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Bank Feeds for Xero Personal – progress update

Back in April we advised a delay in getting started on developing automated bank feeds into Xero Personal. This was due to the improvements required to our underlying banking integration platform to manage the continued growth in use of bank feeds with Xero.

This work took several weeks longer than expected but the team are now full steam ahead connecting Xero Personal into the banking platform. However, with this later than anticipated start we won’t make our target of a July/Sept quarter release – it will slip into Oct/Dec. We’ll keep you up-to-date with progress.

We’re aware there will be frustration with this further delay and we’ll take that on the chin. As is often the case with software projects, there are a lot of moving parts and dependencies beyond our direct control. We are as keen for the release as you are.

On the upside, while some of the underlying platform work has been happening we have forged ahead on related feature development, specifically the new sorting rules released in July. These make it quicker and easier to sort your transactions. The enhanced sorting logic is required to ensure sorting happens as expected with the different forms of transaction descriptions contained in the bank feeds from Yodlee.

We’re also upgrading all the charts to eliminate the use of Flash (this change is essential for iPad users) and a bunch other features and smaller improvements, such as the ability to put notes on transactions.

These additional features, along with the bank feeds, will combine to create a bumper next release for Xero Personal that will be worth the wait.

 

Read more about Personal

 

87 comments

Ken
8 August 2012 #

wow…been a long wait

stuartm
8 August 2012 #

Unbelievable.

Gayle Buchanan
8 August 2012 #

Can only imagine how much work is involved with the talented team of developers in Xero – thanks so much for delaying the release until you are comfortable with a top notch delivery … much appreciated.

Chris
8 August 2012 #

Hard not to be disappointed with this news – I understand software development takes time but you are adding 4 to 5 months to the timeline on an already heavily delayed feature
It would seem that the Xero Personal version is moving from the poor cousin to a distant relative

Larissa
8 August 2012 #

Early Christmas present perhaps? Can’t wait for live bank feeds! BRING IT ON!

I was thinking it would be really good to have the option when transferring money in to an account, to be able to tag it to a sub category within deposit – so you can deduct the amount spent in a category.
For example: I’m going halves in a present and pay for it all on my card, but a friend will deposit her half into my account later.

Yawn
8 August 2012 #

I saw the link for this update and guessed the content before I read it. Really wished I stayed with ms money until bank feeds really did happen instead of empty promises

Avery Dorland
8 August 2012 #

The updates are appreciated, being kept in the loop is the next best thing to an actual release.

Chris
9 August 2012 #

It’s nice to know this hasn’t been forgotten entirely. However, I can’t help but relate to the Chris above me – it really feels like Xero Personal has taken a back seat. I’ve been wanting to migrate to this service for years now – waiting in anticipation of automatic bank feeds which were promised, if memory serves correctly, way back when the product was still going to be free.

James
9 August 2012 #

Good to hear a progress update, but to be blunt, Xero Personal should never have been launched until automatic bank feeds are in place. Especially when the business version has been doing the bank feeds for years.

Earl Rudolfo
9 August 2012 #

May have to jump onto Xero personal when bank feeds come on board. Won’t have any compelling excuse not to then -:) Looking forward to it, Xero team.

Kelvin Hartnall
9 August 2012 #

I note in the recent annual report Rod quoted “…it is the fast that eat the slow.” Some development milestones seem to be continually slipping. I hope that Xero can continue to grow rapidly without affecting its ability to act quickly.

JC
9 August 2012 #

Pretty glad i decided to just use the non-gst cashbook as a personal ledger…

Michael Carter
10 August 2012 #

R.I.P. Flash. Steve Jobs would be smiling. Another victory for him.

Agree with @James’ point. 20-20 hindsight is a wonderful thing though, and whilst using the Yodlee platform has been an accelerator for Xero, it seems it has hamstrung the Xero Personal development? Alas.

If you could wind back the clock, no doubt you would have taken @James’ approach, and not have announced it early. But without time travel abilities, at least you are openly taking the continually delayed released on the chin. I’m imagining there will be a hell of a part at Xero when it is finally released!

Really looking forward to Xero Personal from our perspective in teaching firms how to market their services, as it opens up a whole new service offering that accountants and bookkeepers can provide to their clients, with ‘cash flow coaching and accountability conversations’ to keep families on track with their financial goals.

This has huge potential to bring about positive change in families. This, bottom line, is why we are so passionate about this industry. It’s potential to change peoples’ lives, and with great tools like Xero Personal, this has never been so achievable for firms.

Gary Littledyke
12 August 2012 #

For me it is lucky for XERO that there isn’t any real competition in the UK. THe software is pretty useless without automatic bank feeds in my opinion, that’s the killer feature that makes it easy and painfree to use. Please don’t delay this release again! This is becoming increasingly frustrating and you are loosing all credability with the constant changes in the expected release date …will we get a message in November saying that because of x or y it’s now going to be Q1 of 2013? Let’s hope not.

Sophie Dennis
14 August 2012 #

I’ve only just switched to Xero (for both personal and business). I can see it’s frustrating if you’ve been waiting a long time for this feature, but for me the current absence of automated bank feeds is not a major issue. The simplicity of the manual import and automatic sorting and categorising are more than enough of a speed and efficiency win over how I was doing this before.

Earl Rudolfo
14 August 2012 #

Some good points, Michael. After seeing this article and all the comments pouring in I decided to revisit Xero personal and set up a trial. I agree there is definitely untapped potential opportunities for Xero partners and others (ie. personal financial planners) to engage their Xero business clients in seeing the value of using both Xero business and Xero personal. I for one am definitely beginning to see the light (vision) here. Once auto bank feeds come on board, this could be a real game changer. The bank feeds will make a nice Christmas present -;)

Alastair
22 August 2012 #

Thanks for keeping us updated team! Good to hear progress is underway.

I’m a heavy user of Xero, and i much prefer quality over timing. Reality is that I want it to work, and if it takes a few extra months, i’m ok with that.

Keep up the good work!

Scott Barrington
23 August 2012 #

Me and others I know are keen to start using Xero personal (as we use Xero for all Businesses), but won’t do it until these auto feeds are up and running!

Brad Stevens
23 August 2012 #

I was keen to be a part of Xero personal about 6 months ago and I assumed (wrongly) that the bankfeeds in the business version would of course be in the personal version. I tried it without the bankfeeds but that just frustrated me so I found an alternative from one of the big banks for Free. I’ll keep watching the space and know Xeros personal product will be a key player once it has bank feeds.

Ed
29 August 2012 #

I have a concern regarding Bank Feeds. Is it true that handing over access to my bank account to Xero would break the T&C’s of my bank and so make me liable for any fraud that occurred on my bank account?

This is the most up to date information I can find but would like to be answered directly http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/group-thread/bank-feeds-you-know-theyre-dodgy-right

If it’s on a per-bank basis I would be happy to offer specifics.

Thanks!

James
29 August 2012 #

@Ed – I’m not sure, but I tried out another product that used Yodlee and it seemed a bit dodgy really, kept locking me out of my account, I don’t think our banks would be impressed.
Thankfully many of the New Zealand banks have direct feeds without Yodlee, I’m hoping we can use those instead in Xero Personal. I’m quite happy with Kiwibank’s Heaps service, although it isn’t quite powerful enough for what I’d like to do.

Matt Vickers
29 August 2012 #

Hi Ed, we are unable to offer advice regarding any bank’s T&Cs. There is a diversity of opinion amongst financial institutions – even amongst those that publish very similar T&Cs. Some banks use Yodlee for their own bank account aggregation purposes. We believe that the convenience of bank feeds supplied via Yodlee far outweighs the risk of using them, which we believe to be negligible to the account holder.

Some banks have been slow to respond to the needs and demands of the small business and consumer market, and until those needs are met, small businesses and consumers will continue to want to use aggregation services in order to augment their productivity. In response to demand, we’ve elected to allow access to these services within Xero, and will soon allow access within Xero Personal, so that you can choose to take advantage of this convenience if you wish.

We’re talking to financial institutions all the time about how they can share data with us in other ways, and we work with a number of forward-thinking and futuristic partner banks that have all implemented a direct integration with us. As we’ve grown as a company these sorts of conversations have increased in number and in frequency, and naturally our ambition is to have direct feeds from all major banks worldwide.

As you can imagine, this is a long journey, and one that we’re up for. In the meantime, where we don’t yet have a partnership with a bank, we will give you access to the best tools that we can, like aggregation services, for productivity gains. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to use those tools or not.

If you have concerns you should review your bank’s T&Cs along with our Terms of Use and make your own decision.

Robert Egglestone
31 August 2012 #

If anyone is interested, the scripts below can be used to automatically export statements from an ASB account, and import them into Xero Personal. They’ll run under your control, so you don’t need to provide your password to Yodlee or another company.

They’re in a rough form, and you absolutely need to be able to read and understand what they do before using them, so they’re more for techies than a general audience. Even so, I hope they’ll be useful to people, at least until Xero Personal gets built in support for more banks.

https://github.com/Tantalon/automoney

Kevin
6 September 2012 #

Is the plan to also use Yodlee feeds for other things like reward card balances? I think that would be useful to include if possible.

Matt Vickers
6 September 2012 #

Hi @Kevin, great question. We haven’t explored Yodlee’s ability to do this in a lot of detail, as in a business context reward card balances don’t (generally speaking) affect financial reporting. If a clever accounting professional has a different view, I’m keen to hear it! That’s not to say reward card balances wouldn’t be useful, and as feeds are rolled out for personal it may make sense to look at this feature again. But it’s fair to say it’s not a huge priority for us right now.

Terry Davis
8 September 2012 #

Hope we get bank feeds before my renewal comes up.

Ben
11 September 2012 #

Can’t come soon enough guys. No pressure.

Damon
15 September 2012 #

Hi Xero – Why is this facility any different to Xero Business? Bank feed should be a generic facility – really looking forward to when this is made available

Kevin
3 October 2012 #

When in the Oct/Dec period will bank feeds be going live? I just started a trial and won’t be purchasing until feeds are working.

Pip B
4 October 2012 #

Hi guys. Can you please give an ETA on this. Waiting patiently but patience being tested.

Sara Goepel
5 October 2012 #

@pip Yes it’s in process. We are currently in testing and are still working towards a release later this year.

svs
11 October 2012 #

sorry, I’ve moved to another platform, didn’t even bother with the trial once I discovered you don’t offer bank feeds to personal accounts. The first request for bank feeds was made in June 2010, and the delays keep coming. Plus the fact that feeds already work for your business accounts, meaning the underlying software is already there.

Dan
12 October 2012 #

I was first introduced to Xero personal through a friend who had enjoyed using the business version about 3 years ago, at which points bank feeds were ‘coming soon’. I cant help but feel that Xero has lost a significant opportunity to corner the market, especially in the UK where there is minimal competition. However, when you see a glut of other services (not all of them great) offering something similar, with automated bank feeds and NO COST, you have to fear for Xero Personal’s future. With so many early adopters having patiently waited for the ONE FEATURE that is the game changer, for a number of years I think the opportunity has passed. I like the software look and feel but without the feeds it is no better than anything else out there and increasingly being left behind. You have till December to convince me, otherwise I will no longer check the website every 12 months in the hope feeds are now a feature.

Dan
14 October 2012 #

I just want to add to my comment that I have since been told about Yodlee Money Centre which works with all the major UK banks with automated feeds. Having just signed up I can see where Xero Personal is trying to get too. However, Yodlee is FREE and very impressive software that has stolen a march on Xero. They have been doing it for 10 years and are the main platform all the large bank feed sites (Mint etc) use so check em out. Sorry Xero, I think even when bank feeds eventually happen (if at all) I wont be paying £20-30 a year for the privilege when others do not charge

Tod
15 October 2012 #

I’d like to add my comments also, I been using Xero business for a couple of years and I’m really happy I made the change from Quickbooks after using this software for 15+ years, but using Xero personal has been a very painful experience and I would NOT recommend it until it has bank feeds. I cant help but feel that Xero has lost a significant opportunity to offer a truly great personal product…

Dave
24 October 2012 #

I hope that this gets implemented soon. I use Xero for two businesses but I wouldn’t touch the personal product until automatic bank feeds are implemented.

Gary Littledyke
3 November 2012 #

So … Oct/Dec .. and it’s now November so how about an update? Are we still going to see this update before the end of the year?

David G
5 November 2012 #

Any word on a release date yet? It’s so frustrating. Xero Personal has been largely a waste of money so far – its such a hassle without bank feeds I’ve stopped updating it.

Jeff
6 November 2012 #

I too would like to know when this feature will be ready.

Tim
7 November 2012 #

So…if it’s in testing, and you need someone to beta test, I’ll put my hand up.

Pip
8 November 2012 #

Still waiting :( Communication is so important with these types of things. Keeping us hanging and returning to this thread for updates doesnt make the money we pay feel worthwhile.

Sara Goepel
8 November 2012 #

@David, Jeff and Pip: Yes, we’re aiming for a release first week in December. We haven’t communicated this date before because we’re just now coming to the end of our testing.

Gary Littledyke
11 November 2012 #

OMG! YAY! guys guys guys…. an early Xmas present … that’s awesome! I can’t wait :-)

Damon
11 November 2012 #

Glad to see this has a date we can look forward too.

Please make sure this doesn’t shift… Is there anything we need to do with our Banks so we can take advantage of this new feature without delays at the Banks?

Damon

Nick B
12 November 2012 #

If we have already submitted a XERO form for our personal accounts to our bank, do we have to this again, come Dec 1st ?

Dan
14 November 2012 #

What odds will you give on the first week of December actually being met? I think I would have better odds winning the lottery……………..without a ticket! :-) Here’s hoping anyway, this saga has gone on longer than I can remember

Galen King
14 November 2012 #

Great timing. I know these things take time and can be held up by many factors. Just happy to hear feeds are almost ready as, without them, Xero Personal is beautiful but not highly usable. Looking forward to giving it a really good run once this is all go. Keep up the great work.

Nick B
22 November 2012 #

Is anyone able to answer my question above ? Is this feature still on schedule ?

Darren
24 November 2012 #

@Sara Goepel, are you still on track for 1st week December release?
Thanks

Jon
27 November 2012 #

My trial is coming to an end and am reluctant to pay without the bank feeds working (like they do in Xero business). Will this be released soon?

Sara Goepel
27 November 2012 #

@Darren and @Nick B: we’re nearly there with the release — the final pieces have taken a little bit longer than expected, so we’re now targeting the second week of December.

Nick B
27 November 2012 #

Sara, thanks for the update, at last. Communicating with the customers, helps to keep the customers in the loop.

Andy
29 November 2012 #

Excellent, once these go live I’ll be considering returning to Xero. Matt Vickers mentioned in a previous reply that certain institutions support direct feed integration such as HSBC in the UK and PayPal. Will these also be supported as direct feeds within Xero Personal without the need for Yodlee?

Matt Vickers
30 November 2012 #

Hi @Andy – a direct feed in Xero Business does not necessarily mean that we are able to supply a direct feed in Xero Personal – all feeds have an associated cost and currently it’s not affordable for us to provide data using the same process that we have for business. That may change, but for now feeds in Xero Personal will be supplied via Yodlee.

Gary Ashby
30 November 2012 #

Thanks very much Alastair.

I look forward to this. I thought this might have been a feature limitation with Xero Personal.

Look forward to it.

Gary Ashby

Dan
2 December 2012 #

Notice another service has cropped up which offers everything Xero promised to offer but continues to fail in doing. You guys had two years to corner the market and have largely failed. All the early xero adopters are tired of waiting for bank feeds. Another Yodlee powered service called OnTrees for the UK market looks amazing with bank feeds standard

Nick B
3 December 2012 #

> but for now feeds in Xero Personal will be supplied via Yodlee.

so what the practical effect of having feeds via Yodlee, as against a direct feed ? Would a user be able to spot the difference ?

Also is someone able to answer my question of 12 November ?

Matt Vickers
4 December 2012 #

Hi @Nick – feeds are quicker to set up. You won’t need to fill in any paper forms, though unfortunately we’re unable reuse any feeds you’ve already got set up for Xero business – they will need to be set up in Xero Personal independently.

Yodlee requires you to share your online banking credentials with them so they can login on to your online banking on your behalf. Quality of the data supplied varies depending on the data available in online banking and the reliability of the financial institution’s online banking service.

Jeff
5 December 2012 #

I’ve used services before that aggregate from Yodlee. They have excellent support for institutions — rivaled only by Quicken/Mint.

Fergal
6 December 2012 #

Ok Xero, so second week of December is nearly upon us. Are your clients going to be able to have live feeds set up and if so what is the process.
I’m in NZ and am keen to know what I need to do for this to happen, as well as banks supporting, cr cards and are you expecting any bottlenecks with processing.
Like most am keen to see if this is really happening but very frustrated with the delay.
Please sort it out!

Glen
6 December 2012 #

OK, it may technically be the second week of December, but the first business week. Hold fire and then unload next week I reckon :-)

Sara Goepel
6 December 2012 #

@Fergal: Feeds are coming next week, and since they’re through Yodlee, there won’t be any bottlenecks or waiting time to get them setup.

Robert Huber
7 December 2012 #

Does the fact that it is Yodlee feeds mean that it will only be for UK/NZ banks, and that the US Banks and Brokers will be later “sometime”?

Brendan
8 December 2012 #

A list of banks would be great…? I use a few online only Australian banks (Ubank etc) hope they are all supported!

Sara
9 December 2012 #

How will we be notified when this feature is available?

Alastair Grigg
9 December 2012 #

@Sara: We’re releasing the automated feeds tomorrow, accompanied with the usual in-app notification and release blog.

@Robert, @Brendan: We’ll be releasing virtually all feeds that are available through Yodlee, including a large number of US financial institutions. The release blog will include a link to our Xero Personal community site where we will list the NZ, AU and UK banks for which feeds will be available. Unfortunately, feeds for UBank in Australia aren’t currently available from Yodlee.

After the release you can easily check the availability of feeds for any bank from a bank account setup within Xero Personal.

Martins
10 December 2012 #

Great, thank you Xero for this Christmas present!

Tom
10 December 2012 #

Bank feeds from Chrome (commonwealth bank) end with the following error:
Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to personal.xero.com:81

Seems to be working on Internet explorer though. I will keep u updated.
Tom.

Tom
10 December 2012 #

Update from above – Works very well on Internet Explorer. Bank feeds are very quick.

Thanks team.

Damian
10 December 2012 #

Worked in IE however now all my accounts don’t show a balance and are asking me to add it – shouldn’t they have just continued on from what was manually reconciled? It didn’t add transactions until today either – only until about 26 November or December 6.

James
10 December 2012 #

St George Bank in AU is not supported? Is yodlee useable there as it is (I think) for business in Australia? My St George accounts have feeds in xero for business but not personal, and they’re my primary accounts. Great to see support for CBA, can’t connect though, 10 minutes and still no feed.

Alastair Grigg
10 December 2012 #

@Damian: when a bank account is switched over to automated feeds we can’t be certain of the new balance because we don’t get the balance in the feed. Just click update balance and confirm the balance for the date asked, being the end of your latest automated feed and you’re done.

Damian
10 December 2012 #

Np mate, done. Is there a reason the updates are always a few days behind, is this on purpose because sometimes EFTPOS transactions don’t update descriptions for a few days maybe.

Alastair Grigg
10 December 2012 #

@James: We’d held back feeds for St George Bank as it was one of the Au banks we hadn’t had the opportunity to test from Xero Personal, although you are right it is generally working well for Xero Business customers. Hope to have an updated ETA on St George in the next couple of days. CBA should be working fine, but we did notice some issues in testing when customers had applied ‘nick names’ to their accounts.

@Damian: Yes, it will generally be to ensure interbank settlement has been completed (further extended when refresh happens just after a weekend) and full transaction details are available.

Glen
10 December 2012 #

none of the feeds work for me :-( .. Amex, HSBC and St George…

cameron
10 December 2012 #

I have Xero Personal through MoneyMap – do I get feeds now or is there yet more limitation on my type of account? I can’t see the link anywhere to commence getting feeds into my personal accounts?

Marcel
7 January 2013 #

Any word on when St George feed will be available? Thanks.

Gareth
9 January 2013 #

Hi Guys,

I live in the UK, banking primarily with Natwest, Barclays & MBNA (MBNA & Virgin Amex via MBNA).

Are you guys able to support that, or at the least support Natwest accounts as a starter?

Thanks in advance,
Gareth

Georgie
12 January 2013 #

I am disappointed that ‘direct’ bank feeds are not available in Xero Personal in the same way that they are in Xero Buisiness. I will not be giving my bank credentials to Yodlee, despite the security assurances, as it violates the T&C with my bank. If it is a matter of cost, why not have this as an optional paid add-on?

Matt Vickers
18 January 2013 #

Hi @Marcel & @Gareth – if a feed is available in business it should now be available in personal too. St George should be there along with Natwest & Barclays. Some customers are reporting issues with the St George feed presently, we’re investigating.

@Georgie: We’re considering a few options – a paid add-on is one of them. Great to know that approach has your support.

Nick Barbalich
7 February 2013 #

These Yodlee feeds are rubbish !!

Its 07 Feb 2013, and I still have not received all the transaction from my bank accounts up to the end of January !

My bank is Westpac NZ, so I suggest they have a resonable online banking service. I can see all the transactions when I go online via the bank, but it seems that the XERO personal feeds are taking more than 5 working days before they come through !!

My xero feeds says it was last updated on 2 Feb, but the last transaction received is 30 Jan 2013.

Is there any explaination as to why this is so SLOW.

Again, this delay on receiving transactions was NEVER explained to the customers in advance.

Nick Barbalich
12 February 2013 #

Its the 12 Feb, and a whole lot of transactions have come through up to 7 Feb (thursday). It seems that these Yodlee feeds only operate once per week, and then go back to sleep.
Again this was never explained to the customers.
I think XERO should be able to do better.

Chris
13 February 2013 #

Tried for the last 2 nights to get feeds from NAB in Aus and constant connection problems. Have not been able to get a feed for my NAB credit card since switching to Xero a week ago. Is this a problem with NAB or are these feeds working irregularly?

Matt Vickers
13 February 2013 #

Hi @Nick – there was a problem with some overnight refreshes the last few days which may have held up delivery of some data but this has now been resolved. Data should be coming through near-daily for non-MFA feeds. If you’re still having problems please contact our support team at bankfeedhelp@xero.com.

Hi @Chris – I see you’ve contacted support, I’ll get them to get back to you to see if we can help.

Nick Barbalich
15 February 2013 #

Matt

Thanks for the response. I will monitor this more carefully. Can you explain what ‘non-MFA feeds’ means ?

Nick

Nick

Matt Vickers
18 February 2013 #

Hi @Nick – MFA refers to multi-factor-authentication. It’s a bit of a mouthful! It refers to when a bank requests one-time tokens or asks security questions when you login to your online banking. When a bank uses MFA, it means that the information used to login changes every time you use the site. When a bank does this, Yodlee usually can’t access and retrieve your data independently, as it doesn’t have all the authentication information it needs to do so. This means that the owner of the account must initiate the retrieval of data, so that they can supply the one-time information (the MFA challenge) when the bank presents it.

Non-MFA refers to banks that do not use MFA, and where Yodlee can therefore retrieve your data for you without you initiating the retrieval.

Robbie Dellow
18 February 2013 #

Hi @Matt (and @Nick). Of course, using MFA does provide a more secure approach to data security but has been proven to be vulnerable, albeit much less than passwords. Here is one such article referring to the vulnerabilities behind the RSA tokens, which I guess, we are all familiar with, that banks sometimes provide customers.
http://www.technewsdaily.com/6894-rsa-admits-security-tokens-hacked-offers-replacements.html
As we move from desktops to accessing more and more sensitive information on ‘the cloud,’ data security will become paramount. I am astounded by the blase attitude some banks still take to this issue.

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