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Improved stability for bank connections and transaction syncing

9/16/2022 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've updated the way you connect your financial institutions and authorize accounts for transaction syncing. This update improves connection reliability and makes it easier to authorize multiple accounts at one time.

Connection & Account Authorization Updates:

There are now two ways to make bank connections and authorize your accounts and which method you choose depends on whether or not you've already created the accounts in ClearCheckbook. This Choosing a connection method section of our knowledge base better explains the process.

The gist of the update revolves around how the bank connections and account authorizations are made. First and foremost you need to make a connection to your bank by entering your login credentials through the Plaid Link process. After that, you select which accounts you authorize ClearCheckbook to access. After that has been done, you can assign which authorized accounts are paired to which ClearCheckbook account.

This pairing process is handled in the new Bank Connections section in the Manage Accounts settings (more information on pairing can be found in Step 2 of the Connecting an existing account knowledge base article.)

Repairing Duplicate Connections:

If you have existing accounts connected to the same institution, you'll see a new alert that appears above your Accounts List in your Account Settings page. Because of the way we had been handling bank connections in the past, each account you authorized would create a new connection to that institution. If you had multiple accounts connected to the same institution, this caused duplicate connections since each account had a unique connection. This wasn't an issue until some institutions, namely Chase, would reject all but one of these connections.

By repairing the connection, you're combining all of the unique connections for that institution into one connection that contains access to all accounts. While it isn't mandatory at this time to repair these connections, we highly recommend doing so to prevent any interruptions to your syncing in the future.

To repair duplicate connections, all you need to do is click the green Repair Connection button next to the connection name. After authenticating with your bank, you'll be asked to select all of the accounts you authorize ClearCheckbook to access. Select the accounts you currently have connected and then finish the process.

Updating Legacy Connections:

If you've made connections prior to this update, they will most likely stay connected and continue syncing your transactions. However, we recommend repairing these "legacy" connections to ensure uninterrupted transaction syncing. You can easily repair these connections from the Bank Connections section in your Account Settings.

The legacy connections will appear under a "Legacy Connections" header and there will be a "Repair Connection" link next to each connection. Simply click on that link to reauthorize which accounts ClearCheckbook has access to. You only need to do this one time for each institution you've made a connection with.

New Feature - Connecting multiple accounts at one time:

This feature has been requested for quite some time and we finally got the implementation working correctly. You now have the ability to connect to a bank, authorize multiple accounts and then have all of those accounts created in ClearCheckbook. Once done, they will immediately start syncing transactions. This eliminates having to add each account one at a time which was a time consuming and repetitive process.

If you want to connect multiple accounts from a bank, you can follow the instructions outlined in the Connecting new accounts section in our knowledge base.

Re-authentication needed for Dropbox Automatic Backups by September 30

8/23/2021 in ClearCheckbook Updates
Dropbox is in the process of changing their authentication method for their API. This change is nullifying all existing authentications by September 30th and will require you to re-authenticate your Dropbox connection with ClearCheckbook if you're currently using Dropbox for your Automatic Backups.

The process to re-authenticate is extremely simple and can be done by logging into your account and then clicking on Tools at the top of the page. Next, click on the Automatic Backups link and then the red 'Cancel Automatic Backups' button. After that, click on the green 'Authorize Backups to Dropbox' button and follow the instructions to authenticate Dropbox with ClearCheckbook. Note: It might not have you approve the connection again, but simply redirect you back to ClearCheckbook. If that's the case, everything still worked correctly if you see the Automatic Backups Enabled text.

Once you do that, your backups will continue working past the September 30th cutoff date. If you don't re-authenticate before September 30th, ClearCheckbook won't be able to access your Dropbox account to save your backups.

This change does not affect Google Drive or OneDrive and will not remove any existing backups to your current Dropbox folder.

If you want to learn more, you can read up on the Refresh Tokens change in this blog post: https://dropbox.tech/developers/now-available--scoped-apps-and-enhanced-permissions.

We Updated the Bill Tracker Interface and Added an Update

5/10/2021 in ClearCheckbook Updates

The Bill Tracker got a slight user interface update and we also added a new "Autopay" flag when adding and editing bills.

Bill Tracker Interface Update:

The update to the Bill Tracker interface will help make finding information about the bill much easier on quick glance. For example, this will save you from having to click through a bill to see which account it's set to pay from.
Here's a sample of what the new Bill Tracker page looks like:
Bill Tracker - List of Bills

The bills are now separated between overdue and paid/upcoming bills. If you don't have any overdue bills, the paid/upcoming bills will take the full width of the screen.

Autopay flag

In an effort to help you keep track of which bills are on autopay and which you need to manually pay, we added an autopay flag when you add or edit a bill. If you check the Autopay checkbox, a new icon will appear next to the account name the bill is being paid from.

You can see the icon in the screenshot below next to the Checking account name in the Paid and upcoming bill:
Bill Tracker - Bill Gadget

The new autopay flag will be available on the mobile apps in the next update.

New Features and App Updates for ClearCheckbook - May 2021 Edition

5/6/2021 in ClearCheckbook Updates

We've added a few updates to the ClearCheckbook website and apps over the last month that you might have missed. These updates include a Crypto Portfolio and Retirement Calculator for the website. We also added Account Groups to both the iOS and Android apps.

Crypto Portfolio

The crypto portfolio is a new tool where you can track your crypto holdings and see your gain/loss on each of your coins. The crypto portfolio can track any coin in the top 300 based on market cap. You can learn more about the crypto portfolio at the Crypto Portfolio Knowledge Base.
ClearCheckbook Crypto Portfolio example

Retirement Calculator

The retirement calculator is a new feature built around the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement. The retirement calculator will tell you when you can retire based on your portfolio value and yearly expenses. This is a great way to help get an idea of whether your current saving methods are enough to let you retire early. The Retirement Calculator can be found under the Calculators section in the footer of the site.
ClearCheckbook Retirement Calculator example

Account Groups in iOS and Android apps

Both the iOS and Android apps have been updated so you can use your Account Groups to organize your accounts in the Accounts list. You can set up and manage your account groups through the website or on the app itself. For specific information on managing account groups on the apps, check out the relevant app Knowledge Base pages: iOS - Android.
ClearCheckbook Mobile Account Groups example

If you have any other suggestions for improvements we can make to ClearCheckbook, please let us know!

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.

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