As we release more details about iBank Access it generates more and more questions. So this blog post is going to answer many of the questions that were brought up in the comments from the previous post. Unfortunately, I won’t be sharing any new iBank Access screenshots in this post.

How will iBank Access sync with iBank for Mac?

The syncing mechanism with iBank for Mac is based on the same proprietary sync engine used in iBank Mobile. iBank for Mac is the “hub” from which multiple instances of iBank Access or iBank Mobile can sync. We’ve made some improvements to this so that investment transactions will sync between iBank for Mac and iBank Access (but not iBank Mobile for the time being).

When you are setting up a document in iBank Access you will be asked if you want to use this “standalone” or “sync with iBank for Mac.” If you choose to sync with iBank for Mac, Direct Access transaction downloading will not be available. We made this choice because it would inevitably result in too much transaction duplication if users are downloading data from both their iPad and Mac.

Can I transfer my data from iBank for Mac and then use Direct Access without further syncing to iBank for Mac?

Some users have lots of data in iBank for Mac and they might want to start using iBank Access as their primary financial app. For the best iBank Access experience they will naturally want to use the automatic Direct Access data downloading. So the short answer is yes, you should be able to transfer your data from iBank for Mac, then continue to use iBank Access with Direct Access enabled, but you will no longer be syncing to iBank for Mac for the reasons outlined above.

My bank already charges me a fee to download transactions in iBank for Mac. If I pay the subscription for Direct Access automatic downloads in iBank Access will I still have to pay my bank fee?

The short answer is probably not. However, I can’t say a definite YES or NO here as banks are constantly changing their terms and fees. If your bank does NOT charge you to use their website (almost no banks do) then they neither should they charge you to use iBank Access to download your data automatically. If you currently are being charged, you will likely need to cancel your current download service with your bank to make sure you don’t keep getting charged. I reserve the right to be wrong on this though, as it really depends on the bank.

Are you planning to support any banks outside of USA with iBank Access?

iBank Access will support many more banks that what is currently supported in iBank for Mac, including more banks outside of the USA.

Will the app be usable while transactions are downloaded or will I have to just sit and wait?

When you open a document you will be able to do other things while data downloads in the background. This is thanks to our CoreFinance 2 engine which is entirely multi-threaded to take advantage of multi-core processors (like the A4 chip in the iPad 2).

What types of transactions will be downloaded?

This varies a lot depending on the financial institution. If pending transactions are available, they will be downloaded and your “available balance” will be adjusted.

Can I import data that I download through my bank’s website using Safari?

No. Mobile Safari currently doesn’t have the technology to allow us to implement this the right way.

Will there be bill pay?

This is one of the most requested features in our product line and while it won’t make it into iBank Access 1.0, we plan on adding it in the future.

When I can get my hands on this thing?

We still aren’t ready to announce a specific date. While we have made exceptional progress, technologically this app is the biggest undertaking IGG has ever made and there are still some significant components to get in place. If it isn’t released until 2013, then I should be fired because that is way too late.

What types of security safeguards are in place regarding Direct Access?

When you provide iBank Access with bank login credentials, the data is never stored on IGG’s servers. We pass it through to the third party company over SSL where it is finally stored with encryption. Naturally the next question is, how secure is this other company? The answer is, very secure. Their servers, where your login credentials are stored, are housed in a space with physical security and 24/7 monitoring with intrusion detection systems. Additionally, access to servers requires multiple levels of authentication including biometric procedures. Their security infrastructure is regularly audited and inspected. Of the different companies offering this service, theses folks have been around the longest and take security very seriously.

Our app and servers are undergoing security audits to ensure that transmission from the app through our servers is secure.

There is one other point that I want to make that is very important. We do not require you to use Direct Access data aggregation. It is completely voluntary. If you do not want your financial information going through any third party, you can manage everything manually or sync over WiFi with iBank for Mac.


I hope the answers to these common questions have been helpful. In future posts I hope to delve into some of the features in more detail.



Ian Gillespie
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Ian Gillespie

CEO/Founder at IGG Software, Inc.
A California native, Ian's academic background was in biology, botany and environmental studies. He comes to the field of technology purely out of personal passion, and has been writing Mac software for over a decade. He's also an avid birdwatcher, a soccer player, an old-time fiddler and an organic gardener. He lives in Vermont with his wife and their two sons.
Ian Gillespie
Follow IGG

24 comments on “iBank Access Q and A

  • Thanks Ian. Very helpful information and explanations, especially sync process and iBank Access.

    Look forward to the eventual release of iBank for the iPad.

  • Ian,

    Thanks for the update. Just to be clear with your proposed sync model, IBank Access will only sync to iBank Mac over a common WiFi network. No iCloud or Dropbox access? If that is the case I will have to pass on iBank Access. I was hoping for a fully functional version that will sync my data in the cloud. That is the main reason I have not purchased iBank Mobile.

  • I have to agree here. It is important that all devices and versions of iBank can sync with one another. I can’t imagine that I’m the only person with family/business use cases that require multiple people/devices to remain in sync. I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for syncing to become cloud centric rather than use iBank for Mac as a hub. Two iPhones should be able to sync without an intermediary. Although I like much of what I’m hearing about iBank Access, I hope that the rest of the line will benefit from the new architecture…particularly in terms of seamless, device-agnostic syncing capabilities.

  • I like the features that are going to be implemented, but I have to agree with s comments that some others have mentioned. I think all iBank apps should use some other type of syncing service. Wifi is great for people that don’t want to have iCloud, Dropbox or some other cloud service. But if I don’t want to turn on my mac and sync data that day; it just seems like a chore. PDF Pen has managed to iCloud, I don’t see why this would be an issue. I think the iBank apps are great, but don’t take this in the other direction. I also think that the file itself needs to be encrypted. Other companies, Moneywell, offer encrypted files and syncing capabilities.

  • Like everyone else already stated, it would be nice not to have to boot up the mac to sync the devices. Is this being addressed?

    On the January 7th blog post, it was mentioned “if you sat down with a financial planner who asked a series of questions to get a handle on your finances, what you would walk away with would be like our iPad app…” Does this mean we will be able to create all of the reports that we can with iBank for Mac? Unfortunately, none of the pictures that I have seen so far show the reports available.

    If we do take iPad Access to our Financial Planners, is printing capability available? Would we be able to print out transactions that we made/reports that we create by linking in with a Planner’s wireless printer? If not, will we be able to print these things out at home and take them to our Financial Planner?

    Thank you.

  • I like what I hear with all the new features, but how will iBank access be any different than mint? I’ve used iBank for many years and loved I bank mobile and can’t wait for the iPad version.

  • IGG is doing a good job of keeping everyone up to date on its progress–thanks for that. I do agree with the previous posters, though: automatic synching via iCloud or Dropbox is pretty essential. I have several apps that sync that way (e.g. 1Password and of course Address Book, iCal etc.) and it’s great. But I also have about a half a dozen that hav to be manually synched in a time-consuming process. So I now spend at least an hour once a week getting them all in sync. For each app, I have to sync with iPhone and then separately with iPad. Not only is this laborious but it means I don’t have the latest data on iPad and iPhone nearly all of the time–only right after that weekly sync. Cloud synching is definitely the future.

  • I concur with all the comments above. I would like iBank for Mac and iBank for iPad to be able to read and make changes to the same iBank database I have stored in dropbox. I don’t really want to go through the hassle of having the same data in two different places.

  • Thanks for the update.

    One suggestion – since iBank Access will also be using investment data – I really think you need to fix the handling the download of bond transactions in iBank itself. Currently sell transactions pick up the price and a quantity that is inconsistent with the price, generating very large dollar amounts. Purchases appear to be correct. In addition, your transaction downloads do not recognize accrued interest transactions – which I believe are included in the download from the brokerage firm’s transmission includes.

    I am sure that iBank Access will have to deal with the bond transactions – and it would be easier to get it fixed in iBank4 before the release of iBank Access.

  • Here’s another vote for iCloud or Dropbox sync option to replace MobileMe before June.

    London (UK)

  • I converted to iBank when Quicken for Mac wasn’t supported under OSX 10.7 Lion. I tried Quicken Essentials for a week and then asked for my money back. What a joke!

    It took a while to get the feel of iBank, upload transactions from Quicken, set up budgets, create operating reports, etc. I am really impressed with the quality, functions, and reporting in iBank.

    And then to my horror… I discovered I can’t print anything!!! It never occurred to me that an application like iBank wouldn’t support printing. I distributed the reports via e-mail that I generated in Quicken. I’ll have to find other software to support two clients and it’s a shame because the reporting is beautiful. I’ll keep the software for my personal use, unless you have no plans to implement printing.

  • Will ibank for iPad have the ability to import my many years of quicken transaction history? I am looking for a stand alone iPad app to replace quicken without losing years of historical data that I have accumulated. If I ever find such an app, then I can finally convert my Windows Pc into a nice boat anchor.

  • As has already been mentioned over and over already, the current sync model really needs to be revised! Having iBank on the Mac as the “hub” really doesn’t make sense anymore. The “hub” should be located in the cloud (preferably employing iCloud, but Dropbox would be workable too) so that all devices running iBank can keep in sync wherever they are. The current offering just doesn’t cut it in my multi-device workflow and I’ll be looking elsewhere if this isn’t addressed.

  • Just want to ask one question: will iBank ever support HBCI? It is a must for most European banks, and we (users) have been requesting it for years. Now iBank has a lot of competition in the European side, so I simply want to know if it worth the wait for me.

  • I can’t figure out where to post this, so I’m dropping it here. iBank should have a basic report function for budgets. Something as simple as comparing budget vs. actual for a defined period of time. This is a standard report out of most other personal finance programs–I’m very surprised it isn’t here. Please add this asap.

  • I have just upgraded to Version 5.0.1 (50025) on my iMac (OS X version 10.9) that is fitted with a Time Machine, obviously the Time Machine creates a copy of all the iBank records, please advise how I can open these backup files on the Time Machine.

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