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.



1 comment
  • 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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