Banking in the 21st century
I like(d) online and mobile banking but I thought this would actually give me a good idea of what is happening on my account. I hardly ever use cash and with a joint account and a family (totally 5) privately renting in Winchester its a costly affair and I often sail close the wind shall we say.
However it is in fact very hard to keep up to date, using online or telephone banking. One of my banks is still unable to provide an available balance at this time and the app and online banking is thus pretty useless in providing accurate data, they are working on available balance, not so bad for me however as this is suppose to be my spending account and so it in fact see little action! But Balance is so out of date that there is no point looking at it.
However my busy and mainly Bills account does provide both a Balance and an Available Balance. But what transactions you can actually view is very confusing.
This contains the last 12 transaction against your account, you cannot identify these transactions to a company but view only by type (visa, direct debit etc). However if in one day you have had more than 12 transactions you will not see the older ones until they appear on the full statement.
This view is usually a day behind and just to add confusion can include items that appear on the Mini statement but will be credited to a company.
And finally the VISA Pending Transactions
These are VISA transactions that do not appear anywhere for you to see but are included in your available balance, if you want to get details on these you must call your Bank and they then log into a VISA system and retrieve the data with both the value and company name. These are VISA card transactions that you have made but the company you used the card at may not have actually taken the funds from you.
Its frustrating and feels that the system is designed to help you incur charges if you are not eagled eyed
Why can't the owner of the account actually see a live feed of all transactions from direct debit to standing order payments and even pending VISA transactions ?
I am none the wiser as why my mini statements transactions appear anonymous, this maybe just my bank.
The main issue is pending transactions, I have been advised that every time your bank logs into the VISA pending transactions system on your behalf they pay a fee to VISA.
So I assume the reason you and I cannot see a proper and helpful live bank feed is down to cost and not technology or security as providing a live feed direct to you would cost the banks a lot more money to manage.
So what was this post all about, well I am not sure but its frustrating to know that even today the banks cannot provide a usable system. My advise (not that I will be able to do this myself) is either draw out cash and use that only, or keep a physical notepad or use this neat little calculator App like Soulver (iOS / Mac OSX )and keep your own running total of all your transactions yourself !