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MoneyWiz is designed to categorize transactions coming from online banking automatically, but it may require some help from you.
There are several sources where MoneyWiz is trying to get information about what the proper category of a transaction should be, and in this topic we will discuss the most popular ones.
Category from online banking service provider (Salt Edge or Yodlee)
Both providers have their own private algorithms for trying to detect the category of every transactions. With some banks, especially in the United States, they do better; with some banks it’s not so great. With this source MoneyWiz does not expect you to do anything – it just takes the category from the service provider and converts it to a MoneyWiz category. If you don’t already have this category, MoneyWiz will automatically create one for you.
This may be annoying if MoneyWiz is constantly creating for you categories that are needed. If you want you can disable automatic creation of new categories by editing your account and changing the Extended settings.
Category from payee
You may already be aware that MoneyWiz is able to learn how you categorize transactions based on your descriptions and payees. This is valid for manually created transactions as well. So if you go to Starbucks, when creating a transaction if you select the Starbucks payee, MoneyWiz automatically prefills your category with the category you usually use with this payee. The same is valid for transactions downloaded from online banking.
So make sure that:
- your list of payees is clean and tidy, meaning there are no duplicates with different spelling and no unused payees, especially if they have weird numbers,
- when a transaction is downloaded with a correct payee and wrong category, do edit the transaction selecting the proper category and do not delete the payee, as MoneyWiz will use it the next time you shop at this place.
Category from description
In many cases, payee information is not available for online banking transactions. In this case MoneyWiz scans the transaction description and tries to find a match with your list of payees. If it finds a match it will use this payee to find a category. It is important that you help this algorithm by setting up proper payees in MoneyWiz. Here is a list of tips, that may be helpful:
- the comparison is not case sensitive. If the descriptions of your transactions are all capital letters, you don’t have to create your payees with just capital letters,
- it can be a partial match, meaning that your payee doesn’t have to be the entire description of the online banking transaction,
- it’s a strict comparison, meaning that the description of the transaction has to contain the payee name in its entirety.
|Transaction description||Payee in MoneyWiz||Match||Comment|
|STARBUCKS||Starbucks||✓||The payee is an exact match (searching is case-insensitive).|
|xxxxxx *9283 STARBUCKS *2382 xxxx||Starbucks||✓||MoneyWiz found the payee within a longer string.|
|xxx*9283STARBUCKS*2382||Starbucks||✓||Same as above - it does not matter that there are no spaces around the payee.|
|xxx*9283O2*2382||O2||x||The payee needs to be at least 3 letters.|
|xxx*9283 O2 *2382||O2||✓||
The payee is still just 3 letters but the spaces help MoneyWiz locating it.
|McDonalds||McDonald’s||x||That's a completely different string. Allowing MoneyWiz to capture such cases would lead to far too many false-positives.|
|HotelHilton||Hotel Hilton||x||Again - this might seem obvious to a human but to a machine it's very different.|
|Appl*||Apple||x||Allowing such matches would lead to too many false-positives.|
|Amazon Prime||Amazon, Prime (2 separate payees)||✓||It'd match with "Amazon" payee only, because it's longer.|
|Cafe Golden Books||Cafe Books||x||To a machine, those are completely different strings.|
|Cafe Golden Books||Golden Book||✓||This gives MoneyWiz enough certainty that it's the same payee.|