iBank – Long Term Report

It’s been over six months since I posted my interim report on iBank, so it’s probably a good for an update.

It’s been behaving itself very well – the iPhone app works perfectly, the automatic recurring transactions are posted when they should be, and overall, it does exactly what I want it to.

But there is one little problem. As I mentioned in my original iBank post, one of the most important requirements for any personal finance package was that it would automatically download transactions from Nationwide and match them with previously entered ones. I’ve always found this very useful, as it makes sure that I keep track of what I’ve been spending. And iBank managed that quite nicely until some time in the Autumn, when it stopped working. After all the usual thingies – restarting iBank, restarting the iMac (a rare requirement), muttering, and so on, I started investigating properly. And then, deep within the bowels (so to speak) of Nationwide’s site, I found the answer: they’d decided to stop providing that service, on the grounds that as Microsoft weren’t supporting Money any more, they didn’t see why they should bother either. I was a bit annoyed by that, for several reasons:

  1. Despite having the annoying habit of displaying messages to me every time I log on to their internet banking site, they didn’t bother to make any effort to inform me that they were removing a service I found useful
  2. They ignored the possibility that other applications might use the same protocols to talk to banks
  3. And this is the biggie – they didn’t offer a different format and suggested that downloading statements would be a suitable alternative, which it isn’t. Checking the full monthly statement, yes – iBank does transaction matching quite well. But interim statements are a badly formatted CSV file, which needs far too much effort to import – it’s quicker to look at the transactions on the internet banking site and tick them off in iBank

Still, never mind, and all that. If I’d known Nationwide were going to play silly buggers, I might have chosen a different package, but as it is, I’m happy enough with how iBank works, and I’ll more than likely stick with it for the future.