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QIF Import Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 6/17/2014 | Article ID: GEN82220

Quicken customers who import transactions from a financial institution's web site with the QIF file format will encounter problems with importing that data into banking, investing and credit card accounts. QIF Import was discontinued several years ago for importing banking/investing data, in favor of the QFX format that more closely mimics the OFX data created by most financial institutions for their Direct Connect data transmissions.

OFX provides an easier, faster, and more accurate download experience. It has enabled the Quicken development team to create new online banking features that revolutionize the way customers set up and download data into Quicken.

Click the link to determine which Quicken download method your financial institution offers, and then select one of the following procedures, based on the download method.

  • To download from your financial institution's Web site using Web Connect:
  1. Visit your financial institution's Web site.
  2. Navigate to the Quicken download section of the financial institution's Web site.
  3. Select the Web Connect .QFX file format.
  4. Select the Download to Quicken button or a link.
  • To download directly from within Quicken (One Step Update) using Direct Connect:
  1. Select the Online menu and select Online Account Services Setup.
  2. Follow the on-screen download instructions.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is happening to QIF Data Import?

A: Beginning with Quicken 2005 for Windows, QIF Data Import is no longer be available for most account types.

Q: What versions will be affected when QIF Data Import is no longer available?

A: The following versions are be impacted:

  • Quicken 2005 for Windows and later no longer allow QIF Data Import for most account types.
  • Quicken 2004 for Windows and earlier accept QIF Data Imports.
  • Quicken 2005 for Macintosh and earlier accept QIF Data Imports.
  • QuickBooks and TurboTax are not affected.

Q: Is QIF Data Import available for any accounts?

A: QIF Import will continue to be available for accounts for which a download solution through Open Financial Exchange (OFX) is not available. Such instances include:

  • Asset accounts
  • Liability accounts
  • Cash accounts
  • Small business payable accounts
  • Invoice accounts from financial institutions

Q: Why will QIF Data Import not be available for certain accounts?

A: QIF technology is over 10 years old and was designed for technical support purposes. It was not for transaction download. QIF Data Import requires many steps to download, can provide a poor customer experience, and can lead to duplicate transactions and errors. Intuit wants to provide the best possible download experience available as well as support the ongoing industry transition to OFX. OFX is the industry standard for transaction downloads and offers easier, quicker setup. OFX was introduced in 1997 and first supported by Quicken in Quicken 98.

Q: What is Open Financial Exchange (OFX)?

A: OFX is the industry standard for consumer and small business online banking, bill payment, bill presentment, investment transaction download, and 401(k) account access. Today, more than 4,000 financial institutions support download into Quicken through OFX. OFX offers greater integrity of data and enhanced features and functionality. Moving to OFX will enable customers and financial institutions to take advantage of new product features that permit 401(k) download, easier account setup, and more.

Q: What is the difference between OFX and QFX?

A: Quicken Financial Exchange (QFX) is a specification for the electronic exchange of financial data between financial institutions, business, and consumers through the Internet.

QFX is the Quicken-specific implementation of the OFX specification. Your financial institution must offer QFX to download data into Quicken.

Q: What accounts are moving exclusively to download through OFX in Quicken 2005 for Windows?

A: Checking, Savings, 401(k) and all other Brokerage accounts

Q: What additional accounts are moving exclusively to download through OFX in Quicken 2006 for Windows?

A: Credit Card accounts

Q: Why move from QIF to OFX download?

A: Intuit wants you to have the best possible download experience. Intuit supports the transition to OFX because OFX connectivity offers an easier, quicker setup and download than QIF. With OFX download:

  • There is no need for manual account setup. Quicken goes online first to set up all the accounts you have at that financial institution.
  • Quicken provides financial institution-specific instructions to get your user ID and PIN.
  • Quicken automatically sets up your account with an opening balance. There is no need to use paper statements.
  • Quicken automatically downloads and categorizes your data in the background.
  • In most cases, the date range for new transactions is selected automatically.
  • The financial institution and Quicken accounts are automatically linked after the first download session.
  • Customer support is available.
  • Quicken will automatically start when you begin an OFX Web Connect session.

Some of the limitations with QIF include:

  • QIF was never designed to be a transaction download standard. It was designed for technical support purposes.
  • QIF Data Import can lead to duplicate transactions.
  • QIF Data Import requires a multiple step process for data import.
  • QIF does not allow Quicken to automatically set up accounts within Quicken.
  • QIF is not supported by Intuit technical support.

Q: Why OFX?

A: OFX offers you an easier, faster, and more accurate download experience. Many banks, credit card, brokerage, and 401(k) companies support OFX and now connect to Quicken for automatic data downloads.*

You now get the power of financial software with the ease of login in to your financial institution Web site. After Quicken is installed, all you have to do to get started is enter the name of your financial institution, Customer ID, and PIN. Quicken then goes online to set up the accounts and downloads recent transactions. The opening balance automatically matches the current online balance at the financial institution, and thanks to auto-categorization, you receive immediate insight into your spending without doing any work. 

*Online features require Internet access and are subject to change. Services vary among participating financial institutions or other parties and may be subject to application approval, additional terms, conditions, and fees.

Q: How do I make sure I have the correct financial institution shown in my Quicken register?

A: You can confirm the financial institution name: click the Account Overview tab in Quicken and then click Edit Account Details.

Q: What do I do if my bank does not offer download through OFX?

A: If you do not find your bank or brokerage house in the list, check your financial institution Web site to find out if they are planning to move to OFX in the future. You can also call or write to your financial institution to let them know you would like to download into Quicken through OFX and would like to know more about their plans for providing this better download method for their customers.

You can consider moving to a financial institution that supports direct download through OFX. Or, remain on your current version of Quicken until your financial institution supports OFX and periodically check to see if your financial institution has started offering download into Quicken through OFX.

 

Q: How do I know I am using QIF?

A: You are most likely using QIF if you begin your data imports with the following steps in Quicken: select the File menu > Import > QIF file.

Q: How do I switch from using QIF to download through OFX?

A: Be sure your bank, credit card, or brokerage house supports download into Quicken through OFX. After you find your participating financial institution, click Set Up Download at the bottom of your Quicken account register for this financial institution and follow the instructions.

Q: Because Intuit's customer support center uses QIF to import customers' data files, how will you get this information from customers if you discontinue the ability to import QIF?

A: While QIF technology is becoming obsolete and does not offer the accuracy and speed of download through OFX, there are still a handful of circumstances that make QIF Data Import the only way to convert or fix your data. For these limited customer support circumstances, Intuit is leaving QIF Data Import available.

Q: Why is Intuit doing this?

A: OFX enables Intuit to offer you an easier, faster, and more accurate download experience. It has enabled the Quicken team to create great features like Express Setup (which was first used in Quicken 2004 for Windows) that revolutionized the way that customers set up and download data into Quicken. OFX is the industry standard for transaction download and Intuit is committed to helping the industry transition to OFX, which was introduced in 1997. Quicken has supported OFX since the release of Quicken 98.

Q: How does this impact you if you are exporting data from Quicken?

A: Customers exporting data from Quicken to other applications are not affected by this change at this time.

Q: What if I am using Quicken Bill Pay? Do the changes related to QIF impact me?

A: If you started using Quicken Bill Pay with Quicken for Windows 2005 or later, Quicken Bill Pay already uses OFX to download transactions. If you were using Quicken Bill Pay with Quicken for Windows 2004 or earlier, you should have received complete details and instructions about a Quicken Bill Pay upgrade (including a free copy of Quicken 2005) starting in August 2004. After you install Quicken 2005 or later and complete the upgrade, you will no longer be able to download QIF data. If you want to continue using QIF, do not install the Quicken 2005 or later and your Quicken Bill Pay service will remain unchanged.

Q: What if I am using Quicken Credit Card? Do the changes related to QIF impact me?

A: If you use Quicken Credit Card to download your transactions into Quicken, you are not affected by these changes. Downloads through Quicken Credit Card are supported by OFX.

Q: Will my financial institution charge fees for OFX download?

A: Financial institutions determine what, if any, fees will be charged for downloading into Quicken through OFX. Contact your financial institution to determine the fee that will be charged.

Q: Why does Intuit charge financial institutions a fee to connect to Quicken?

A: Intuit charges a fee to financial institutions to connect to Quicken through OFX because Intuit products, like Quicken, are uniquely positioned to provide financial institutions with a better way to attract, retain, and serve their customers by offering a more valuable service. This small fee enables Intuit to offset costs, offer connectivity to more financial institutions, and continue to develop better products and services using the faster, easier, and more accurate OFX method.

Q: Does Intuit charge all financial institutions the same fee to connect Quicken?

A: Intuit offers various pricing options for connectivity based on the size of institutions customer base. Smaller banks pay less than larger banks.

Q: Does Intuit require banks to charge their customers for connectivity?

A: Absolutely not. Intuit does not mandate that financial institutions charge their customers for OFX connectivity with Quicken. In fact, many financial institutions offer this service free of charge to their customers.

Q: How many financial institutions connect to Quicken?

A: Today, Quicken connects with over 4,000 financial institutions through OFX, serving millions of customers. What this means is that financial institutions are seeing the benefit of providing their customers the ability to download data faster, easier and more accurately into Quicken through the industry-standard OFX format. This also means that Intuit's flexibility in pricing is making it easier and easier for FIs of all sizes to connect to Quicken.

 
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