uh oh, we've gotten some OFX with no headers

shopper's Avatar


05 Oct, 2021 05:48 PM

Version: 2022 (4045)
Cannot download from Schwab
Console shows:

uh oh, we've gotten some OFX with no headers: <HTML>
Unhandled OFX message set: HEAD
Unhandled OFX message set: BODY


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Maddy on 06 Oct, 2021 12:30 PM

    Maddy's Avatar

    Hi Jerry,

    We are sorry to hear about the problem you have encountered.

    Are you experiencing this issue using the OFX service method?

    In light of the changes Charles Schwab (as well as other major banks) have made in this respect, we have introduced a new connection method, Moneydance +. This a premium service for downloading accounts and transactions from thousands of banks and brokerages worldwide.

    Have you tried it yet?

    You should navigate to the Online->Setup Online Banking menu then choose the Moneydance+ option.
    Here are the steps for setting up Moneydance+:
    Moneydance will ask you for your email address and then “register” your email and the current file on the server, along with your current license key (if you have one).

    The server will send a confirmation link and code to your email address. Clicking the link and entering the code will confirm that it is your email address, and that establishes your identity. It also links the data file to your identity.
    Next, you see your “account” page on the MD+ server. If you don’t already have a Moneydance+ subscription then you see a subscribe button for either the add-on subscription or the full subscription (depending upon whether you had a license key in step 1)
    When the full subscription goes through, MD+ will generate a license key and email it to you, and also store it on the server in your account there.

    Once subscribed, you’ll be brought back to that page and should see a link to connect your accounts.
    Clicking that will take you to Plaid where you can choose your bank/s, enter your login, or (usually) bounce over to your bank’s web site so that you can login directly and then it bounces you back to Plaid to make the connection.
    Please be reassured that we never see any of the user’s bank login information, and the access tokens necessary for connecting to Plaid are encrypted in a way that can only be decrypted on the user’s computer using that data file. Also, that data file is never uploaded or stored on our servers.

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

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by shopper on 06 Oct, 2021 01:34 PM

    shopper's Avatar

    Wait. What?

    You are suggesting that instead of fixing whatever OFX issues MD is having, that I switch to a MD+ "subscription"? Are you kidding? I left Quicken for, among other reasons, its change to a subscription model. No, I'm not going to pay a MD+ subscription to download my accounts. Rather, I suggest that you resolve whatever OFX issues you have with Schwab and/or any other financial institution.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Maddy on 06 Oct, 2021 02:47 PM

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    Of course Jerry, I perfectly understand your point and I believe it might be worth referring you to post 146 of this thread where Sean (the lead developer) explains in details what has happened not only to the connection with Charles Schwab but other major banks as well.

    Please find the same below:

    Multiple major banks have contacted us to indicate that they are moving away from OFX and will eventually stop running their servers. We have met with many of them about alternative methods of connecting and even joined as full members of the Financial Data Exchange (FDX: https://financialdataexchange.org). We were clear that our preference is for Moneydance, on your computer, to connect directly to their services, avoiding any "middle men" or aggregators, as they are called.

    I was shocked to hear from the banks that they wanted us to use the aggregators and that if we wanted to connect directly to them then there would be an indeterminate delay on being allowed to do so. Many months later, we're still waiting. That's another thing about the newer protocols like FDX or the EU and UK's Open Banking initiatives - they are more secure, but clients usually need to be registered and authorised to connect, so we would need explicit approval from each bank and it was clear that that approval was not going to be easy to get. I don't really blame the banks, as it is so much easier for them to deal with a few major aggregators rather than hundreds or thousands of different software vendors.

    We will still push for and implement direct connections to as many banks as possible, and we will never drop support for direct connections as long as even a single bank runs an OFX server, but if Moneydance customers want to download their transactions, it's clear that this is the only way to provide that option for the vast majority of banks.

    I'll be honest: using an aggregator does have privacy implications in that customer transaction data (descriptions amounts, and sometimes additional metadata) goes through the aggregators' servers. On the other hand, the security is often much better than with OFX in that for many banks you will authenticate directly with the bank, including using 2-factor authentication. The aggregators and Moneydance are granted a token that provides access for a certain period of time. In those cases neither Moneydance nor the aggregator will have your password and often not even your username. For connections through Plaid, even Moneydance has no idea of your name, password, or other login credentials.

    We chose Plaid specifically for their better privacy policy regarding end-user data. They do not share or distribute your data in any way according to the people we've talked to there as well as their privacy policy which you can find here: https://plaid.com/legal/#end-user-privacy-policy

    I will reiterate that we will never force anyone to use the aggregation. We will never require a subscription to use Moneydance and the current direct OFX connections. We will continue to look for and implement more direct ways to connect to banks while preserving your privacy.


    -- Sean Reilly
    Developer, The Infinite Kind

    Please let us know if you require further assistance.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by shopper on 06 Oct, 2021 03:18 PM

    shopper's Avatar

    That does not explain the inability to download Schwab. Speaking with a Schwab representative yesterday, he confirmed that OFX was turned on and available on my account. So -- why is MD not obtaining and using these OFX files?

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Maddy on 06 Oct, 2021 03:40 PM

    Maddy's Avatar

    According to the reports we have been receiving from other Schwab customers this service was disrupted from October 1. So, unfortunately this is affecting everyone., as you can see in this public thread for example.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  6. 6 Posted by shopper on 06 Oct, 2021 03:47 PM

    shopper's Avatar

    According to Schwab, OFX is operational. Disrupted? Disrupted by whom? Why is MD not working with it? Have you spoken with a Schwab representative since October 1, 2021?

  7. 7 Posted by dwg on 06 Oct, 2021 08:36 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    If you rad the post pointed to below you will see that while OFX is "operational" it is no longer OFX as it is historically known rather it if FDX and is geared towards aggregators.


  8. 8 Posted by shopper on 06 Oct, 2021 09:26 PM

    shopper's Avatar

    1. MD assures users that OFX will be supported.
    2. Schwab has an active OFX server that can be accessed for downloading accounts.
    3. MD seems to be unable to access the latter server. If Schwab changed the access protocols (and I don’t know), then MD needs to re-enable it’s ability to download from Schwab’s OFX server.
    4. FDX has nothing to do with this issue.

  9. 9 Posted by sth on 07 Oct, 2021 03:38 AM

    sth's Avatar

    @shopper, Schwab does not provide OFX to it's clients. It will only provide OFX to a registered aggregator like Plaid. Or to Sean who set up a separate server just for Schwab to route OFX data.

    It is possible that Sean's intermediate server is down. (Maddy? did a certificate expire like so much of the web)

    It is possible that Schwab no longer supplies OFX data to MD.

    There is no way that MD can enable the ability for your copy of MD to download Schwab OFX data. That can only be granted by Schwab and after talking to them many times, I can say they won't do it.

    FDX is a long term solution specified by Schwab and they have said that they will terminate OFX sometime in the future. So it does have something to do with it.

    so point 2 is wrong, since the access to that server is restricted and only a few privileged aggregators can access it for downloading. Contact Schwab

    NOTE: It would be nice if a flag was shown for download failure instead of merely noting it in the log

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Sean Reilly on 07 Oct, 2021 07:41 AM

    Sean Reilly's Avatar

    I can confirm that it's not an issue with an expired certificate. We have hit the deadline that Schwab set for disabling the OFX server access. They suggested that we work with an aggregator, and we are in the process of setting that up using the MD+ service, however we don't currently get access to investments through those connections.

    I've asked for yet another extension from Schwab for the OFX server while we work on the investments through MD+. In the meantime I'm sorry that I don't have a solution. This is my fault, not Schwab's, for taking too long to get things going through the aggregation service.


    Sean Reilly
    Developer, The Infinite Kind

  11. 11 Posted by sth on 08 Oct, 2021 01:48 PM

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    I was worried that was the case. Sean, have you given up on an FDX solution since they are restricting it to large aggregators only? FDX looked like a good security model and maybe more consistent data (ie signs of amounts in debits and credits.... :-))

    Anyway it sounds lit it will be awhile until Investments are enabled with Plaid. I hope that Schwab will grant an extension. Would it help if we pushed Schwab a bit to extend the deadline?

    Thanks for the update. I have started updating my accounts by hand, but it is a royal PITA.

  12. 12 Posted by andrea_k on 09 Oct, 2021 03:26 PM

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    I started the process of using Moneydance+, I overcame the fear produced by the message that there would be a "small" monthly charge and got as far as the email confirmation. I was then told to enter a code but the page that I got had no obvious place to enter it. I poked around the screen trying to find one but could not. I hit the submit in hope that an error message would be a guide. It just told me to start over. What should I do?

  13. 13 Posted by andrea_k on 09 Oct, 2021 04:31 PM

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    Update - I accessed the confirmation email through Chrome rather than Safari and the little rectangle where I should put the code showed up. I followed instructions and everything looked friendly and I learned the charge would be $2/month which has calmed my fears, but I still am not getting downloads. At one point I was told I would be getting another email (they did not say whether it would be from Moneydance or from Plaid) Nothing has come, no additional email and no downloads.

  14. 14 Posted by andrea_k on 09 Oct, 2021 08:56 PM

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    Each time I try I seem to get one step further. This time I got the Plaid page and specified Schwab and entered the Texted code. It seemed happy but I still do not get downloads.

    Is there a time lag?

  15. 15 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 09 Oct, 2021 08:57 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    Make sure you’re using build 4047.

  16. 16 Posted by andrea_k on 09 Oct, 2021 09:17 PM

    andrea_k's Avatar

    It worked!!!!! I saw the "Match online accounts". window. I don't know if it just appeared or if it was there all the time but hiding behind some other window.

    Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.

  17. 17 Posted by andrea_k on 09 Oct, 2021 09:20 PM

    andrea_k's Avatar

    I am back with my joy slightly diminished. It downloaded lots of transactions that were duplicates of ones that I had already entered manually.

    I am not quite sure how to handle this. Deleting transactions is easier than entering them but I long for the good old days.

  18. 18 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 09 Oct, 2021 09:32 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    Keep the new txns. Delete the old ones. Perhaps use toolbox to edit the last download date to a recent date.

  19. 19 Posted by andrea_k on 11 Oct, 2021 12:44 PM

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    Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy is back, my second download only brought in new transactions.

    I do have a new minor non-urgent problem (that I caused). In my repeated attempts to get things to work I ended up with a double copy in the "Match online account" window. If I do not put in a match the window keeps popping up, if I do (which I did) I get to copies of the transactions. How do I get rid of the second match?

  20. 20 Posted by larry on 18 Oct, 2021 07:59 PM

    larry's Avatar

    Not so much joy here. I signed up for MD+ on Saturday, but still can't get any transactions downloaded from my Schwab checking acct. The sign-up seemed to work fine, the Match Online Account window shows the connection between the Schwab account and the MD account. Looking at the console log, it appears that MD is still going directly to Schwab and getting (of course) the same 403 Forbidden error. Is there some other step I need to take to get MD to use the MD+ / Plaid method?

  21. 21 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 18 Oct, 2021 08:03 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    Click each account on the left side bar. Then Online menu. Setup online banking. Then change and then disable.

    When ofx is gone, then md+ will fire.

  22. 22 Posted by larry on 18 Oct, 2021 08:23 PM

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    Thanks! What I did instead, just after posting my prior message, was go to Online / Set Up Moneydance+. There I found that my Schwab Investor Checking was shown as linked to None (even though they were shown linked in the Match Online Accounts dialog). Once I linked it to the MD Schwab Bank Checking account, the console window appears to show it using MD+ instead of going directly to Schwab. I don't have any new transactions to download, so will have to wait to verify that it all works.

  23. 23 Posted by larry on 20 Oct, 2021 06:59 PM

    larry's Avatar

    @Stuart - thanks, your instructions worked. What I did, did not.

  24. 24 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 20 Oct, 2021 07:13 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    So you are all ok now?

  25. 25 Posted by larry on 20 Oct, 2021 08:19 PM

    larry's Avatar

    Thanks to your advice, things seem to be working again for the checking account. No joy yet for investment accounts, but I think that's a known thing that we're all waiting on.


  26. 26 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 20 Oct, 2021 08:21 PM

    Stuart Beesley - JUST A FELLOW USER and Toolbox ‘guy’'s Avatar

    👍 😃

  27. Maddy closed this discussion on 26 Oct, 2021 11:37 AM.

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