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May 26, 2020

Balancing Your Digital Checkbook

Keep track of your spending and prevent fraud as the world moves toward digital banking.

As the world moves toward digital wallets and away from physical checks, you may find yourself unsure of how to spot and fix statement mistakes and track what you’re spending. The need to consistently reconcile your account hasn’t gone away. Overdraft fees and fraud still happen, but reporting mistakes is the account holder’s responsibility. Learn how to manage your account when you’ve gone digital.

Track Your Spending

There are several places you can track your spending and stay within your budget. Try out apps like: Mint, EveryDollar, Clarity Money, Wally, and Mvelopes. If you simply want to track your spending you can also check out your mobile banking app from your local banking branch. Keep physical receipts until you see the charges in your account so you can identify unrecognized transactions.

Identify Bank Transactions

Make sure you recognize each payment in your bank account. Automatic payments, ATM withdrawals, and online purchases can be labeled with names that don’t always match what you’d expect. Compare your receipts and your tracking app with the bank transactions to make sure everything is accounted for.

Compare Your Records

Pull out your phone, computer, and receipts and compare them with your online bank account–just as you would with your physical checkbook. If anything is on your digital bank statement, make sure to add it to your record. If you bought something recently and it isn’t showing in your statement don’t delete it. It may not have cleared through your account yet. Subtract payments from your bank statement that are missing and make sure it matches your record. If something doesn’t add up, double check your math or contact your local branch to discuss the discrepancy.

Repeat with Credit Card Statements

Many people opt to make purchases and pay bills with credit cards to earn rewards points and pay it off at the end of the month. After you compare spending from your bank statement, you’ll want to double check your credit card statement in the same way. Credit cards and bank accounts are subject to fraud and identity theft. Make sure you check both of them thoroughly.

If something doesn’t add up, double check your math and/or contact your local branch to discuss any discrepancies. You generally only have 60 days to report fraud or account mistakes. With online banking and digital tracking, reviewing and catching mistakes is even more convenient. You can check and label transactions as soon as they happen instead of waiting until the end of the month. Time and clutter are both saved when you move to digital account reconciliation.

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If you need to report any discrepancies with your account please contact your local branch.