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Last modified: January 22, 2004
Open Financial Exchange (OFX)

[October 14, 2000] "Open Financial Exchange is a unified specification for the electronic exchange of financial data between financial institutions, business and consumers via the Internet. Open Financial Exchange is an Internet-oriented client-server system that features a direct connection between the client and the financial institution's server, employing a request-response model. It provides high security and features full data synchronization and complete error recovery. Created by CheckFree, Intuit and Microsoft in early 1997, Open Financial Exchange supports a wide range of financial activities including consumer and small business banking; consumer and small business bill payment; bill presentment and investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Other financial services, including financial planning and insurance, will be added in the future and will be incorporated into the specification. With Open Financial Exchange financial institutions can now deliver online financial services to their customers via transactional Web sites, thin clients and popular financial management software that support Open Financial Exchange." OFX Version 2.0 adds a (US) Tax extension covering W2 and 1099 information.

[December 1999] "Microsoft, Intuit, and CheckFree have joined to develop an open specification for the online transfer of financial data. Open Financial Exchange (OFE) integrates Microsoft's Open Financial Connectivity, Intuit's OpenExchange, and CheckFree's electronic banking and payment protocols." Features [to be] supported include: 1) Bank statement download; 2) Credit card statement download; 3) Funds transfers including recurring transfers; 4) Consumer payments, including recurring payments; 5) Business payments, including recurring payments; 6) Brokerage and mutual fund statement download, including transaction history, current holdings and balances; 7) Bill presentment and payment.

"Open Financial Exchange is a broad-based framework for exchanging financial data and instructions between customers and their financial institutions. It allows institutions to connect directly to their customers without requiring an intermediary. [...] OFX is based upon SGML and, like XML, it is an attempt to take the best features of SGML and remove much of the associated complexity. OFX is not technically an XML application. The syntax of OFX differs from that set out for XML applications in that OFX omits end-tags - XML parsers should be able to correctly interpret documents without a Document Type Definition (DTD). Like XML, OFX is designed to be both easy to learn and extensible."

[May 14, 1998] In the FAQ document of May 1998, explicit reference is made to greater XML compliance as a goal: in the changes from version 1.02 to 1.5, "Open Financial Exchange has made a move towards XML compatibility . . ." "OFX was developed with the cooperation of Checkfree; although it is currently described using SGML, OFX will soon be based on XML and therefore accessible to users of XML-enabled Web browsers. . . [from a Microsoft white paper, "XML: Enabling Next-Generation Web Applications"]. Note also acccording to a posting from Tim Bray, "OFX predates XML, is based on SGML, and uses a form of minimization called end-tag omission that was deliberately left out of XML [. . .] the OFX people were thinking seriously about fixing this so as to be XML-compliant." (XML-DEV, July 12, 1997)

[March 31, 1999] As of Spring 1999, OXF and its related standards are being migrated to IFX. Ken Hobday (VP Product Strategy, CheckFree Corporation) is said to be co-chairing the IFX XML implementation working group for IFX with Microsoft.


  • OFX Web site

  • View the OFX DTD

  • About OFX

  • Release of OFX 2.0: "The OFX 2.0 Specification is available online; final as of 30 June 2000. FPI: -//Open Financial Enchange//DTD OFX Version 2.0//EN. OFX 2.0 is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) allowing all the latest resources for XML to be used to develop OFX clients and servers. Tax OFX 1.0 is also released with OFX 2.0. It is a separate addendum document to the OFX 2.0 specification. OFX 1.6 will continue to be maintained to support clients and servers using OFX version 2 message sets."

  • [January 22, 2004] "OFX Consortium Releases OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema. Building OFX Clients and Servers Now Easier and More Cost-Effective Than Ever." - "The Open Financial Exchange Consortium today announced the public availability of the OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema. This release enables financial institutions and their technology providers to build state-of-the-art OFX systems faster and more cost-effectively using the many off-the-shelf XML development systems that are currently available. The new OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema is compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium's XML Schema Recommendation, 2 May 2001. It complements the existing OFX 2.0.2 specification and DTD (Document Type Definition) to enable software developers to utilize the latest in XML technology. Additionally, the new OFX XML Schema provides a clear expansion path to allow OFX to support other important XML technologies such as SOAP and WSDL. It also expands OFX to support account aggregation in a manner that conforms to the latest BITS Phase II Aggregation guidelines. 'OFX is fast becoming the industry standard and the preferred method of downloading data by Quicken and QuickBooks customers,' said Gil Clark, OFX program manager, Intuit. 'Because it enables an easier, faster and more accurate download experience for our customers, Intuit is focusing all future development of online banking solutions on OFX. The new schema serves users who are upgrading their systems to new XML technology as well as those who are using OFX for new functionality such as account aggregation equally well.' 'Microsoft is committed to simplifying connectivity for financial institutions that want to make it easier for their customers to access their account information electronically,' said Greg Martin, financial products connectivity evangelist at Microsoft Corp. 'The OFX XML schema enables financial institutions to utilize existing XML systems to easily and quickly implement cost-effective OFX solutions.' As well as enabling financial institutions to connect to their customers, OFX can support connectivity within the systems of the financial institutions themselves. The OFX XML schema allows intra-enterprise-oriented tools to be developed using the latest XML technology that, while dedicated to internal purposes, also adheres to a recognized industry standard. This helps assure interoperability with other internal and external systems. 'The XML schema definition for OFX 2.0.2 will allow financial institutions and vendors the opportunity to leverage modern development tools to develop solutions that use OFX. Citigroup was pleased to participate in this effort to produce a XML schema for OFX, and supports and encourages the use of open standards,' said Michael Grandcolas, chief architect, Citibanking Technology Solutions Group. The OFX 2.0.2 XML Schema was developed by the OFX Web services working group chaired by Business Logic. Other key contributors were Intuit, Microsoft and Citigroup..."

  • OFX Specification 2.0 - Tax Extensions. Version 1.0. June 30, 2000. 39 pages. "This document is a Tax extension to Open Financial Exchange (OFX) Specification 2.0 and covers W2 and 1099 information for tax year 2000. For an overview of OFX, see the OFX Specification, version 2.0. IRS Tax forms can change year to year, as the IRS requires different information from taxpayers. Because Tax OFX messages closely mimic tax form information, they will also have to change as the IRS changes tax forms..." [cache]

  • OFX 2.0 Specification download: OFX 2.0 DTD and source; 2.0 Spec in PDF format, .ZIP and [cache]; Tax OFX 1.0 PDF Format and [cache]

  • [October 11, 2002] "Microsoft Certifies The Vanguard Group as First to Deliver Account Data Via XML-Compliant OFX Specification. Leading Investment Management Firm Embraces Connectivity Standard to Offer Clients Mutual Fund and Brokerage Account Information in Microsoft Money." - "Microsoft Corp. has announced an agreement with The Vanguard Group Inc., the nation's second largest mutual fund firm, to provide account information to consumers via the XML-compliant version of the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) specification. Now, consumers can seamlessly download their Vanguard account information including mutual fund balances, individual security positions and transaction activity directly into Microsoft Money personal finance software versions 2001-2003 via OFX 2.0. Microsoft Money is the only personal finance management software to connect with a financial institution through OFX 2.0... Since the first version of OFX became available for download from OFX Consortium founders CheckFree Corp., Intuit Inc. and Microsoft in early 1997, the specification has grown to support a wide range of financial activities, including consumer and small-business banking, bill payment, bill presentment, and investment download and tracking, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and tax information such as W2 and 1099 forms. The XML-compliant version of OFX is more flexible and can work with more companies' existing networks, making implementation of the specification easier than ever. It also allows financial institutions to enhance their services as the OFX specification advances. 'This agreement represents the first transfer of data via OFX 2.0 to Microsoft Money, demonstrating the value of an XML-compliant standard for the financial services industry,' said Greg Martin, connectivity evangelist for OFX at Microsoft. 'Through this certification with Vanguard, Microsoft is delivering on its commitment to help financial institutions simplify the direct exchange of data and, in turn, offer better services to their customers.' With more than 1,400 financial services companies using OFX, the specification is the most widely adopted standard for the exchange of financial information between consumers and financial services providers. OFX is governed by a consortium of leading financial institutions and technology providers that discuss and vote on the advancements of OFX specifications..."

  • [October 02, 2001] "OFX Consortium Expands With Bank of America, Citigroup, Corillian, E*TRADE and TD Waterhouse. Support From Industry Leaders Reinforces Broadening Adoption Of Open Financial Exchange Specification." - "Microsoft Corp., Intuit Inc. and CheckFree Corp. today announced that the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) Consortium has expanded with representatives from five leading financial services providers. Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Corillian Corp., E*TRADE Group Inc. and TD Waterhouse Investor Services Inc. will appoint chairs and vice chairs to head select industry steering committees, including banking, solution providers and brokerages. The new committee chairs will represent their industries at meetings with OFX Consortium founders Microsoft, Intuit and CheckFree, during which each committee will discuss and vote on OFX specifications... In addition to providing input on the development of the OFX standard, the chairs will help broaden the already mounting industry support of OFX, which enables the direct, secure exchange of financial information via the Internet. Through OFX, financial data can be reliably and efficiently transferred between financial services companies and businesses to fulfill customer-initiated requests, making it easier for consumers to manage their money and make smarter financial decisions. More than 1,400 financial institutions worldwide have implemented OFX. The specification, which has been XML-compliant since version 2.0 and is now available in version 2.0.1 for the main specification and 1.1 for the tax addendum, can be downloaded. OFX 2.0.1 has been enhanced to better support banking account aggregation, online investing and electronic bill payment, enabling financial services companies and businesses to more easily create products and services that work together... OFX is XML-compatible and supports transactional Web sites, thin clients and personal financial software. The specification streamlines the process financial institutions need to connect to multiple customer interfaces, processors and systems integrators. By making it more compelling for financial institutions to implement online financial services, OFX is helping accelerate the adoption of online financial services by financial institutions and their customers..."

  • [January 03, 2001] "Open Financial Exchange 2.0 Earning Broad Industry Support. XML Compliant OFX Specification Features Support for 401K, 1099 and W2 Statement Download." - "More than 1000 financial institutions around the world have already implemented the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) specification, enabling the seamless exchange of financial information over the Internet. The OFX consortium announced today that the latest version of OFX, XML-compliant OFX 2.0, is now earning support from financial institutions, technology solution providers and payroll companies. Version 2.0, which became available for public download at this past July, has already won the support of leading financial services companies including Prudential, TD Waterhouse Group, Inc. and T. Rowe Price; payroll processing leader Ceridian; and leading technology solution providers including Corillian and Enterprise Engineering. 'TD Waterhouse is committed to making the financial lives of its customers easier,' said Stuart Rubinstein, senior vice president, Electronic Commerce, TD Waterhouse Group, Inc. 'OFX 2.0 enables our customers to download their TD Waterhouse 1099 information directly into their tax preparation software, including this year with Quicken TurboTax, significantly reducing a time consuming and tedious process.' It is this type of benefit that makes OFX the connectivity preference of financial services companies. OFX, the only financial specification widely adopted by both clients and servers, enables financial institutions, technology solution providers and financial software and Web services companies to create products and services that work together more effectively. With OFX, financial information can be efficiently transferred between financial services companies, their technology outsourcers and consumers who use Web and PC-based software. Enterprise Engineering, utilizing its leading technology platform, EnterpriseFTX, and OFX 2.0, recently enabled Prudential Retirement Services to deliver 401K to Personal Financial Management software over the Internet. 'Since it was first released, OFX 2.0 has continued to gain momentum as more and more financial institutions seek to implement a common communication infrastructure for the delivery of Web-based financial services,' said Anthony Piniella, vice president of Marketing and PR for Enterprise Engineering. 'With the added capabilities of retirement services and tax reporting, and support for XML, OFX can now enable financial institutions to deliver truly integrated financial services.' The XML-compliant version 2.0 includes new extensions to support functionality for 401(k), 1099 and W2 downloads. The new extensions allow financial services companies to offer new services and rich functionality to their customers, such as valuable new 401(k) account details. The 1099 extension facilitates the downloading of 1099 information directly to Web and PC tax software. The W2 extension facilitates the downloading of W2 information directly from payroll service providers into Web and desktop tax preparation software. The companies cited in this release said that they intend to continue recommending additions to the OFX specification that will enhance functionality and facilitate fully automated tax return preparation. Thousands of consumers are also enjoying the benefits of OFX-enabled electronic bill pay and presentment in products such as Microsoft Money and web services such as Quicken Bill Manager. Because XML is a widely accepted format for transmitting data over the Web, its inclusion in OFX 2.0 affords financial services companies an enhanced ability to interact with more Internet content and applications. Version 2.0 of the specification is also backward compatible with previous versions. The companies are working closely with more than 50 technology solution providers to ensure compatibility with existing implementations and to preserve the existing investment in OFX by financial services companies. Open Financial Exchange is a unified specification for the electronic exchange of financial data between financial institutions, business and consumers via the Internet. An open consortium created by CheckFree, Intuit, and Microsoft in early 1997, Open Financial Exchange supports a wide range of financial activities including consumer and small business banking; consumer and small business bill payment; bill presentment and investment download and tracking, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds."

  • [January 20, 1999] Open Financial Exchange DTD - in the version 1.5.1 documentation or standalone. [local archive copy]

  • OFX 1.5.1, PDF Format, [local archive copy]

  • Open Financial Exchange - Previous OFE Main entry

  • Open Financial Exchange (OFX) Specification FAQ Updated May 10, 1998.

  • OFX Specification

  • February 23, 2000] "Bell & Howell's eRoute Adds XML and OFX Functionality." - "Bell & Howell Company announced today that eRoute, its management solution for print and electronic messaging systems, now includes XML and OFX capabilities..."

  • [September 18, 1998] "Banking Industry Adopts OFX." By Lynda Radosevich. In InfoWorld [Electric] (September 18, 1998) [Posted at 4:59 PM PT].

  • [January 27, 2000] "Leading OFX Solution Providers Endorse OFX Version 2.0. Industry Support for XML-based Specification Grows." - "Highlighting broad industry support for the Open Financial Exchange (OFX) specification, thirty-two leading OFX Solution Providers (OSPs) working with Intuit Inc. have committed to support version 2.0 of the OFX specification and to build solutions around its new capabilities. Version 2.0 of the specification further enhances financial information exchange over the Internet by adding support for 401(k) and 1099 statement downloads, as well as bringing OFX into XML compliance, which enables users to interact with more content and applications on the Internet using XML tools. Endorsement by the industry's top system integrators and service bureaus reflects overall market demand and endorsement for this standard for Web-based financial data connectivity. OFX is a unified specification for the electronic exchange of financial data between financial institutions, businesses and consumers via the Internet. It is designed to support a wide range of financial activities including consumer and small business banking; consumer and small business bill payment; investments, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds."

  • Financial Protocols - OFX, OFX/GOLD, FIX (Innovision Page)

  • [October 06, 1998] Press release: "Quick & Reilly to Offer Customers OFX-Enabled Account Access Via Quicken 98, Money 98. Innovision XML Protocol Server Will Be at the Heart of New Service." - "The Innovision Financial Server is the industry-leading XML protocol server capable of exchanging XML protocols including OFX. It provides the most complete OFX solution available and runs on leading platforms including Sun's Solaris and Microsoft's Windows NT. Built with Java, the Innovision server uses distributed object technology to provide a flexible and scaleable architecture for the most demanding environments."

  • [March 19, 1999] "CheckFree Rolls Out First Large-Scale System Support for OFX Specification for Electronic Banking and Bill Payment. CheckFree's electronic payments engine now supports OFX for transactions processed on behalf of 400,000 users, making it the largest in-production OFX -compliant system in the industry." - "CheckFree today announced that its next-generation electronic banking and payment transaction processing engine now supports the standards specified in the currently approved Open Financial Exchange (OFX) specification. OFX was co-developed by Intuit, Microsoft and CheckFree, and is the industry's technical standard specifying how electronic banking and bill payment transactions should be structured, which facilitates interoperability among solutions provided by different vendors who support OFX. [local archive copy]

  • [March 31, 1999] "Mellon Bank Selects Innovision XML Financial Protocol Server To Power Bill Payment, Other OFX Services. New Capabilities Make It Easier, Safer for Retail Customers to Use Leading PFM Applications to Pay Bills and Manage Banking Transactions Online." - "Innovision Corporation, technology leader in open financial standards based on extensible markup language (XML), today announced Mellon Bank Corporation will use Innovision Financial Server to drive its new open financial exchange (OFX) retail banking services. Mellon customers will have the ability to access their bank and bill payment information using Quicken and Microsoft Money PFM applications that connect directly with Mellon's internal systems via Innovision Financial Server. Acting as a messaging interchange engine, Innovision Financial Server sends, receives and manages OFX-formatted data. Innovision Financial Server is a component of Innovision XP (XML Protocol) Series. The product is the financial industry's most widely deployed OFX server."

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