Bank Reverses the "Transaction Type" and "Description" Fields


D

David Brenner

Has anyone else had an issue like this?

My Credit Union supports Direct Download, and all the numbers come in right.
The quirky thing is that the Payee description ends up in the Memo field and
the Payee always comes in as "Checking Withdrawal." I have noticed on the
bank's website that when viewing account history, the Transaction Type column
has descriptions like "Withdrawal @ ATM1 TARGET 00008334 VERNON HILLS IL"
which end up in the aforementioned memo field in Money, while the Description
column has items like, "Check", "Checking Withdrawal", etc. Consequently,
the payee field and category always gets screwed up since almost all payees
are "Checking Withdrawal." Has anyone else had this sort of problem with
their bank and/or found a work around in Money to get payees to pre-populate
with the memo field? Thanks.

-David
 
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C

Cal Learner-- MVP

Has anyone else had an issue like this?

My Credit Union supports Direct Download, and all the numbers come in right.
The quirky thing is that the Payee description ends up in the Memo field and
the Payee always comes in as "Checking Withdrawal." I have noticed on the
bank's website that when viewing account history, the Transaction Type column
has descriptions like "Withdrawal @ ATM1 TARGET 00008334 VERNON HILLS IL"
which end up in the aforementioned memo field in Money, while the Description
column has items like, "Check", "Checking Withdrawal", etc. Consequently,
the payee field and category always gets screwed up since almost all payees
are "Checking Withdrawal." Has anyone else had this sort of problem with
their bank and/or found a work around in Money to get payees to pre-populate
with the memo field? Thanks.
People have reported a similar problem, but no automated way to fix
it. Find&Replace offers a way to change the Payee to something if
the Memo field contains a specified thing. That would be for later
processing. So, in answer to your question, not me, but others have
found that at some FIs. No, there is not a Money setting to use the
Memo as Payee.

I am going to guess that that was not have been your best example,
since it was just an ATM withdrawal rather than a payment.
 
D

David Brenner

Actually it was a payment at Target. For some reason any retail purchase
made with my debit card shows up like Withdrawal @ ATM1 Restuarant or Store.
Even so, that information is generally unique enough to make a rule that this
text means "Payee X." Do you have any idea what I should be asking my FI to
change on their end to correct this?

-David
 
C

Cal Learner-- MVP

Actually it was a payment at Target. For some reason any retail purchase
made with my debit card shows up like Withdrawal @ ATM1 Restuarant or Store.
Even so, that information is generally unique enough to make a rule that this
text means "Payee X." Do you have any idea what I should be asking my FI to
change on their end to correct this?
If it is an OFX download, ask them to put the payee into the <NAME>
field of the transaction.
 
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R

Russ Paul-Jones

If the original problem is like my problem, then swapping won't work.

My credit union has a similar problem. On their web site, they have two
lines of description for each transaction. The first line is short, and
usually describes the transaction: Check, ATM Withdrawal, Point of Purchase
Debit, etc. The second line is long, and describes where the transaction
took place: 10101 44th Ave Safeway Register #445.

Now, OFX grew from a bill-payment protocol, where an user typed out the
payee Name and the payment Memo. So, the payee Name field is expected to be
short (32 or fewer characters), while the Memo is allowed to be long (up to
255 characters). So, when a service bureau puts together the OFX server for
a bank, and one of the description fields is long, it's going to end up in
the Memo, not the Name field.

I've personally played around with some algorithms for swapping the fields
and truncating the new Name to the significant part of the string, but it
isn't easy. For one thing, my credit union puts strings like "POINT OF SALE
PURCHASE-TERM # 23116011" at the beginning of some Memos, using all of the
allowed space for useless identification.

Furthermore, different types of transactions (Checks vs. ATM vs. Debit
cards) may need different processing. I haven't actually found an approach
that works perfectly for my one situation yet.

We are looking at this problem in two ways. First, there may be smart things
we can do in our software to make payee matching work better, given the real
world of online data. Second, we continue to work with financial
institutions and the service bureaus they use to improve the data they
provide us.

-Russ Paul-Jones
MS Money Product Unit Manager
(e-mail address removed)
 

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