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.