Transaction descriptions and classifications keep getting lost

This is unfortunately a recurring bug that users need to take cognisance of: you can spend hours classifying transactions and giving them more meaningful descriptions just for it to be overwritten when transactions are imported from the bank.

I reported this over a year ago, and there is still no solution.  I am told that it is because the bank changes the date of the transaction, but I cannot believe that no algorithm can be developed to work around this issue.

I am concerned to invest any more time on organising my personal finances in this environment if no solution can be found for this 'simple' issue.



  • Hi Henri,

    Thanks for sharing your concerns. We agree this issue is frustrating. Standard Bank is one of our largest service providers, so we're very eager to find a solution to this. But we're limited in what we can do to address the problem, as the issue is specific to Standard Bank and it's caused by strange behaviour on their website.

    To give you some context on the issue:

    When 22seven runs an update on your accounts for the first time, it navigates 3 months into the past and gathers all of the transactions it finds, then assigns each one a unique transaction ID based on each transaction's descriptor, value and date at the time. When running an update the next day, it once again navigates 3 months into the past and gathers all of the transactions it finds. Any new transactions will be imported and assigned their own unique ID. If any transactions imported the previous day no longer appear on your bank's website with exactly the same descriptor, date and value as the previous day, those transaction ID's will be marked as deleted. This is necessary to take care of the likes of reversals, or pending transactions that are deleted and replaced with a cleared transaction.

    Our challenge with Standard Bank is that small details of transactions are being replaced (seemingly) at random - the descriptor, date or value (and sometimes a combination of two or more of those details). This happens anywhere from days to even weeks after those transactions first appear on their site, and we aren't sure why. We've looked into this extensively and can't identify a pattern. It doesn't appear to affect the majority of Standard Bank customers either. Developing an algorithm to match two transactions when one or more of these core identifiers (descriptor, value and/or date) has changed is extremely tricky, as by all accounts these look like two completely different transactions. We're also hesitant to play around with the data we receive from your bank too much on our end, as our system handles millions of transactions on a daily basis, so a small change that may improve one issue may negatively impact many other customers.

    There are some additional factors at play too, so this unfortunately isn't as simple an issue to fix as it may appear. However, we do continue to look into this on a case by case basis with the hopes of figuring out a solution. If there's anything you think we may have missed that may help solve this, please do feel free to let us know. Even if it's something we've already considered, we'd rather have too many ideas than too little :)

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  • I agree with this, it's incredibly frustrating.  The only solution as a user to download and maintain your data outside of 22Seven after you've changed it.  I'm not with Standard Bank, this is happening on my Nedbank transactions.  And it's just happened to a transaction from November (it's March now), so it's also not limited to three months.

    The deletion of a transaction could be maintained in a separate table somewhere, as it should be a relatively rare event.  I'm guessing you mark them as deleted but don't actually delete them?

    Can you engage with the banks to find out what is going on?  Also I'm curious to know how they are changing, surely the date can't change, and the value can't change, only the description could possibly change?  I'd be happy to engage with you on this to help you find it, as I experience it regularly.  My guess is that it is actually happening to most of your customers but you aren't hearing from all of them.


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  • Or another suggestion - as soon as a user updates a transaction, you make a copy of that transaction to another table (just for your own purposes).  Run a daily check on manually changed transactions to see if they have since been deleted.  Then you won't have to work on a case by case basis, you can catch every case automatically.  You'll be much more likely to find the pattern with that data.

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  • Hi Marcia,

    Please pop us an email via and we'll be happy to look into the issue on your account(s). We can assure you that this isn't a widespread problem. Each service provider is different and the Standard Bank issue Henri raised is very specific to that provider and account type.

    Give us a shout and we should be able to get to the bottom of what's causing this behaviour on your accounts :)

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  • Hi Lyndon

    I did send an email to support on 25 Feb.  Phumza responded:

    "I checked and noticed that the app allows changes to the transaction description. If the transaction is within the last 3 months our data partner will scrape the original transaction description from the service provider changing your preferred transaction description and changing the category. 
    I will check with our Product design team if this is still the case and get back to you."

    I haven't heard from her since then.  I'm planning to download all my transactions and do a comparison to my saved descriptions using an Access DB (although not all lost changes will be "caught" in this, because some disappear in between my changes and the downloads I do).  I can then give you a sample dataset.  What's interesting is that the database flag "seen" has not been overwritten.  So if you can hold on to that information, you can hold on to the personalised descriptions and categories, it must be possible.

    Please feel free to contact me directly to resolve this, I'm a software developer and more recently data analyst, so I think I can assist.

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