Quicken Transaction Downloads

I’m curious what people think about linking Quicken to my financial institutions so I can download my transaction data.

As I understand, Quicken downloads transactions to their servers and then users get them from Quicken’s servers.

I’m nervous about my data being on Quicken’s servers. Am I being overly cautious?

I’ve been doing this for years, first with Mint and then Quicken and not been very concerned about it. I’m sure it’s at least as secure as iCloud has been, if not more so. The biggest danger is that you get phished for your login credentials, so if you think that you’re vulnerable to that, then I wouldn’t go for it. But even that would only give access to your transactions and not allow the perpetrator to withdraw funds.

Well, of course there’s also granting another company access to your complete list of financial transactions; something that could be very valuable to them for the purpose of selling info about you to advertisers. (Maybe not specifically you, but still enriching them with some very valuable info about you.)

That’s not as bad, of course, as actually having that data stolen. And perhaps that’s a trade off you’re willing to make for the convenience. Still, it’s something to consider.

In which case one needs to carefully read the Privacy Policy involved and trust that it’s an honest, clear documentation of their use of the data being shared.

In the case of Mint/Quicken I have not seen any evidence that any other Company benefited from their access to my accounts.

Sure, and hopefully not will stay that way. But other companies have changed privacy policies after the fact; the fact that it’s not Intuit that owns it anymore but instead a private investment firm (that just acquired if from another last year) to me makes me wonder if they will leverage data like this.

Again, it’s something to keep in mind. That’s potentially some awfully valuable data to trust to just one company.

When you talk about downloading transaction data do you mean downloading it to your Mac or to Intuit’s servers which you access through the Net.
I’ve been using Quicken to download financial data from banks, credit cards, investment companies and now Paypal for many years without problems, but the data stays on my Mac, not on Intuit’s cloud server. I consider that somewhat less risk, but I agree it is not a zero risk. It’s a tradeoff I take because I don’t want to enter all my financial transactions by hand.

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Same story as Jeff Hecht. I keep “mobile and web sync” turned off to limit data to my Mac.

I can’t imagine not downloading directly into Quicken. I have multiple bank and credit card accounts, two PayPal accounts, Venmo and a brokerage account. Most are set to auto-reconcile which also saves tons of time. Daily, I just review download activity (automatically flagged as recently downloaded for easy recognition) and move on with my life.

It isn’t zero risk but a tradeoff I’m willing to make.

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I download our bank and credit card data and then import it into Quicken from my downloads folder.

Thank you for reminding me that it’s often possible to download transactions directly from financial institutions and avoiding Intuit altogether.

I’ll look into this.


It was mentioned earlier, but Quicken is no longer an Intuit owned application/system.

And although some banking systems do allow you to download transactions in a format compatible with Quicken importing, many of mine do not. And since Quicken keeps track 10 accounts of almost 30 sub-account from over half-a-dozen institutions, importing all those transitions periodically is something I just can’t find time for.

If you have only a handful of banking, credit, mortgage and retirement accounts to keep track of, it’s probably doable.

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I’ve used Quicken for many decades. I don’t download the data but not for security reasons. I’ve had experiences when credit cards and banks have made errors. I manually enter each purchase/transaction and then reconcile them with the bank/credit card statement which I printout.

Similar process here, but reversed: I do download all my transactions into Quicken (and for @nello’s benefit, have done for…wow, 20 years now?), but every week I manually reconcile the downloaded transactions in Quicken with my receipts (which I scan and then shred).

The major problem I have with downloading credit card information is that the “Category” imported may have no relation to the product you actually paid for.

These categories are called “merchant category codes” and are standards described at Merchant category code - Wikipedia and
Merchant Category Codes (MCC): What You Need to Know [2022]
Each is described by a four-digit code, and you can find lists of them on the web.

At first glance they seem like a convenience, but I started looking at them while doing my taxes, I realized the categories did not correspond with those I use in tracking my business expenses. The more I look at them the more problematic they become.

One basic problem is that many merchants carry a wide variety of products and people may buy multiple products at the same time. If you shop at a large store, like Target, you’re likely to buy different types of products, such as food, clothing, and electronics. Even if you go to a pharmacy, you may buy prescription drugs (deductible for taxes) and over-the-counter drugs (not deductible).

It gets worse the closer I look. My payment to a professional scientific society is listed as “Business Services:Printing (Business)”. A purchase at Lowes is classed as “Home:Home Improvement”, which generally describes what they sell, but isn’t everything they sell.

I don’t have more examples because I recently edited my records to fit my own accounting, but take a look at your own records to see what categories are listed for what purchases. At first it looks almost funny, but it can be a nuisance if you need information for filing taxes.

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