How well does Moneydance work for Quicken alternative, for Online Access

Don Cohen's Avatar

Don Cohen

24 Jan, 2020 03:48 PM

I've been using Quicken since the last 1980's, and am pretty disgusted by the subscription only turn of events. The mandated 3-year cycle was bad enough, but this is really frustrating. I'm currently on Quicken 2017, so need to make decision by April 30, 2020.

I use Quicken to track my regular Checking account (Fifth Third Bank), but also to connect with multiple credit cards, where "One-step Update' makes getting all those transactions, and then bill payments, extremely time efficient:

Capital One
Target
AMEX
Lowe's
Amazon/Chase
Citicard/Costco

I also use it track my investments (a few different accounts with MetLife), as well as a Quicken Loan Mortgage.

I love the functionality and efficiency of seeing everything in one place - I can pay bills at no cost (i.e. no Quickpay), pay all those bills through Quicken, set up schedules to enter deposits, payments, etc.

I'm angry enough about Quicken's decision to go all subscription to consider alternatives. But part of me wonders whether I'd be giving up a lot of this efficiency and functionality in order to cast my vote against Quicken's policy, so to speak.

Will Moneydance provide similar efficient access to *all* of these accounts - Checking, Credit Cards, Investments??

I'm inclined to think I'll have to just 'grin and bear it' and pay Quicken their ransom, but do want to check out viable alternatives.

Thanks.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Maddy on 24 Jan, 2020 04:04 PM

    Maddy's Avatar

    Hi Don,
    Thank you for contacting Moneydance support.

    If you haven't already, I encourage you to download our free trial version and experiment with the program. You can download the trial version of Moneydance from our website on this page.

    The trial 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 downloading data from your bank, and importing data from other personal finance software.
    If you decide to purchase the program at a later date you can keep all data you have entered during the trial period.

    You can find the Moneydance Knowledge Base here which will be useful if you're using the program for the first time. I'd be happy to provide guidance if you have any questions or need assistance getting setup.


    Moneydance supports automatic downloads via Direct Connect, and you can view a list of financial institutions that support this feature here.

    If your bank is listed, you can set this up within Moneydance by navigating to Online --> Set Up Online Banking. Then select 'New Connection' and choose your financial institution from the list.
    Most banks require that you contact them to enable Direct Connect before you can download your data from within Moneydance. When you do this, you'll be given the login credentials you need to connect. Generally, these login details differ from those used for ATM or online banking. You can find the steps for setting this up outlined in this article.

    If your bank does not support Direct Connect, you are still able to easily import your data into the program. The best way to get your files into Moneydance is to use a web browser to download them from your bank's web site. You can download into QFX, OFX, OFC or QIF files (aka Quicken or MS Money files), any of which will import cleanly into Moneydance. You can find the steps for manually importing your data in this article.
    You can also open your banks website directly from Moneydance by selecting Online --> Open Account Website, which makes the download process easier.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have further questions or need any assistance.

    --
    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by Don Cohen on 24 Jan, 2020 04:25 PM

    Don Cohen's Avatar

    I appreciate the quick reply, Maddy.

    I had previously taken a look at that list of Direct Connect banks, and didn't see entries for several of my institutions (Capital One, Target, Lowe's, Amazon, Costco). These use either Express Web Connect, or Express Web Connect+. It's my understanding that Moneydance doesn't support either of these, so I'd be stuck with manually downloading and importing transactions from quite a few.

    So unless I'm missing something, it looks like I wouldn't have the same 'One-step" convenience I have with Quicken, since many accounts would require separate, individual manual imports. Unfortunately, this would increase the hassle enough that I'm not sure a move to Moneydance would be worthwhile in my particular situation, for the specific Banks I'm accessing.

    If I'm overlooking some way of achieving the same simplicity that I have with Quicken, please let me know.

    Thanks.

  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 24 Jan, 2020 08:21 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    Web Connect and Express Web Connect are Quicken proprietary methods so software would have to be licensed from them to use it. You are looking at a couple of the lock in methods that Quicken uses to retain customers. Unfortunately Banks willingly or unwitting support them, I suspect that maintaining Web Connect is cheaper than maintaining Direct Connect, thus making it attractive to some.

  4. 4 Posted by Don Cohen on 24 Jan, 2020 08:30 PM

    Don Cohen's Avatar

    Thanks for the reply, dwg.

    As I've been exploring options, I'm not really coming up with any viable options, at least in part due to what you're saying about the connection technologies.

    So while I hate to "give in" to Quicken's new business model, I don't know that I have any practical alternative. If you, or anybody, know of any, please let me know.

  5. 5 Posted by dwg on 24 Jan, 2020 08:52 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    In most parts of the world neither Web Connect nor Direct Connect exist so we are generally used to downloading and importing or in doing the old manual entry.

    Moneydance does have a project to automate downloads from Bank's Internet Banking sites as much as they can but that project still has a long way to go in my book.

    If the expectation is for one step downloading form organisations that only support closed systems then I suspect your options will be limited. You could find software that uses aggregation providers to capture the data, but that usually adds extra cost in that the provider has to be paid and from my own perspective I regard that as a security breach as you have to give them your Internet Banking User Names and passwords. Moneydance will not use aggregators.

  6. 6 Posted by Don Cohen on 24 Jan, 2020 08:57 PM

    Don Cohen's Avatar

    Thanks for the additional info. I'll keep looking around, but as you said, likely limited (or no) options for the simplicity Quicken offers.

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