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Feedback request: Improvements for Online Banking automatic categorisation

Hello everyone!

We've been listening to your comments regarding automatic categorisation of transactions downloaded from Online Banking and we see that while many users are satisfied with the feature as it is, there is some room for improvement.

Case summary:

MoneyWiz automatically assigns categories for transactions downloaded from Online Banking based on the information we receive from the connection provider. There are pretty smart algorithms behind the scenes doing this and while at first the categories assignment might seem pretty random, the bank provider MoneyWiz connects to will eventually learn from your choices based on Payees.

However, there will be times when MoneyWiz will get it wrong so this case is for people for whom the feature does not work as expected at all or that those times when MoneyWiz occasionally gets it wrong is inconvenient enough that they would like the feature completely gone.

Our request:

We'd be grateful if you'd share your feedback with us. In order to make it easier for us to process your comments, please read the following guidelines for this topic:

1. This topic is only about automatic categorisation for transactions downloaded from Online Banking. If you are experiencing problems with your Online Banking connection but it's not related to category assignment, please create new topic or contact us directly via e-mail so we can help.

2. Please include in your post an answer to this question: Are you connecting to your bank via Salt Edge or Yodlee platform? To check this, please start editing the accounts in question (Settings -> Accounts & Budgets on iOS, double-click on Account in the sidebar on Mac) and check whether it says Yodlee or Salt Edge there. Those platforms are separate so one might be working better than the other for some banks. We need to know exactly which platform you're referring to.

3. Please include in your post an answer to this question: On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the best score), can you rate how satisfied are you with how MoneyWiz automatically assigns categories? What are the reasons for your score? Can you please comment on the degree of improvement you've noticed in this regard over time?

4. Please include in your post an answer to this question: On a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the best score), can you rate how satisfied are you with how MoneyWiz automatically assigns payees? What are the reasons for your score? Can you please comment on the degree of improvement you've noticed in this regard over time?

5. Please include in your post an answer to this question: We are thinking to include an option how you'd like to handle transactions imported from Online Banking. Our plan is to let you choose from one of those:

A) Import transactions with category from the provider (the current setting).

B) Import transactions with categories based on payees (like with import).

C) Import transactions with no categories whatsoever.

Which of those options would you choose, if any?

6. Please include in your post an answer to this question: if you like the idea presented above, would you like this setting to be global (for all your accounts) or granular (separate setting for each account)?

Please think about this carefully as while greater degree of control might always be better, implementing a global setting might be easier (and faster) for us to do than a granular one.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and considering to share your feedback with us. We really appreciate your input and constantly review and discuss your comments internally.

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2. I've tried both, but currently using Salt Edge as it assigns payees far more accurately for Santander. 3. 1 out of 10 (sorry!) I have to alter virtually every transaction manually and it only seems to learn for about 5% of transactions. It doesn't seem to be improving any further in time. 4. Salt Edge seems to do this pretty perfectly. Yodlee only gets about half right for me. This could be due to how Santander formats their data (chucks everything into the payee field and duplicates it in the description). 5. I'd use option B, but if option C is easy enough to implement too, that could be useful for some people. 6. I personally only connect to one online bank account, so ot makes no difference to me. Maybe you could implement it globally for now, and make it granular at some point in the future? Extra: the online banking account creates a new category for transfers and lists them as expenses. I suppose reverting to the old import method for online accounts would fix that too...?

  1. There are of course some other issues :-)
  2. All of my online accounts are Yodlee.
  3. '1 out of 10'. I have to correct nearly every transaction and the correction doesn't seem to be consistently learned by MW -- sometimes the same recurring transaction is assigned the category I've assigned and sometimes it reverts to the original
  4. '5 out of 10' I'm usually so busy recategoriizing that I haven't noticed any improvement in payee assignment. I'm much less concerned with that feature anyway.
  5. 'B' or 'C', but 'C' would be less useful. The best option (as I've already suggested) would be to replicate the current transaction import workflow (step-by-step interactive review) for downloaded transactions. This would provide an opportunity to review, correct, and add the MW-assigned payees and categories before they were added to the transaction register. This would probably make it easier for MW to learn as well.
  6. If MW offered the import workflow for downloaded transactions as an optional alternative to fully automatic assignment, I would like to be able to implement it on an account basis rather than global. But global would still be ok. Anything would be an improvement over the current situation.

Great that this is top of the list on forums as I've just signed up to MW and it's the only big disappointment (big enough to be a possible dealbreaker in continuing though). Please resolve this fast - I don't want to switch to iBank.

I actually don't mind that it doesn't recognise major supermarkets in the UK like Sainsbury or Lidl as a category (other than 'Other') but only that I have to then assign a category to each and every Sainsbury transaction for now and in the future. This is not something I have time to do, and the whole purpose of MW for me is to automate (I was word-of-mouth recommended for this capability alone).

Surely there could be an option:

i) At the very least: to convert multiple transactions categories in one go (I can't find this if it exists) 

ii) Ideally: to 'learn' for the future that Sainsbury (for my accounts items at least) is always a food and drink > groceries category

2. Yodlee

3. 1 out of 10 (on the same basis as the guy before me - I have to manually change item by item)

4. 4/10 not so bothered by this so much (I'm new to MW)

5. Don't mind A or B (just get it right!) Not C - Don't cancel automated categories - they are a strong feature, just the UX needs to be tweaked. Even if the automated system only ever hits 50% that would be a help, but users need to be able to quickly recategorize and for that to be learned for future.

6. If it was working properly as above I'd go for global.


1. I connect with Yodlee.

2. 1/10 for assigning categories, as it does it wrong mostly despite previous entries being fixed. I have only been doing this for a short while, but I don't see any improvement. It also duplicated transactions that I previously manually imported, despite the fact that the dates and amounts are exactly the same, and then applies wrong categories to them.

3. I don't really understand this. It should go together with the previous one as surely Moneywiz should look at the payee to categorise that.

4.Looking at the manual importing, I think importing categories based on payees work well.

5. I agree that automatic importing is a must. Otherwise I may just as well use something like YNAB.

Hi, Great to see this getting a specific feedback request. I spend 80% of my time getting information into, and correct in MW (changing payees / categories) which is surely totally against the design principle of an automated financial package like MW? To your questions: 2. I have 10 online accounts currently, all Yodlee 3. I rate 1/10 also for categories. Reasons: I have to manually edit 90% of them. MW is not learning over time from either a) a previous entry since I started using Online banking or b) the 4 years of transaction history I have (use case: I buy coffee every day from the same place / Payee. It can't be too hard surely for MW to know from the other 472 times I've allocated that to 'Food & Drinks: Lunch & Coffee’ that today's coffee isn't a 'Cash Withdrawal'!). Also: MW shouldn't be allowed to create new Categories. (Side note: I agree with John's point above and in another post that using the current manual import 'matching' screens functionality would be a neat and robust workaround to this) 4. I rate 3/10 for Categories. With 4 years of data, I've got a very clean Payee list. Again, MW doesn't smartly match to a pre-existing Payee from my history, nor is it 'learning' from new entries (use case again: same coffee place - every day I have to change the Payee....) 5. Please don't turn this off. It just needs to be better. I would vote for B. 6. Happy for this to be Global and manage the few exceptions.

I use Salt Edge to connect and rate it's ability to auto categorise as 2.  the accuracy of the auto assign has a success rate of approx 1 in 50, and this is with 7 months of data to use.  There doesn't seem to be any improvement,  even when i think the system has learned, the next payment is different - even for those transactions which are regular (direct debits), they appear differently each month.  I have noticed no improvement over the time i have ben using the app.

I rate the payee assignment as 3 also - despite the text of a payee appearing clearly in each transaction (albeit amongst numbers) the system rarely manages to recognise the correct payee - or even doesn't to manage to change it from the raw data received from the bank.

In the future I'd like transactions to be handled as described in option B - i'm not happy with the current setting.  - Happy with the global approach - so long as it works better than the current operating model.

Many thanks for listening to the comments and here's hoping for an improvement soon.


I'm so glad you're asking this, as it was driving me crazy!

My account runs though Yodlee.

Satisfaction with assigning categories - 1. Really awful, have to fix every one. I had twenty transactions in a row assigned “Clothing” when they were various things like groceries, cash, coffee, credit card bills etc. Also, uncleared items often changed categories when the account refreshes.

Satisfaction with assigning payees - 8. This doesn’t seem to be a problem to me, everything appears to tidy and correct.

Option B for handling categories. I used to have this account as a manual import from QIF files, and it was rarely if ever a problem. I imagine I would rarely need to correct anything, rather than currently having to correct 99% of the categories.

Global implementation would work fine for me.

If this can be fixed it would be amazing. I'm finding the Online Banking to be so useful otherwise, it's really helping me manage my money better, so removing the chore of re-categorising every transaction would be a huge boon. Also, the process for re-categorising seems to involve an awful lot of clicks (Double click the transaction; single click the category in the pop-up; unclick the incorrect category; click the correct category (another click if it's in a folder); click away the pop-up; click save). That's a lot of clicking!



Any news on when we can expect to see a fix for this problem?

Hello all,

First of all, thank you all for your feedback! It's invaluable.

Now, on the solution...

Let me first explain a few things so we all have a common understanding of the issue at hand.

* MoneyWiz reads the data that SaltEdge and Yodlee give...i.e. if they (the data providers) provide wrong data, we have no way of knowing, we just save/display it.

* The data quality may vary on per-bank basis, as each bank requires separate implementation for both data providers. 

Now, I see that the biggest problems are:

1) Wrong categories

2) Slow to re-categorize

3) MoneyWiz doesn't seem to "learn" from previous re-categorizations

4) Occasionally the payees will have unneeded data in them

Proposed solutions:

1) There is nothing we can do for bad data coming in, really. But we can improve by improving the other 3 issues

2) I am thinking (Mac only) -> go to spreadsheet view, right click on one or multiple transactions, select new category. We can do this on Mac. On iOS it will be tricky as we haven't implemented any bulk-editing features there. Does the proposed solution sound good? Please vote.

3) MoneyWiz is supposed to learn when you change a category. Why it doesn't do that - I will forward this to the dev team for investigation... as some of you noted, it learns occasionally, which means that the algorithm works but not well enough, so we'll see what can be improved and improve it asap.

4) We have some heavy algorithms in place for manual import, which correct bad payee names... I will talk to the dev team to see if we can put these in work for the online banking too. They don't fix everything, but they fix a lot of common issues that we've seen come from import (such as random letters & numbers around the actual payee name, payee name all in capital letters etc...)

Please let me know if my suggestion for issue 2) sounds good enough or not. 

I already use the spreadsheet function to edit multiple transactions.
It works well

To be honest, Iliya, your response is very disheartening.

Re: your proposed solutions:

1) You can do something about wrong information - you can put an option in settings to filter it out completely and allow Moneywiz to manage the categories in the same (brilliant) way that it does for manual imports, as all the other users have suggested above.

2) Yes, we can use the spreadsheet view but this should only be a temporary workaround while solution 1 is being implemented. Also, this does not address the problem for iOS users who do not have the Mac version. Is bulk editing coming to the iOS apps?

It would be great if transactions were selectable on the Mac version, so that we could carry out bulk edits on your brilliant standard view.

3) I think you may have missed the point here. As far as I am aware, the categories being learned are not specific to the user, and they need to be. My accountant gives me a set list of categories to work with, and I cannot have MW creating new ones without even asking me, and completely ignoring the ones I have created.

It is not just a case of the servers learning which category should be used for transactions to a certain payee, but the category that has been assigned by the specific user. Another reason why your 'old' method was much more useful.

4) That's fantastic, thankyou. My payee names are being corrected by SaltEdge, so I am happy with this, but please could you talk to the dev team about using the manual import algorithms for categorisation as well?

Thanks for your help,


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Hi Joe,

Let me comment...

1) You can do something about wrong information - you can put an option in settings to filter it out completely and allow Moneywiz to manage the categories in the same (brilliant) way that it does for manual imports, as all the other users have suggested above.

- Please tell me how do you think we can do this? When it comes to manual import, you are supposed to link the categories we find in the file vs MoneyWiz categories. If we did that for online banking, it would present a tedious process every time your accounts update. Other than that, we have absolutely no control over what data comes.

3) I think you may have missed the point here. As far as I am aware, the categories being learned are not specific to the user, and they need to be....

- MoneyWiz is supposed to learn your categorization...i.e. it is supposed to do it individually for everyone. i.e. when it detects that Yodlee categorizes certain transaction as "Food" but you re-categorize it as "Groceries" for example, then the next time it comes it must automatically be categorized as Groceries, even though Yodlee still tells us it's food. The thing is that in the majority of cases it doesn't seem to be doing it so well, which is something we'll be investigating.

Please, let me know if what I describe makes sense now...and based on it, what do you think about the proposed solutions?

1) Personally I would be happy to go through the same process as with manual import, but with the convenience of syncing the transactions rather than having to download the files manually.

e.g. one way to do this without disrupting the user whilst preserving auto-sync:

- Open Moneywiz

- Transactions auto-sync, but are highlighted as 'uncategorised'

- When I'm ready to check categories, I click a 'categorise' button for the account/global

- I'm presented with the same categorising screen as with the old manual import method

3) Thanks for clarifying that the category learning is individual to each user. That makes the feature much more useful in theory. If this can be fixed perfectly, then of course we wouldn't need any of the above. However, at the moment it's not even close, so implementing the system above would keep your customers happy for the time being. The algorithms could even still learn from the manual categorisation.

What do others think?

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