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<!-- Copyright (c) The SimpleFIN Team See LICENSE for details. -->

THE Goal

THE Goal of this project is self-destruction. We would like to live in a world where this project doesn't need to exist. But until the banks of the world implement a secure, standardized way to access financial data, a project such as this must exist to fill that gap.

Banks implementing SimpleFIN is one way to achieve this goal. But any secure, standardized method would suffice.

Tell your bank you want SimpleFIN!

And please contribute a script for your bank!

Thanks

Huge thank you to captin411 and this project https://github.com/captin411/ofxclient which makes it easy to connect to most banks.

What's in here?

This repository contains a collection of scripts can be used to
programmatically get bank transaction information. The scripts herein only read data and do not change the financial state of a bank (such as doing a transfer).

In this document, the following terms are used interchangeably:

  • financial institution
  • bank
  • credit union

How it works

Each bank access script expects to have a secure key value store available to it as an HTTP server. The (siloscript)[https://github.com/simplefin/siloscript] project provides such a server.

Docker Quickstart

If you have docker installed, do this:

docker run --rm -it simplefin/banka siloscript run banka/inst/chase.com/list-accounts 5

If your bank isn't listed

If your bank isn't listed, please contribute! Follow
CONTRIBUTING.md and these steps:

  1. Fork this repo.

  2. Make a directory for your bank with an info.yml file. Name the
    directory the domain name of the bank, if possible.

  3. Write a list-accounts script. (See Writing a Script).

  4. Submit a pull request.

info.yml file

The info.yml file should have at least the following information:

---
name: America First Credit Union
domain: americafirst.com
maintainers:
  - joe (joe@example.com)

maintainers is a list of people who are willing to maintain the scripts within the directory (i.e. test the scripts when the underlying library changes or fix them when the bank breaks them). Include as much contact information as you feel comfortable sharing. A URL to your Github profile would be fine.

The file may also contain other information as needed.

Writing a Script

Environment

The scripts can expect to be called with the following environment variables:

  • DATASTORE_URL is a URL of a key-value store. Use this to ask for and save credentials and any state that ought to be maintained between invocations (such as cookies). The URL will scoped to a specific user, so you can use generic keys like "account_id" rather than "user55/account_id".

Good ideas

How you write the script depends on what the bank provides. In order of preference, try the following when writing a script:

  1. OFX Server

    Check www.ofxhome.com to see if your bank provides an OFX server. If so,
    writing a script is straightforward. Use
    banka/inst/americafirst.com as a
    model.

  2. OFX file download

    If the bank allows users to download OFX files, there (XXX will be) are
    utility scripts that will make parsing those downloaded files easy.

  3. Some other file format

    If the bank allows users to download files in formats other than OFX,
    it will probably be easier to parse those files than to scrape the page.

  4. Scraping

    If the bank doesn't provide any of the above, but they have a web portal,
    write a script that scrapes the page for transaction/account information.

  5. Horse and Buggy

    If the bank doesn't have a web portal, you will need to write a script that
    hires a horse and buggy (including rider) to go to the bank in person, with
    your credentials written on parchment*. The script must wait for the horse,
    buggy (and rider) to return with a listing of account details (in the form
    of a JSON document).

    • in the event that further authentication is required, either horse, rider
      or buggy may use services available (such as a telegraph or pigeon) to
      contact the running script for the required information.

Output

If successful, the script should write a
SimpleFIN Account Set to
stdout and exit with exit code 0. Here's an example:

{
  "accounts": [
    {
      "org": {
        "domain": "mybank.com"
        "sfin-url": null
      },
      "id": "abcdef1234abc",
      "name": "Savings",
      "currency": "USD",
      "balance": "100.23",
      "available-balance": "75.23",
      "balance-as-of": "2013-07-29T19:22:09.210",
      "transactions": [
        {
          "id": "12394832938403",
          "posted": "1995-02-17T23:56:12.22239",
          "amount": "-33293.43",
          "description": "Uncle Frank's Bait Shop",
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}

Use stderr for logging.

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