How to programmatically download banking info

Posted on 2004-11-21
Last Modified: 2008-02-26
Short Version:    How do I download my checking account info from my bank programmatically?

Long Version:
  I'm a computer programmer (VB and ASP mostly).
  I have several bank accounts.  They all have web pages where I can manually download my monthly transactions (checking account activity, etc....).   The problem is that I often get so busy, I forget to download the information for months and when it comes time to do my taxes, I've lost the data (most of these banks keep only three or four months of information).
   I've contacted the banks' technical help people but they do not know or do not want me to know how to automatically download my bank account information programmatically.

  I have heard that "Intuit Quicken" and "Microsoft Money" can perform these automated downloads; however, I do NOT want to use these third-party software.   I want to write my own code to handle my financial data.

QUESTION:  How does "Quicken" automatically access my banking information when my bank won't or can't even tell me?

I'm getting desperate enough to automatically fill out the web page information everytime - which would be a very clunky workaround.

There are zero points for the answer:  "Just use 'Quicken' software".

Your help is appreciated.
Question by:EasyAim
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I have done this.. you need to write a VB or ASP app to connect to the banks web page and "act" like its you using a browser.

    in VB you can use the class module  "modWinInet" to connect to a webpage, you may have to modify it to work with SSL

    in classic ASP its a littlemore difficult..

    I have examples in VB, PERL and ASP.NET

    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I did some more digging in my files:

    Classic ASP:  use XMLHTTP object
    VB: use modWinInet class
    ASP.NET: use WebRequest / WebResponse class
    Perl: use LWP


    Author Comment

      o.k.... you got me thinking.   Would it be possible to build a Visual Basic application with a WinInet container.  When this VB app is in "Learn Mode" the user could browse to their bank's download page and perform a manual download.
       The application would be storing the mouse clicks and would "learn" how to do this download.
       The only really tricky part is: will the VB app be able to recognize javascript objects?
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    What you are talking about is more complicated...

    What I did is have premade "templates" for each website that it needed to connect to.

    You will have to do custom programming for each site, as some have cookies and ssl and multiple pages to click thru before getting directly to the details page.

    as far as javascript, VB just connects to a page and gets the results.  If there is javascript on that page it will not act on it, however you should be able to imitate any javascript based response back to the page if its required.


    Author Comment

    oops, sorry for not getting back.  I was on ski vacation.   I concur that Razix's answer was helpful.

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