Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Know Your Future Balance with Pending Items

Today, we are making a new feature available in Web Branch. The new feature is called Pending Items and is our latest enhancement to Money Management Tools.

Pending Items shows you an estimated future balance. It uses upcoming Web Pays and Web Branch transfers to project future balances on your accounts.You can increase the accuracy of this balance by adding additional pending items, such as recurring income or expenses.

The future balance can be used to help manage cash flow and identify an opportunity to make a purchase or add to savings or if an account is in danger of overdraft. The new feature can also be used as an online check register.

The best way to get started using this feature (and to make it as accurate as possible), is to use the suggested pending items tool. We'll analyze your recent history and present items that have occurred multiple times. All you have to do is choose which ones you want to include and review how frequently they occur.

From there, you can always add individual items to your pending list. The easiest way to do this is to find the item in your past history and choose "Create Pending Item" from the toolbar on the right (see the first screenshot above). You can also easily edit the amounts of existing pending items by clicking on them.

Pending items will be automatically matched as the actual transactions hit your account. The description, date and amount have to reasonably match. If an item doesn't match, it can easily be removed.

Along with the recurring items, you can also add one-time items like paper checks you write. We'll also automatically include Web Pay paper checks so your balance will more accurately reflect these items until they clear.

You can easily customize which items you want to see and how far into the future we will project by clicking on "Options" in the upper right.

We are really excited to bring this new functionality to Web Branch. With just a few minutes of effort, you can have peace of mind in knowing how much money you'll have in the future and a better overall picture of your financial situation.

15 comments:

  1. This is an awesome feature. Thanks for your innovation.

    As a separate request, when are you going to provide read-only application accounts for things like mint and yodlee? I'd love this so I don't have to give out my details? ING Direct has done a pretty decent implementation of this.

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  2. We don't have any immediate plans to offer read-only feeds of member account information. However, the ING idea is good and would help protect your Web Branch access. We'll consider it for a future enhancement.

    We are focused on continuing to enhance our own Money Management Tools product, but we realize other tools exist and offer features we don't (and may never) offer.

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  3. Right now when scheduling a transfer, the UWCU website asks for:
    1) the account to transfer from
    2) the account to transfer to
    3) the amount to transfer
    4) the date to perform the transfer

    Could you please add:
    5) Comment/Note

    This would allow the customer to enter a comment or note like the note line on a check. This would allow them to review the reason they scheduled the transfer both prior to and after the transfer occurs.

    Thanks.

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  4. You allow account transactions in savings and checking accounts to be assigned a "category".

    Why don't you allow a user to assign a "category" for transfers & payments at the time they schedule the transfer or payment?

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  5. Regarding the scheduled transfers, we'll think about adding this. There is a lot of integration that we are already doing to make all of this work together and show up in your pending items. Some things are pretty difficult to make work, but I agree this would be a nice feature.

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  6. Regarding the categorization of scheduled transfers, this is also a lot more difficult than it probably looks. Again, we've done a lot of work behind the scenes to make everything appear in one place, but the data is coming from tons of different places to show up in pending items.

    We also like this idea and will add it to the list, but there are a number of technical hurdles we'll have to overcome to make this work.

    The transfers will auto categorize when they become real history items.

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  7. This is a great feature, but lacking one important thing when it comes to joint accounts. My wife and I have separate logins, but draw from the same accounts. When I enter pending transactions, she can not see them and vise versa. Why is this? This makes it hard to keep our books straight as one hand does not know what the other hand is doing.

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  8. Regarding joint accounts, the short answer is we know and understand. The longer answer is that this is not something easy to do. While you may want to share this information, others may not. Or you may want to share it about one account and not another. We'd need to build a system where you can set up permissions as to what the joint member can and can't see (or do).

    We do have this issue on our radar screen, but it isn't likely to be addressed in the foreseeable future. The complexities and amount of work it would take to implement makes it hard to justify. I think there will be a day when we can address this, but we ask you to be patient.

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  9. I echo the comment(s) from the May 8th posting. However, I certainly do not understand the response that was posted. Today if an account is 'joint', is it not true that each individual has "equal" access? Therefore each individual that is 'joint' should have access to any pending transaction information. You may want to set up a system that limits permissions, but that is not how things currently are now. (and in my opinion - the setting account permissions, the account is no longer 'joint')

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  10. The permissions that you'd be granting would be to the Web Branch information. While a joint holder on an account has full rights to that account from a banking perspective, that does not apply to online access via Web Branch. On Web Branch, all of the access is controlled by the member logging in (this is typical of all online systems where the the username controls access and everything flows down from there).

    Because of this, we can't just assume that one member would want to share all their pending transfers, Web Payments, etc. just because it happens to be on a joint account. Thus the need for some kind of way to grant access to this.

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  11. Is this feature, (to view future balance with pending items) available for credit card accounts? It's awesome to have this for my checking account but would like to see my credit card balance as well.

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  12. Yes, Pending Items is available on all our accounts, but is most useful for spending accounts like Checking and Credit Cards.

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  13. Any info on when you might add the 2 features described in the "April 17, 2011 9:15 PM" and "April 17, 2011 9:17 PM" comments?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While it sounds pretty straight forward, adding notes/memos to history items that haven't happened yet is technically pretty difficult.

      It is still on the "list" but we probably won't get to it in 2012.

      Delete

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