It’s now easier than ever to monitor your checking and savings accounts. Want to know if a check has cleared? Just log in from your phone. Wondering when your next loan payment is due? You can find that out anytime day or night on your smartphone.
However, you still have to log into the app. Some days, the activity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat is just too compelling to remember something as mundane as checking your account balances. It’s during those times, that ugly financial surprises may occur, but there’s a way to prevent them – eAlerts.
With eAlerts, you can receive a text or email that will notify you of activity in your account that you want to monitor but may forget to do. Here are four “must-have” alerts everyone should set up.
Get alerted when an ACH withdrawal hits your account.
Many of us set up payments to automatic account deductions for our monthly bills like utilities, cable TV, and loan payments. These payments are processed through a national system serving consumers and financial institutions called the Automated Clearing House (or “ACH”).
Arranging automatic payments is an excellent money management habit, but one that can cause problems if not monitored properly. You may be careful about tracking your checking account balance, but if you forget to account for automatic payments, you may end thinking you have more funds available than you really do. It’s easy to miss automatic payments unless you are checking your account activity every day.
To prevent possible overdraft situations, set up an account alert to remind every time an ACH withdrawal hits your account. That email or text may be just the reminder you need to account for the deduction in your records.
Make sure the convenience of debit cards doesn’t come back to haunt you.
Like ACH transactions, it can be easy to lose track of debit card transactions in your account records. You may save receipts to help remind you to enter the deduction in your checkbook or other recordkeeping method you use, but having a text alert sent to you for debit transactions is also a great reminder. And text messages don’t fall out of your pocket and blow away with the wind.
Know when your account balance is getting low.
Alerts that notify you when your account has reached a certain balance threshold can be very useful in helping you avoid overdrafts. Just pick a dollar amount that you don’t want your account to fall below – perhaps something like $100 – and you will get a notification every time your balance falls below that amount. Then you will know it may be time to transfer funds from another account, make a deposit, or cut back on spending.
Don’t miss a loan payment.
Years ago, you would receive a coupon book when you took out a loan. The coupons would identify when your payment is due and how much your payment is. In this digital age, coupon books aren’t as common but some people liked them as a tangible reminder that a payment is coming due. There’s a better and more convenient way. Set up an alert that will send you a text a few days before your loan payment is due.
Sounds great, right? But how do you set up alerts?
Most online banking systems have alert capability. At Genisys, you can set up your alerts in Online Banking from your desktop or laptop. Login and select the eAlerts menu tab. From there you can select “Alerts” to get to the screen that helps you set up new alerts. Just hit the “Add New” button to get started.
eAlerts are a necessary tool of good money management. If you haven’t set up your alerts yet, don’t wait. Log in and do it today.
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