Last week MacCentral
brought readers news about Bank of America’s decision to stop supporting Macintosh users of Intuit’s personal finance software, Quicken. Seeking further details on why Quicken Mac support would be discontinued next month, MacCentral spoke with Bank of America. Intuit’s corporate communications manager for Quicken has also responded.
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Bank of America said that its decision to discontinue support of direct connect functionality for Mac Quicken users was made because of “the lack of a key feature:” support for recurring payments. Recurring payments are transactions like mortgage or car payments, for example, that happen on the same day each month.
“Additionally, the lack of the recurring payment function in the software required our Mac customers to reconcile recurring payments set up through online banking with their Quicken account, adding unnecessary work and making the use of the direct connect less convenient and counterproductive for our customers,” a Bank of America spokesperson told MacCentral.
Intuit’s corporate communications manager for Quicken, Chris Repetto, does not dispute that a recurring payment feature doesn’t exist in Mac Quicken at this point. Similar functionality is available, however — payment scheduling.
“In Quicken ’98, (released in September 1997), we added the ability to schedule payments. Through this functionality, Quicken customers are able to schedule payments — including recurring bills like mortgage and car payments — to be made on specified future dates,” said Repetto.
Repetto also intimated that this is the first that Intuit has heard from Bank of America that the lack of recurring payment functionality is a problem.
“Bank of America has supported payments through direct connect in Quicken since Quicken ’98,” said Repetto. “From September 1997 through the recent beta testing process for the implementation of Bank of America’s new payment method, the lack of recurring payment feature was never mentioned by BofA as a reason for incompatibility.”
Repetto said that Quicken’s payment scheduling feature has “received high approval marks” from customers. Intuit’s Mac Quicken customers haven’t requested a recurring payment feature, according to Repetto, but he added that if they did, Intuit would “do what [it] could to implement it.”
Repetto added that Intuit offers the “Quicken Bill Pay” service. The service enables Quicken users to pay their bills from any financial institution in the United States, through up to ten different accounts.
“We believe that the additional features our Mac customers can get by using Online Banking for their bill payment services, such as recurring payments, e-Bills, and lead-time indicators, along with the ability to transfer funds to pay their Bank of America credit card, mortgage, loans, and lines of credit immediately remain attractive features that are still available to them,” said Bank of America.
“We regret the inconvenience this may cause our Mac customers who accessed their information through Quicken,” Bank of America continued, “however, those users can easily download their banking activity from online banking and continue to use the other features of the Quicken software as they had before.”