in Tech

Internet Banking and Webhooks Part 2

On the 1st May I wrote a quick article about how Internet Banking Drags it’s heals when it comes to new technology. See the first Internet Banking and Webhooks article.

To sidetrack for a second. When I post or update this blog, a twitter tweet is sent automatically to my twitter account to inform anyone who cares. Well just this morning ANZMoneyManager ‘followed me’ ( is that the right term? ). I can only assume it’s because of the previous post and me tweeting about it on there. They seem to be pretty pro-active when it comes to twitter and blog comments.

Anyhow, back on track. ANZ Money Manager is a financial aggregator. It takes the login details for all your bank accounts and stores them securely online. It then logs into those accounts regularly and using some clever black magic, mashes all the information together and uses it to offer you a view of all your accounts in one place. It also offers email alerts for some events for those accounts. ANZ is based in Australia and New Zealand, but their Money Manager is available to anyone worldwide and covers most of the major banks in it’s services.

The truth however is that ANZ Money Manager is actually just the monkey, while the organ grinder, and the creator of the tool is Yodlee.

I signed up for an accounts with both ANZ and Yodlee to compare. Both sets of terms say they might sell some information anonymously, but there is nothing particularly scary in them.

After having a poke around I can tell you that I think ANZ is quite nice, but has it’s fair share of bugs.
I added an account. The system added it twice. This also happened at Yodlee. Deactivating (hiding) one copy solved the issue quickly.
Their are multiple browser specific design issues on the ANZ site. I took screens and will send to their feedback address.
Many of the features are in Australian Dollars ( AUD ) only. Yodlee offers a selection of currencies when you sign-up.

As for Yodlee, they don’t seem to offer Virgin UK credit card accounts, while ANZ do. Strange? I have requested it be added to Yodlee as they must offer it for it to appear on ANZ.

So this is a step forward from Egg Money Manager, which stores account details on your computer in a ‘safe’, but can’t offer alerts or update without your input, but email alerts can only go so far.

I suppose you could use email alerts in combination with a Pipe Email to PHP Script to make them more flexible, but you are still only getting limited information to act on, and it’s likely to break as soon as the email layout is changed.

So next I plan to send Yodlee a list of nice developer tools they could consider, which would include webhooks and a possible limited API. Lets push the limits!