Yodlee Q&A Thread


P

Peter Hazlehurst

Hi,

I've recently taken responsibility for Yodlee's product management and
product lines, in addition to our engineering organization, and felt that we
haven't done a good enough job in responding directly to consumers'
feedback.

I'm starting this thread for anyone that wants to ask questions about the
Yodlee service either via MS Money 2005/6 or via Yodlee.com. Hopefully this
will give everyone a chance to hear some communication directly from us
here, as it seems the almost universal #1 piece of feedback is - we don't do
enough.

Please feel free to post a question and I'll respond, typically a couple of
times a day, and going forward, please put Yodlee: in the Message Title, and
it will filter well, and I'll get alerted automagically.

Looking forward to some good dialog.

Regards

Peter Hazlehurst
SVP - Engineering
Yodlee, Inc.

note: there is an equivalent thread on FatWallet here:
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/messageview.php?start=0&catid=52&threadid=511758
 
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D

Don Awalt

I have a question - I have two IRA accounts with a large mutual fund. They
are set up as two separate online accounts in Money 2006. If I do Update Now
and select both, it errors out every time. If I do one at a time, or just
let the program update once a day, it works fine. Is that a bug that can be
fixed, sounds almost like a timing issue (I can update them back to back
manually and they are fine).

Thanks
 
S

StevenFromTexas

I don't have a clue as to why anyone would want to use your "service" or a
whole lot of other "features" in Microsoft Money! Those that enter their
own information directly into Microsoft Money have, by far, the best
fianancial records and the least problems with using the software program.

The more that someone lets Microsoft do their thinking for them, the less
useful their financial software package becomes.
 
C

Chris Cowles

StevenFromTexas said:
Those that enter their own information directly into Microsoft Money have,
by far, the best
fianancial records and the least problems with using the software program.

The more that someone lets Microsoft do their thinking for them, the less
useful their financial software package becomes.
I disagree with that part of your statement, although I do question why
someone would prefer synching through Yodlee rather than directly with a
bank, given that Yodlee's primary marketing strategy seems to be selling
financial information.
 
C

Chris Cowles

Peter said:
I'm starting this thread for anyone that wants to ask questions about the
Yodlee service either via MS Money 2005/6 or via Yodlee.com. Hopefully
this
will give everyone a chance to hear some communication directly from us
here, as it seems the almost universal #1 piece of feedback is - we don't
do
enough.
Welcome, but I hope you have thick skin. You may need it.
 
W

William R Wood

Peter Hazlehurst said:
Hi,

I've recently taken responsibility for Yodlee's product management and
product lines, in addition to our engineering organization, and felt that
we haven't done a good enough job in responding directly to consumers'
feedback.

I'm starting this thread for anyone that wants to ask questions about the
Yodlee service either via MS Money 2005/6 or via Yodlee.com. Hopefully
this will give everyone a chance to hear some communication directly from
us here, as it seems the almost universal #1 piece of feedback is - we
don't do enough.

Please feel free to post a question and I'll respond, typically a couple
of times a day, and going forward, please put Yodlee: in the Message
Title, and it will filter well, and I'll get alerted automagically.

Looking forward to some good dialog.

Regards

Peter Hazlehurst
SVP - Engineering
Yodlee, Inc.
Hi Peter,

I saw this quote on your website:

"The majority of current aggregation users fit the Mass Affluent (MA)
profile - defined as those individuals having between $100,000 and $1
million in assets to invest. This segment represents a $5.5 trillion market.
MA consumers typically have more financial accounts, which are dispersed
across multiple providers. According to studies, the MA hold roughly 50
percent of their assets away from their primary financial institution.
Aggregation, which consolidates these accounts, can provide tremendous
customer insight into product usage and holdings "away from" their home
institution. Financial institutions can use this insight to fully understand
and best serve their customers' financial needs, while simultaneously
growing customer relationships to increase share of wallet and
profitability."

As a member of the MA profile group I find that quote disturbing. I don't
want my FIs mining my data to increase "share of wallet and profitability".
I pick FIs because they have the best products at the lowest cost. That is
the exact opposite of what your mission statement seems to imply. I want
FIs to give me even better service at even lower cost. The internet makes
that possible and I expect FIs to learn how to exploit the internet far
better than they have managed so far. My banks and brokers make enough
money off my business as it is. If your aggregation services are sold on
the basis that FIs can use that process to figure out new ways to charge me
more for their products, then you can keep it. Also, why would I want a 3rd
party like Yodlee, or anybody else, standing between me and my accounting
software and my various FIs?? All I see is another source of trouble. It
only takes me about 15 seconds to click Update Now and download all my
financial data without Yodlee.

How does Yodlee benefit us users? If you work for MSFT or my FI, then you
don't work for me. I don't like dealing with 3rd parties that have a
conflict of interest with me. Remember that us users are the folks with the
money that you are trying to get. Its my job to make sure you never get my
money unless you deserve it. What value does Yodlee add for us real people
out here in the trenches? And if you were going to say something about your
aggregation services providing greater ease of use and a more complete view
of my finances, forget it. I will click a few extra clicks any day to avoid
extra fees and I already have Money 2002 setup to show my overall financial
picture just fine.

At this point I see Yodlee as another reason not to "upgrade" to Money 2006
but I would like to hear your side of the story.

Regards

Bill Wood
Fountain Hills, AZ
 
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D

Dick Watson

There is NOTHING about M05/06 that MAKES you become involved with Yodlee.
This is strictly a personal choice in how you elect to use the software.
There is no financial management feature in Money that is exclusively
dependent on the Yodlee interface.

That having been said, there are other reasons I recommend against M05 and,
sadly, M06. See http://umpmfaq.info/Money2005.htm. As always, YMMV. The M06
page will be up shortly.

That's actually a more revealing Yodlee quote than waht I already have on:
http://umpmfaq.info/faqdb.php?q=171.
 
W

William R Wood

Dick Watson said:
There is NOTHING about M05/06 that MAKES you become involved with Yodlee.
This is strictly a personal choice in how you elect to use the software.
There is no financial management feature in Money that is exclusively
dependent on the Yodlee interface.
I am aware of that, nonetheless, I resent MSFT inserting unwanted "features"
or relationships into my personal accounting software. I want the
accounting and reporting features of Money perfected - a task that is far
from complete - before any thought is given to incorporating new concepts
like Yodlee.

That having been said, there are other reasons I recommend against M05
and,
sadly, M06. See http://umpmfaq.info/Money2005.htm. As always, YMMV. The
M06
page will be up shortly.

That's actually a more revealing Yodlee quote than waht I already have on:
http://umpmfaq.info/faqdb.php?q=171.
Your above FAQs are most interesting and I agree with what you say
completely. I am still using Money 2002 because each newer version contains
a bug in the budget reports that destroys my financial plan. Even if the
bug was fixed (I have given up hope on that after many, many requests to
MSFT) I would not upgrade to 2006. After downloading the trial I see that
the interface is changed in many ways, all of which are negative, and not a
single useful feature was added. With the new policy of forcing upgrades
every 2 years MSFT looses all incentive to improve the program. Instead
they are now relying on folks becoming dependent on automated downloading
which will be disabled unless they upgrade. That's a low blow and I will
not become part of it.

Check out Moneydance.com. This up and coming program is usable right now
and, with any luck, it will become as good as or better than Money/Quicken
for personal accounting.

Regards

Bill Wood
 
T

Tony

Peter Hazlehurst said:
Hi,

I've recently taken responsibility for Yodlee's product management and
product lines, in addition to our engineering organization, and felt that
we haven't done a good enough job in responding directly to consumers'
feedback.
Here's something you might be able to help with:

Over a month ago I contacted Microsoft about a problem downloading
transaction information from MBNA. MS said that the issue was actually a
Yodlee screen scraping issue, but that they would contact Yodlee to get the
problem resolved. As of today, the problem still occurs.

Here's the situation: Amsouth Bank recently sold my credit card account to
MBNA. I already have 2 MBNA accounts that I've used with Money for years.
When I received notice of the addition of the former Amsouth account from
MBNA, I activated it in my MBNA web interface. At that point my ability to
transfer anything from MBNA into Money stopped. I tried to stop and then
reactivate this connection with MBNA in Money from scratch, and still the
problem persisted. As soon as I deleted the Amsouth account from the web
interface however Money resumed transferring MBNA transactions just fine.

So now, I have a really annoying dilemma. Not only can I not get the
transactions from my old Amsouth account to show up in Money, I cannot even
look at them on the website. (Whenever I turn the Amsouth account "on" it
stops the syncing of the other accounts.)

It seems to be a fairly simple screen scraping issue. If you have a person
to work on it and they need more info, let me know here and I'll forward
information on how I can be reached.
 
J

johnbusc

Tony,

Bank of America (BOA) is currently completing their purchase of MBNA.
Now how do yor feel?

Many banks had affinity contracts with MBNA to issue private label
cards. With the sale to BOA imagine the condundrum they find
themselves in!!!

....(get in line)

Regards,
JB
 
T

Tony

Tony,

Bank of America (BOA) is currently completing their purchase of MBNA.
Now how do yor feel?
Lovely. :(

I have nothing against MBNA. I have 2 long standing accounts with them that
I don't use as primary accounts, but I've never had any particular problems.
I don't focus more on using these accounts because of the poor integration
with Money.

Although I've definitely had run ins with Amsouth before, their web support
and support of Money tended to be very good. Now that my Amsouth account was
transferred to MBNA, it has gone from being a primary account to one I don't
often use.

To bring this thread back on topic, MBNA's support of Money and even the
functionality of their website is very poor. They're far behind what other
companies are doing. To see them take over these other companies is a step
in the wrong direction.

Tony
 
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M

Michael J. Blazin

I'm not with Yodlee, but it appears many people don't understand the
service.
You're not a Yodlee customer, unless you send a payment to them. Your bank
is. You are the user, not the customer. Your bank buys Yodlee services in
lieu of developing its own aggregation services/updating services. I assume
Yodlee offers a wide range of services and your bank pays for what it
desires or what it can get away with and call it self an internet bank. If
you don't like the services your bank buys, complain to your bank.

Yodlee is not secretly collecting your data when you go to multiple banks
yourself and obtain statements either via Yodlee or the bank's internal
service, e.g. using MS Money. The "data mining" occurs when you go to one
bank's page and start using that bank's aggregation services, typically
provided by Yodlee. Because your using its page to collect info from other
institutions, you've given your bank access to that info. That's the law.
Yodlee then chews on that info and reports it back to your aggregating bank
for a fee. If you don't want your bank to know about other banks' accounts,
don't use the aggregating services of that bank.

The Product Manager normally looks for Voice of the Customer via his
customers, i.e., the banks. Heretofore, he relied on the banks to get info
from their customers, e.g. you, on service usage. He's made an attempt to
get the info direct from the source.
 
J

johnbusc

Tony,

Didn't mean to get off topic but your issue is not Yodlee's problem.
It often takes months (close to a year, give or take) to complete all
the merger/acquisition processes. Typically, the larger the companies
the longer it takes.

During these periods, the services customers have grown accustomed to
begin to change. Its just human nature to react negatively but
eventually the kinks get worked out and its back to business as usual.
You may have to adjust how certain accounts you've setup in Money are
updated, but "thems the breaks". I can assure you that when businesses
are making these decisions the impact on Money users doesn't matter.

This newsgroup is chock full of posts commiserating on the impact of
such changes on their use of Money. I can only recommend you get used
to it and learn to adapt. The consolidation we're seeing in the
financial industry is sure to continue for the forseeable future.

Yodlee has to deal with this too. The user provides the login info and
they're counting on the banks' servers to do the rest. When things
change at any given bank the services they provide are impacted. This
is no different than the adverse impact you observe on your use of
Money. They deal with ALL the banks. You just deal with yours!

Your situation with AmSouth/MBNA (and soon BOA) will eventually
improve. In fact, with BOA, the account in question eventually won't
even require Money's integration with Yodlee. Be patient!

Regards,
JB
 
T

Tony

Didn't mean to get off topic but your issue is not Yodlee's problem.
It often takes months (close to a year, give or take) to complete all
the merger/acquisition processes. Typically, the larger the companies
the longer it takes.
I'm not sure why you say this is not a Yodlee problem. Yodlee is
fundamentally a screen scraping operation. They are no longer scraping MBNA
screens correctly. I'm not accusing the company of being incompetent, but
the problem here is with Yodlee. MBNA's website works as it has for some
time. (Poorly, but it works.) Once Yodlee adjusts their scraping scripts for
this site, it should start working again.
During these periods, the services customers have grown accustomed to
begin to change. Its just human nature to react negatively but
eventually the kinks get worked out and its back to business as usual.
You may have to adjust how certain accounts you've setup in Money are
updated, but "thems the breaks". I can assure you that when businesses
are making these decisions the impact on Money users doesn't matter.
I agree. I also think that it is up to consumers to "vote with their
wallets," though, when company changes result in fewer services. I've
diverted about $10k/month of charges from MBNA to other companies simply
because their integration with Money is superior. My former Amsouth account
used to process about $3k/month in transactions. Since it was moved to MBNA,
there's less than $100 been charged to it. A big deal? To these companies
not at all. But if a few hundred customers did this, it would (or at least
should) show up on their radar.
This newsgroup is chock full of posts commiserating on the impact of
such changes on their use of Money. I can only recommend you get used
to it and learn to adapt. The consolidation we're seeing in the
financial industry is sure to continue for the forseeable future.
That's just it for me. I refuse to "get used to it." With my credit rating
and payment history, I would be a valued customer for any credit
organization. I'll do business with those who offer the set of services that
best meet my needs. Hopefully the industry will never get to the point where
none of those companies exist.
Your situation with AmSouth/MBNA (and soon BOA) will eventually
improve. In fact, with BOA, the account in question eventually won't
even require Money's integration with Yodlee. Be patient!
I hope so. I certainly give companies time to improve. I still have accounts
with these companies. I'll divert traffic back to them when things get back
to "normal."
 
W

William R Wood

Michael J. Blazin said:
I'm not with Yodlee, but it appears many people don't understand the
service.
You're not a Yodlee customer, unless you send a payment to them. Your
bank is. You are the user, not the customer. Your bank buys Yodlee
services in lieu of developing its own aggregation services/updating
services. I assume Yodlee offers a wide range of services and your bank
pays for what it desires or what it can get away with and call it self an
internet bank. If you don't like the services your bank buys, complain to
your bank.

Yodlee is not secretly collecting your data when you go to multiple banks
yourself and obtain statements either via Yodlee or the bank's internal
service, e.g. using MS Money. The "data mining" occurs when you go to one
bank's page and start using that bank's aggregation services, typically
provided by Yodlee. Because your using its page to collect info from
other institutions, you've given your bank access to that info. That's
the law. Yodlee then chews on that info and reports it back to your
aggregating bank for a fee. If you don't want your bank to know about
other banks' accounts, don't use the aggregating services of that bank.

The Product Manager normally looks for Voice of the Customer via his
customers, i.e., the banks. Heretofore, he relied on the banks to get
info from their customers, e.g. you, on service usage. He's made an
attempt to get the info direct from the source.
Hi Michael,

I understand how Yodlee works and I believe that you may have misunderstood
my complaint which is twofold:

First, I don't like the idea that a 3rd party aggregator might come between
me and my FIs. That cannot be a positive development. And I fully
understand that I am not a Yodlee customer but therein lies the problem.
Yodlee is in bed with MSFT and the FIs and therefore does not have my best
interests at heart. Why would I (or anybody else) want a 3rd party who
represents the other side of the business relationship coming between me and
my bank or broker. I don't want my bank or broker paying Yodlee to figure
out ways of squeezing more money out of me. I want my banks/brokers to
spend their money and time developing better services at lower cost, not
cavorting with crafty 3rd party aggregators who promise increased profits by
milking customers (me) for all they are worth!!

Second, I don't like the fact than MSFT is spending time on 3rd party
integration with Money. Money is supposed to be a personal finance program
and that is exactly what I want. We need the accounting and reporting
functions in Money perfected which is not true at this point. Money is
still bug ridden and incomplete in terms of its basic accounting and
reporting functions and MSFT should address those issues first. After Money
is a completed personal finance program, MSFT can add more functionality and
sell that package as a separate program to those who want supplemental
services and hand holding . I am not one of those people and prefer a DYI
approach.

There is another significant factor to consider. Yodlee exists only because
banks/brokers currently refuse to adopt a uniform method of transferring
data to financial software. I feel that we (us folks out here in the
trenches) should demand that the financial services industry adopt uniform
data transfer standards so everybody can easily connect to and exchange data
with our FIs whoever they may be using whatever financial software we like.
We don't need Yodlee, we need better service from our FIs and MSFT. Unless
I am missing something really obvious, Yodlee at best gives us something our
FIs should be giving us for free as a matter of decent customer service. As
a bank or brokerage customer I am absolutely entitled to immediate access to
transaction information relating to my accounts. I want that information
via the internet; in fact, I want it in real time . Traditionally FIs sent
us paper statements which are very expensive to produce and slow to arrive.
The internet makes the task of delivering transaction data to customers
cheaper and faster but many banks/brokers have done little to exploit that
advantage and none provide real time transaction data to customers. I am
more than willing to pay MSFT for good software that allows me to access my
FIs data and services but I don't want to be married to MSFT by mandatory
upgrades. The painful fact is that current "upgrades" of Money stink and if
MSFT forces mandatory upgrades down our throats by cutting off convenient
internet access to our FIs, they will have even less incentive to make the
program better. As it now stands MSFT is trying to morph Money into a cash
machine using the threat of loosing convenient downloads instead of inducing
repeat purchases with better software.

Bottom line is that I see Yodlee as a sign of bad things to come. We should
protest by not upgrading to Money 2006, not using Yodlee and demanding that
our banks/brokers get organized and give us convenient standardized access
to our financial data over the internet. That is our right and we need to
speak out.

Regards


Bill Wood
Fountain Hills, AZ
 
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W

William R Wood

JB,

Sorry to jump in on your conversation but I simply must comment.


Tony,

Didn't mean to get off topic but your issue is not Yodlee's problem.
It often takes months (close to a year, give or take) to complete all
the merger/acquisition processes. Typically, the larger the companies
the longer it takes.
It certainly is Yodlee's problem. This is one of the reasons why I
vociferously objected to Yodlee's participation in the process in the first
place as stated in my other posts in this thread. I, for one, do not want
any 3rd party involved in my relationship with my banks or brokers. I don't
want Yodlee and/or my FI finger pointing at each other when problems
develope. I want my FI to be directly accountable to me for good service;
if my FI screws up too bad, I'm gone.
During these periods, the services customers have grown accustomed to
begin to change. Its just human nature to react negatively but
eventually the kinks get worked out and its back to business as usual.
You may have to adjust how certain accounts you've setup in Money are
updated, but "thems the breaks". I can assure you that when businesses
are making these decisions the impact on Money users doesn't matter.
"Thems the breaks"???? You are certainly more tolerant than me. My banks
and brokers better worry about the impact on me during any merger or other
business transaction. I regard it as completely irresponsible for any
bank/broker to disrupt the delivery of transaction information to customers
and if any FI does that to me, I am gone. I will not tolerate irresponsible
conduct with respect to my money.

This newsgroup is chock full of posts commiserating on the impact of
such changes on their use of Money. I can only recommend you get used
to it and learn to adapt. The consolidation we're seeing in the
financial industry is sure to continue for the forseeable future.
"Get used to it"??? No way! If any FI treated me in the cavalier manner
that you suggest, I would be a former customer in a heartbeat.
Consolidation may continue but that does not mean that the transitions
cannot and should not be smooth and painless for customers.

Yodlee has to deal with this too. The user provides the login info and
they're counting on the banks' servers to do the rest. When things
change at any given bank the services they provide are impacted. This
is no different than the adverse impact you observe on your use of
Money. They deal with ALL the banks. You just deal with yours!

Your situation with AmSouth/MBNA (and soon BOA) will eventually
improve. In fact, with BOA, the account in question eventually won't
even require Money's integration with Yodlee. Be patient!
"Be patient."?? I have moved substantial amounts of financial assets and
monthly transaction volume from bank to bank and broker to broker because
services rendered were subpar. My money goes to the institutions that
deliver the best services at the lowest cost. Patience is not a virtue with
regard to an FI's incompetence or poor service. It is my responsibility to
myself and my family to maximize our financial resources and I have no
obligation to accomodate or tolerate interrupted services.

I say speak out and vote with your money. None of us should accept poor
service or allow ourselves to be pushed around by FI's, MSFT, Yodlee or
anybody else. We are the ones with the money. MSFT, FIs and Yodlee want
our money. Don't give it to them unless they provide consistent great
service. Right now MSFT is not producing great personal accounting software
so I will not buy it, I will continue to use Money 2002 which still works
quite well. Yodlee is not providing any service that I can figure out that
my FI should not be giving me for free, so I won't use that either. I have
selected FIs that give me decent service including convenient downloads into
Money 2002 and I will remain loyal to those FIs as long as the good service
and low costs continue.

If most of us insist on good service and low costs from our FIs that's
exactly what we will get. Just keep switching until you find one that does
what you want. Do not reward poor service with continued loyalty. That
only makes the FI more arrogant and complacent.


Regards,

Bill Wood
Fountain Hills, AZ
 
A

Andrew

For instance, Wells Fargo's 'One Look' service.

Michael J. Blazin said:
I'm not with Yodlee, but it appears many people don't understand the
service.
You're not a Yodlee customer, unless you send a payment to them. Your
bank is. You are the user, not the customer. Your bank buys Yodlee
services in lieu of developing its own aggregation services/updating
services. I assume Yodlee offers a wide range of services and your bank
pays for what it desires or what it can get away with and call it self an
internet bank. If you don't like the services your bank buys, complain to
your bank.

Yodlee is not secretly collecting your data when you go to multiple banks
yourself and obtain statements either via Yodlee or the bank's internal
service, e.g. using MS Money. The "data mining" occurs when you go to one
bank's page and start using that bank's aggregation services, typically
provided by Yodlee. Because your using its page to collect info from
other institutions, you've given your bank access to that info. That's
the law. Yodlee then chews on that info and reports it back to your
aggregating bank for a fee. If you don't want your bank to know about
other banks' accounts, don't use the aggregating services of that bank.

The Product Manager normally looks for Voice of the Customer via his
customers, i.e., the banks. Heretofore, he relied on the banks to get
info from their customers, e.g. you, on service usage. He's made an
attempt to get the info direct from the source.
 
A

Andrew

Moneydance might be the product to use instead? Not full featured but it
might work.
 
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A

Andrew

The heck with Money and Yodlee issues, I just want my FI to quit charging me
if I take money out of an ATM they don't own!!
-tongue in cheek comment of course, but it's true-
 

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