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Shane Witbeck has found a new interest:  OFX:

I started looking into OFX because there seems to be a need for a good personal finance application for Mac OS X and the one feature missing from existing apps is live connectivity to banks.

Shane is already linking to /n software's IBiz OFX Integrator, which has just been updated and re-released as IBiz E-Banking Integrator.  The new E-Banking Integrator includes new components for bill payment, account discovery, and funds transfer

I can answer a few of Shane's OFX related questions:

After Googling and doing further research, I’ve found that some banks actually charge a fee for connecting to an account via OFX. Some banks simply don’t offer OFX and instead narrow their focus on more prevalent formats such as Quicken, QuickBooks, and Microsoft Money.

It's true that some banks charge for OFX access.  For many banks, if you have access to their regular online banking services, you also have access to OFX services (provided you can find the connection details - Shane has pointed to a great resource for this - the OFX Blog).  Some banks require you to pay extra fees in order for your account details to be accessible via OFX.  Sometimes login to OFX services is the same as login to the regular online banking pages, but not always.  I notice that the OFX Blog makes notes of this, for example, in these listings for Bank of America it states that BoA enrollment for web services automatically enrolls you for OFX services, and that the password used for web services is also used for OFX services.

It seems as though OFX never really was adopted as a standard format or at least by most of the major banks. OFX connection information is very difficult to track down and most of the information I’ve found is vague. I suppose this explains why there are only a few major players in the market of personal finance desktop applications that can offer the crucial feature of being able to download live transactions.

OFX has definitely been adopted as the standard format for all of the major banks in the US.  Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, , Citibank, SunTrust, etc - all support OFX services.  Any bank that you can communicate with live using Microsoft Money, Quicken, or QuickBooks is communiating via OFX.

As for the "OFX information" - this used to be very difficult to come by (now there is the OFX Blog, and Jeremy Jongsma's data files).  If you call up customer service for your bank and say "OFX" to the person on the other end they won't have any clue what you're talking about.  The banks give this information to the major players, and then you get letters from your bank every so often stating that they'll no longer be supporting version X of such and such application.  You form you own conclusions there.  :)

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Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 12:43 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: E-Banking API - OFX

# re: E-Banking API - OFX
Requesting Gravatar...
I was wondering if there was some information on Asian banks??
Left by Ali on Jan 28, 2011 8:47 PM

# re: E-Banking API - OFX
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good one
Left by sumit on Nov 29, 2012 1:33 AM

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