The .qfx file extension has two known associations. The first is the financial software Quicken, in which .qfx stands for Quicken Financial Exchange. These files are used to import financial data from an external source, such as an online financial institution or a other financial software. The files contain all the normal data one would expect to see in a typical Quicken account including names, account numbers, balance amounts, individual transactions, and investments. Many financial institutions offering online banking are able to provide customer data in .qfx format, but it is considered a one-way transaction. Data being uploaded and then sent back and forth during the banking session is in a different format with the .ofx extension. It is worth noting that Quicken's native file extension and format is .qif.
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Quicken's .qfx file structure is not all that complicated, in fact it's a standard .xml text file with four added lines of code which are specific to Quicken. One could, in theory, open it with an .xml capable text editor and read the data with no difficulty. The specific tags that dictate how Quicken displays the information however, is proprietary to the software. That means you can't simply change the file extension and then import the data into another financial software package. The .qfx format is being used less frequently by financial institutions, and experts are predicting its eventual demise. The .ofx format was developed to be an open standard usable by any financial software on any platform, and now many institutions are beginning to switch to this format.
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More Info Regarding File Extension Qfx
Operational errors with .qfx files are rare, since they are merely .xml text. Errors that do occur are generally limited to corrupt data which will not allow importation. If this is the case with your file, the transmission may have been interrupted at some point, leaving out a crucial bit of information. Downloading the data again will likely solve the problem. One of the other big issues with .qfx is the inability of Mac users to import the data if their financial institution does not support Mac. This is not a format issue in and of itself. Rather Intuit (the producers of Quicken), require banks to pay an extra fee for supporting Mac. During the transmission of the .qfx file, the bank computer checks the operating system performing the download. If it is the Mac platform and the bank doesn't pay the extra fee, the transmission is stopped and the financial data is not transmitted. Upon trying to open the file the user will get an error stating something like, "Quicken is currently unable to verify the financial institution information for this download. Please try again later." There is no recovery possible from this error as it is simply an issue between Intuit and the bank. There is also no other software that can open and utilize the .qfx file because of the four lines of header information the bank adds to the file. Users whose banks do not support .qfx should consider using a different financial software package.
Quick Link Fax is another program that used the .qfx file extension. This program was a utility to send and receive fax messages using the dial up modem in the PC. Incoming faxes were saved in the .qfx format. This software is no longer produced or supported, but other programs are available to open and convert your old .qfx files. Smart FaxSee, FaxSee Pro, and Batch Fax to PDF are just three examples. Because the Quick Link .qfx file is only an image, errors with these files are rare. Corrupted data may render the file unreadable but should not affect the operation of the computer or OS.