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How Quicken Connects to Your Bank

Updated: 11/27/2013 | Article ID: GEN83013

There are three ways Quicken interacts with your bank.  

  • Express Web Connect (known as Quicken Connect if you're using Quicken Essentials for Mac)
  • Direct Connect
  • Web Connect

The method Quicken chooses depends on the services supported by your financial institution, your preferences, and Intuit's relationship with the financial institution.

Web Connect is, simply put, a way you can download your transactions directly from your bank's website and import them into Quicken.  In this case, there is no real communication going on between your Quicken software and your bank.

With the Express Web Connect (EWC) and Direct Connect methods Quicken communicates directly with your bank.  You don't have to sign into your bank's website and manually download transactions - Quicken does this for you.  With Direct Connect, Quicken can even talk back (for bill pay, money transfers, etc.).

Ok, so how does it work?

Depending on the services supported by your bank, Quicken chooses the best available method to update transactions and balances.  Quicken will always start with Direct Connect if your bank supports it.  In some cases, your bank's ID and password will be different for Direct Connect than the one you use to sign into their website.  Your bank will typically have you give them a call to establish Direct Connect, since real-time transfers of money are involved. If your bank doesn't support Direct Connect, then you'll be automatically setup to use Express Web Connect. Express Web Connect is the most common and most used connection type.

If Express Web Connect fails, it's typically caused by entering in the wrong user ID and/or password.  Quicken will suggest contacting your bank to verify you have the right credentials.

I've already setup my account.  How do I know which method I'm using?

  • If you're using Quicken for Windows, choose the Tools menu then select Account List.  Click Edit next to your account, then choose the Online tab at the top.
  • On a Mac, choose your account on the left, then click the Settings button on the right at bottom. Your connection type will be listed at the bottom (you may need to scroll down to see it).

Here is a summary of the differences.

Feature
Express Web Connect
Direct Connect
Web Connect
Automatically download transactions from your financial institution.
X
X
 
Pay bills and transfer money directly from Quicken.  
X
 
Your financial institution may require a monthly fee and separate activation for this service.  
X
 
You must manually download a file from your financial institution web site to update your transactions and account balances.    
X

Express Web Connect / Quicken Connect - Details

   
Availability
  • Most financial institutions.
Features
  • Download transactions and update account balances.
Setup
  • Use the web site login information as your user ID and password when you add accounts at that financial institution to Quicken.
Bill Pay
  • Not available from within Quicken.
Use
  • You don't need to leave Quicken to download transactions and update account balances.
  • Just update your accounts and your new transactions and balances will be downloaded directly into Quicken.
Fees
  • You are not charged fees to use Express Web Connect.
Data
  • Express Web Connect is a one-way connection. Data is imported into Quicken, but Quicken cannot affect your transactions or balances in any way.
  • Access and retrieval of data is automated through the use of scripts and nightly aggregation. During aggregation, Quicken logs in to your online banking web site on your behalf. Generally this happens once a day and outside of business hours. Because of this, you may notice login activity on your online banking web site overnight.
  • Your login credentials are stored on Intuit-hosted servers. This makes updates faster for you.
  • Your financial data is stored on Intuit-hosted servers. This provides a more complete history of your financial transactions than is typical for data stored on financial institution servers.
  • We use state-of-the-art security measures to protect your login credentials and your financial data.
   

 

Direct Connect - Details

   
Availability
  • Direct Connect is available to customers of Intuit partner financial institutions.
Features
  • Download transactions, update account balances, pay bills, and transfer money between your accounts.
Setup
  • Contact your financial institution to check on availability and to sign up for Direct Connect with Quicken.
Bill Pay
  • Available from within Quicken.
Use
  • You don't need to leave Quicken to use the features that Direct Connect provides.
  • If you signed up for bill payment, you can create payments from within Quicken and send them at the same time you download transactions and update your account balances.
Fees
  • You may need to pay your financial institution a fee to use Direct Connect.
  • Financial institutions pay Intuit a fee for to support the services that Direct Connect provides.
  • Contact your financial institution for details.
Data
  • Direct Connect is a two-way connection. This means that data flows in both directions. First, a request for data is sent to your financial institution by Quicken. After the request has been authenticated by your financial institution servers, data is then received and presented in Quicken.
  • Your financial data is stored on servers controlled by your financial institution or by a third-party they connect with.
  • Your financial data is encrypted during download.
  • Your customer ID and password are not stored on Intuit servers. If you choose to use the Quicken Password Vault, we encrypt them on your computer's hard drive.
   

 

Web Connect - Details

   
Availability
  • Web Connect is available to customers of Intuit partner financial institutions.
Features
  • Download transactions and update account balances.
Setup
  • Visit your financial institution web site and create a website login if you don’t have one already.
  • Use the website login information as your user ID and password when you add accounts at that financial institution to Quicken.
Bill Pay
  • Not available from within Quicken.
Use
  • To initiate an update by visiting your financial institution's web site, navigate to a “Download” or “History” area (the name will vary). When you see a button or link that says “Download to Quicken,” click it.
  • To initiate an update from within Quicken, open the account you want to update, and then choose Account Actions > Update Now. This will take you to your financial institution web site. Click "Download to Quicken" to update your account.
Fees
  • You are not charged fees to use Web Connect.
  • Financial institutions pay Intuit a fee to support the services that Web Connect provides.
Data
  • Web Connect is a one-way connection. Data is imported into Quicken, but not exported.
  • All imported data is stored on your computer.
  • Financial data is encrypted during download.
  • Your login information is not stored in Quicken. You must enter it each time you update your account.
   

 

 
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