Duplicate transactions when importing from Bank Feeds (Open Banking)

Since the introduction of Open Banking for use with our Bank Feeds, we have had reports that some feeds are importing duplicate transactions.  This was raised to our development team to try and investigate the cause of this and below are the details of our findings.

The Cause

During the investigation, we have found that there are three reasons that can cause this:

  1. Some Banks can send us different ID’s for the same transaction, sometimes over different days.  KashFlow will see these transactions as two different transactions and therefore show as an option to import both, not realising that they are the same transaction.
  2. Some banks may make a change to a description of a historical transaction and with this, they will then generate a new transaction ID.  As KashFlow will recognise this as a new transaction ID, it will try to import it again.
  3. Some banks do not include an individual transaction ID per entry, which will make it difficult for the software to recognise whether a transaction is a duplicate or genuine multiple version.  In this case, we will look for transactions based on the date, description, and amount as sent by the bank.  Should the bank change make any historical changes to the data (usually on the description) the software will see this is a whole new transaction and will be available to import again

The changes we have seen that are being made to a transaction description are something that can easily be missed, but when we have investigated we have found it is usually due to spacing in the description.

Example:

DateDescriptionAmountDate Imported
01/06/2020“XYNJFNE19579 ”£25.9905/06/2020
01/06/2020“XYNJFNE19579”£25.9909/06/2020

As you can see in the example above, there is a space after the description which has been removed by the bank when the next bank feed import has taken place.

Why we can’t stop duplicates

In some cases, a trader may have the same amount and description of a sales which has happened on the same date, however, if the bank does not include a transaction ID as part of the information being sent from the bank to KashFlow, then there is no possible way for the software to recognise if these are legitimate transactions or duplicate transactions.  Therefore, all transactions will be seen as available to import.

Affected Banks

From our investigation, the below list of banks are likely to be affected by this:

  • Lloyds
  • Barclays
  • HSBC
  • Halifax

Solution

Following our investigation into this, we have been in contact with our Open Banking Partner which will then allow them to communicate back to the banks themselves to explain the issue and help fix the issue at the source.  Unfortunately, until the banks can make some adjustments at their end we are left in a position where this error will continue to happen.   As Open Banking is still relatively new technology it is improving all the time. In the long run, this is something we will be working with the banks to see if this is something that can be resolved.

If you are importing your bank feed into KashFlow and you spot what you believe to be a duplicate transaction, you would need to put a tick in the “Ignore” column to stop this transaction from being imported into your bank transactions.

Update: 20th August 2020

We have now made some improvements to the way the Open Banking import is integrated. We will now remove any spaces in the item description that is before or after the text of the description.  This we hope will now reduce the risk of duplicate transitions being imported.

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