Target: Have Not Been Able to Connect for Months

Just wanted to share the unfortunate update here that Target, for the time being, is no longer supported. So if you noticed it drop from the outage list, but it’s still not working and you can’t find it in search that is why.

We don’t have more information on this, but we anticipate it will be back up at some point though I have no ETA on that. From our technical account manager,

“I do not expect Target to complete their analysis on their end before the end of the quarter.”

I don’t even really know what that means. But for now your option is to manually track.

We have a community built solution to make this a little easier in the works, but I can’t share more or give an ETA on that either.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Heather

Thanks for the update Heather. What do we need to be following to make sure we get notified when the community-built solution is available?

I’m not sure if Tiller will allow me to post this…but…Can my fellow users suggest an alternative to Tiller for me–a person who barely understands how to use a spreadsheet? One that does automatic imports? I got Tiller for the automation, but now it isn’t automating a huge chunk of my expenses. I don’t want to manually enter those transactions or figure out some other import method. I doubt I’ll be able to understand the workaround Heather mentions, given my overall spreadsheet ineptitude. This is the 2nd issue for me–the first was Tiller’s new requirement that I grant very broad permissions in order to split transactions. I won’t do that, so I am already doing a lot of manual splitting. The old Tiller splitter was the only spreadsheet operation, other than basic sorting, I knew how to do!

I really loved Tiller for a long time and am very grateful for the help I’ve received from Heather and others. And I get that this issue may not be Tiller’s fault. But it’s hard to see the point of continuing if it no longer does the things I need. Of course, the prospect of transitioning to another system is incredibly overwhelming to me, so I may wind up staying here by default (although figuring out what to do about those 4+ months of Target expenses that haven’t been showing is also overwhelming…) Sorry for all this…but it’s just so frustrating!

It sounds like Mint would be a good fit for you. I took Copilot (phone app only) for a spin awhile ago and was impressed with it.

Are there some key words (or form letter) us users could complain to Target with to help them see the light?
ie.
We need compatibility with “Yodlee” that you seem to have dropped recently. Currently we cannot sync our purchase data to our financial software. This may require us to stop using our Target Red Card for purchases.

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My workaround – which admittedly loses MUCH budgeting detail – is that I have simply created a “Target” category in my budget. I looked at my Target Credit Card and averaged what I’ve been spending per month at Target over the last year. Then when I pay my Target Credit Card from my bank account, rather than categorize it as a “transfer” (as I normally would when the Target Card was working with Tiller), I just categorize the credit card payment as “Target.” You could even split the transactions into components if you wanted to, i.e. split it between groceries, home, clothing, etc if you knew roughly what you spent the money on. That’s not worth it to me, so I don’t bother, but at least I can still track how much I’m spending at Target and whether it’s consistent with my historical spend there.

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Just want to add my voice to the chorus here. I would very much appreciate Tiller finding a resolution for the auto import of Target RedCard transactions. Don’t know that I’d be back after this year without it.

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@heather – out of curiosity, has Tiller considered adding Plaid, too, in order to get coverage for institutions that Yodlee doesn’t work with?

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@Smitty, I’m doing the same. Though I’m taking it to the “splitting” level – splitting monthly RedCard payments into the appropriate categories (usually “household supplies” or “clothing” or “kids’ toys and games”). Since I usually make 1-3 purchase/month at Target (except during the holiday season :stuck_out_tongue:), this workaround works for me. Far from ideal, but hey…

As a side, I’m in the middle of my first year of paid service for Tiller and, honestly, I’m not sure I’ll renew. From my (user’s perspective), Yodlee appears to be a terribly unreliable service provider of financial data. Every month, I find myself spending more and more time on the Tiller Console doing manual refreshes, re-entering log-in credentials, and counting the days until one or more of my accounts hits the five days of error so I can contact Tiller Support for help. Shouldn’t be this difficult. I’ll see how the rest of my subscription year goes… but may just go crawling back to Mint. The trade-off of annoying ads might just be worth it for the solid data feed connection that they have. Rant over… :slightly_smiling_face: Hopefully the ongoing issues can be fixed.

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@acjay we have considered additional aggregators, of course, including Plaid BUT it’s not just not something we can prioritize right now. It’s a big undertaking and we’re a very small team so prioritization is always a challenge. :woman_juggling:

@stuart, you could certainly reach out to Target (not sure exactly who you would reach out to as they’re a GIANT company doing more than just offering financial services :woman_shrugging:) as this has worked for other institutions (e.g. Ally Bank).

@RachelB, thanks for sharing the CSV for Target exports. @randy has built a rough CSV mapping solution. It’s a bound script and a personal project form him as a community builder. Since it’s a bound script, it does require a few more manual initial installation/setup steps, but once you get through those it will give you an easy and fast way to import Target (and really any other institution) Transactions with regularity.

We didn’t add it to Labs because 1) the permission scopes are too broad for some to use it - thinking about you @nvorsanger ! ) and 2) our roadmap with “Labs” is shifting a bit - more details to come soon - so didn’t want to add more there.

He’s still making some tweaks based on feedback I’ve shared after testing it out, and I think he’s going to record a video walkthrough, but I tested it and it works!

I do know that for Target in particular the amounts are reversed in the export from our amount schema due to it being a credit card and the whole credit/debit concept… so you’d need to use the -Amount option documented in the special cases on GitHub.

We do expect Target to work again one day, we just don’t know when it will be and at this point it’s been disconnected long enough for them to not fill in the gap so you shouldn’t worry about duplicates with this CSV import workflow if you choose to experiment.

This is so exciting! I’ll be (im)patiently waiting for @randy’s solution! I’m also happy to beta test.

I used mint previously too, and hated it with a burning fire. I had just as many account connection problems (probably more actually). The reality is account aggregation is an inherently messy and broken process, that has gotten increasingly complicated by the added security measures banks are adding (e.g. one-time passwords texted to phones, captchas, etc.). I’m hopeful (but also skeptical) that the “open banking” enhancements will improve aggregation in the future, but there are so many different financial services companies and websites out there, that I’m sure it will be years (if not decades) before everyone is using it.

For me, I’ve found my utility is maximized by updating Tiller about once a week and dealing with troublesome accounts only when they haven’t connected for 14 or more days. Since many accounts fix themselves over this time frame, I find I’m spending relatively little time on troubleshooting accounts. I also have some accounts that will only manually update when I can enter a code texted to me and if I’m updating those every couple weeks, that’s not too onerous either.

Obviously, I’m sure my approach wouldn’t work for everyone, since some people want to be in their Tiller data on a daily basis making sure they are sticking to their budgets and seeing where every last dollar is going on a more real-time basis. I think if that’s you, though, no data aggregator will make you happy, since they are all inherently flawed due to the technology and security limitations currently.

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@Smitty - great post. Some much-needed perspective here, at least for me. I’m glad you’ve found an MO with respect to refresh rates/frequency that works for you. Interesting that with Mint, we have a “your mileage may vary” situation, as I rarely had connection issues.

For my budgeting purposes, I need a consistent 1 – maaaaybe 2 – day refresh rate for my checking account and my primary credit card (that I throw pretty much all purchases on). For better or worse, I cut it pretty close, monthly budget-wise, with spending in a handful of categories for which I certainly do need “real-time” data. As of today (and for the past several days), the bank feed for my primary credit card is on the fritz… and it’s pretty frustrating. I will need to uncrumple my receipts and manually add transactions if it continues for another day or two.

Again, thanks for your great post. The community here is a big reason why I enjoy using Tiller.

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I only use Target in Tiller for the Card balance, rather than importing individual items. I’m guessing the import wouldn’t include the balance info.

@RachelB, it’s ready! He made the tweaks based on my feedback yesterday. Details, etc available via the link I shared above. Take it for a spin. :slight_smile:

I did get a “not safe” sort of screen as part of my install steps for my non-Tiller gmail, we weren’t sure how it even identified him, but for anyone who tries it and sees this you just click “Advanced” to proceed.

@stuart , that’s right. The import tool does not help with Balance info. For that you’d want to just log in to Target manually, grab the balance, and then update your sheet manually. You can do this 2 ways.

  1. Create a manual account using the Tiller Money Feeds add-on > Manual Accounts
  2. Duplicate an existing Balance History row for an old Target balance and update the date and amount

I’d recommend #2 if you want it to be consistent with the old account entry and not create a separate row on your Balances sheet for Target (which using the Manual Accounts option in Tiller Money Feeds would do), but you can always merge them later when the feed resumes. Just depends on whether you want help creating the Bal Hist entries or are okay manually copy/pasting.

This is a great thread!

So true! Thanks for tactfully and concisely explaining one of the biggest pain points as a FinTech startup :slight_smile:

Mint’s feeds are powered by Intuit, one of the oldest aggregators in the game and they’re proprietary. They’ve paid big :dollar: to the banks to offer tighter integrations, but you’re still handing over your credentials and your personal information. What you gain in feed stability you trade for flexibility and customization and privacy = :exploding_head: When a service is free, you are the product…

Yodlee might be flaky with some connections, but they are by far biggest player offering more integrations for more institutions globally.

I agree it will probably be decades before open banking takes hold and by then we’ll probably all be authenticating with our faces or retinas anyway :roll_eyes: so it’s a constant battle to keep up with the technology, but it’s a nice benefit for those banking with the major players (Citi, Chase, Bank of America… Charles Schwab is next :shushing_face: )

Hey everyone!

I made a video demo of the CSV2Transactions workflow last night. The video walks through installing the project script files, configuring your column mapping for your CSV data source, running the import process, and also a few power-user tricks.

I’m not super happy with the way it turned out, so I may rerecord it later today or tomorrow. In the interim, I hope it is helpful if you’re running into any problems.

If you have questions about the workflow or script specifically, please post those questions in this thread.

Thanks,
Randy

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This did the trick for me!

I didn’t have my RedCard in my Tiller sheet so I added it as a manual account to map it to Account and Account # for my Transactions sheet.

Also, I posted this in the linked thread, but for Target RedCards, you’ll need to invert the number. Randy has a great tip that using -Amount as the column header will do this automatically for you!

I ended up using the following headers (order based on the default order from the Target CSV download):

  • Account #
  • Date
  • Description
  • -Amount
  • Account
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