ClearCheckbook's Blog, News & Updates

Possible Transaction Syncing Delay Notification

3/17/2021 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We received the following notification from our transaction processor, Plaid, in regards to transaction syncing:

"In anticipation of upcoming government relief funds being distributed at scale, we are proactively reducing our transaction update interval to alleviate pressure on bank infrastructure. During this period of high traffic, some institutions may also experience elevated error rates. We will update this message when we revert back to normal."
If you notice your transactions not syncing as fast as they normally do, it's probably due to the above notice.

Plaid called out these institutions specifically as having syncing delays:
  • Huntington Bank
  • PNC
  • Wells Fargo
  • Fidelity
  • Charles Schwab
  • US Bank
  • TD Bank
  • USAA
  • Capital One
  • American Express
List last updated on March 22, 2021 @ 7:15am MT

Some of those are temporary and some are ongoing. It's also likely there are other institutions with connection interruptions but those are the most frequently used by ClearCheckbook customers. If you're connected to one of the above institutions and haven't seen any new transactions sync in several days, I suggest contacting Plaid directly to get status updates on your institution. You can contact them here: Plaid Support. Click on the Support button at the bottom right side of the page to start a support ticket with them.

We're sorry for any inconveniences this is causing. Plaid provides transaction services to thousands of financial services, including many large scale apps such as Venmo and Coinbase. We're hopeful they will get these delays under control and connections with the above institutions re-established.

Announcing a Sync Membership for Connecting to Banks

2/10/2021 in ClearCheckbook News

Today we're announcing a new Sync Membership that allows you to connect up to 5 financial institutions to ClearCheckbook.

This membership is for people who want to connect their bank to ClearCheckbook but don't want or need all of the additional features that come with ClearCheckbook Premium. The Sync Membership costs $2.49 per month and gives you the ability to connect up to 5 financial institutions.

You can upgrade to the Sync Membership by clicking on Settings at the top right side of the page and then click on the Manage Your Sync Membership link under the Syncing Transactions section. More information about the upgrade process can be found here: Our Manage Your Sync Membership Knowledge Base article.

Here are some FAQs about the Sync Membership and Bank Connecting

What counts as a connection? A connection is counted for different financial institutions. For example, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Capital One are three different connections. We do not count multiple connections to the same institution toward your total. If you have 3 different accounts with Wells Fargo, that still only counts as one connection.

Is my bank supported? You can check to see if your financial institution is supported here: Our Supported Banks Knowledge Base article.

Can I have more than 10 connections? If you have a ClearCheckbook Premium membership and also purchase a Sync Membership, you will be able to connect up to 10 financial institutions.

I want to learn more about how to connect my bank to ClearCheckbook We have a full support page that covers how to connect your bank to ClearCheckbook here: Our Connecting to your Bank Knowledge Base article.

Why do we charge for these connections? The service that provides your transactions charges ClearCheckbook a flat fee per institution connection per month. Unlike other financial services that offer these connections for free, we do not sell your data, show ads or receive income from any source other than our ClearCheckbook Premium upgrades. We are offering this Sync Membership and our Premium Membership in order to cover the connection fees.

ClearCheckbook Updates for January 2021 - Including Bank Syncing

1/22/2021 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We just released our first big update of 2021 which includes over 20 new features, tweaks and bug fixes. The biggest new feature is the ability to connect to your bank and have your transactions automatically synced to ClearCheckbook!

Connecting with Financial Institutions
You read that correctly! We're extremely happy to announce that ClearCheckbook can now connect with over 10,000 different financial institutions so you can have your transactions automatically downloaded each day. This feature is available to all ClearCheckbook Premium members and allows you to connect accounts at up to 5 different financial institutions.

You can see if your bank is supported by using the Search Institutions form on our Syncing with Financial Institutions knowledge base page. More information about how to set up ClearCheckbook to sync with your bank can be found on our Connecting to your Bank knowledge base article.

Updates / Site Tweaks:
  • Updated the Account Settings list to make account information easier to see at a glance
  • When adding transactions, we added an alert if it seems like you might be entering an incorrect date (for example, maybe you forgot to change the year)
  • We added a Knowledge Base article for Site Navigation
  • Updated precision of currency conversions to 9 digits
  • If you set up custom transaction form ordering, the input focus will be on the first field that takes keyboard input (rather than always defaulting to the Amount field)
  • We added links in the Register Options to view only Current and Future transactions
  • You can now delete payments in the Money Lending Tracker in case you mistakenly added one
  • Updated how file attachment URLs are generated to improve privacy and security

Bug fixes:
  • The name of a bill might be displayed incorrectly under some circumstances
  • Currency conversions weren't being set up correctly when creating a new account with a currency different than the global default
  • Investment Portfolio gadget was showing an incorrect Last Price under some circumstances
  • Inactive categories were showing up as n/a in the Budgets list. Now they are hidden from the list.
  • Made sure currency conversions couldn't be set to 0
  • Fixed how split children amounts were displayed in CSV export to allow for better import
  • Archived account names weren't showing up in exported files
  • Sum of splits wasn't being calculated correctly when editing a recurring transaction
  • Orphaned categories were causing problems in Profit and Loss report
  • Fixed a bug that would cause an error in the Duplicate Transaction check if an account didn't exist

We already have several other updates that are currently in our queue or are already under development. If you have any other suggestions for new features or any other improvements we could make to ClearCheckbook, please let us know!

2020 Roundup and a Huge New Feature for 2021

12/30/2020 in ClearCheckbook News

2020 was a huge year of updates for ClearCheckbook with the launch of Version 5 of the website and Version 4 of both the iOS and Android apps.

The launch of ClearCheckbook V5

ClearCheckbook version 5 had been in the works for a while and we finally made V5 live in August. Version 5 included over 100 new features, options and settings. You can look back at our blog post announcing V5 as well as the release notes for a full list of all the work that went into the update and what new features were included.

Major updates to improve the speed and performance of the website

After launching V5, we focused a lot of extra attention on tweaking our server and database setups to make the site much more efficient. If you're curious about some of the updates we made, you can check out our blog post on the subject.

New iOS and Android apps

We launched new versions of the iOS and Android apps in late June. These new versions were a complete rewrite that makes it easier for us to streamline updates to the apps. There were some hiccups at the launch of the new apps, but we worked around the clock to get those fixed. The apps are stable now and any bugs that have popped up have been resolved quickly.

To followup the V4 release of the apps, we recently updated the apps to 4.1 which included a lot of new features and settings that had been suggested to us. The 4.1 update really focused on making the app much more streamlined with the website by taking a lot of the settings (such as date format and custom transaction fields) and putting them in their own Settings menu. If you update the settings via the app, they will also update the website and vice versa.

Connecting to banks is finally coming!

We're super excited to announce that the most requested feature we've received since launching ClearCheckbook in 2006 is finally being introduced. Soon you'll be able to connect ClearCheckbook with your financial institutions so your transactions are automatically synced from your bank and into ClearCheckbook throughout the day. We're putting the finishing touches on the code and then need to do some extensive testing, but so far everything looks like it's working very well!

ClearCheckbook has prided itself on putting privacy and security first and this isn't going to change. The bank connection feature is 100% optional but will help open ClearCheckbook to people who don't want to manually enter or import all of their transactions. Making ClearCheckbook more accessible and giving more people the ability to manage their finances has always been one of our main goals. Offering this feature falls right in line with that.

Happy New Year

While 2020 has definitely been a year none of us expected or planned for, we're very hopeful for a bright and exciting 2021. This is also going to be a big year for ClearCheckbook as the site will turn 15 years old in May.

Thanks to everyone who has been using ClearCheckbook to manage your finances. Whether you've been using the site for free or you're a paying member, we really appreciate you choosing ClearCheckbook and we hope to continue making the site and apps better so managing your finances becomes easier and easier.

-Brandon

What have we been up to since the ClearCheckbook version 5 update?

9/4/2020 in ClearCheckbook Updates

ClearCheckbook version 5 was launched on August 15th and since then we've been making a lot of updates to improve the speed of the site.

If you feel like ClearCheckbook has been loading and responding a little quicker than normal, you're not imagining things! We've been hard at work upgrading many aspects of both the hardware and software running ClearCheckbook to help improve response and load times.

Some of the updates we've made:
  • Doubled the RAM in our database - This improves data caching which dramatically decreases the time it takes to look up items in the database
  • Separated sessions, job queue and cache into separate databases - This helps the site make different types of requests for information without causing a data backlog
  • Updated the server configuration to better handle higher traffic periods - Adding more CPUs during high traffic period helps throughput and response time
  • Updated asset compression and cache expiration - This speeds things up by telling the browser to store certain files for a longer period of time
  • Changed the home page slightly and changed image formats - Changing the layout of the home page helped us remove some of the files that were loading and using up unnecessary bandwidth
  • Added a slight delay in the auto-complete fields - Rather than querying the database every time a keystroke is made, it will now ping the database a few tenths of a second after the last ping.

We hope these improvements have been noticeable and have helped make the site feel a little snappier. We'll continue to monitor various aspects of the site and work on making speed and response improvements as needed.

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