, mortgage, and squirrel away savings.

    Just an idea. Not necessarily asking MD to do anything special.

  11. 9 Posted by dwg on 08 Apr, 2020 11:20 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    I adopt a somewhat similar approach, but from the perspective of preventing me overlooking a bill.

    I set up with the companies to draw on my credit card for the payments, I still get an electronic bill sent to me before the payment date so I can check it. I then have an automatic payment set at the bank to pay the credit card. This means no utility company or the like has access to my bank accounts. Many of my payments are fixed amounts so that is easy to set up in reminders. As for the credit card, when I receive that I just do a duplicate of the previous one in Moneydance and change the date and amount,

  12. 10 Posted by mioukrio on 08 Apr, 2020 11:23 PM

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    sprimost, this is helpful and on point. Thank you.

    I was looking for a more automated approach. Not sure why it turned into a 3rd party aggregation and storing passwords on servers discussion. Prism is just an example to illustrate the convenience of having all the bills in one place. Nobody is asking for storing passwords and data on MD servers. Just exploring the possibility of automatically pulling amount due and due date from vendor websites. Does not look like it is hitting fertile ground.


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  13. System closed this discussion on 08 Jul, 2020 11:30 PM.

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