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Account Summary in beta - more reliable feeds, continued improvements, fixes for password autofills

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Posted on by Jason

It’s been a big month for us, and we’re very glad to have released the Account Summary to all our users as a beta feature. Your response has been very encouraging, and our thanks go out to our users who’ve been patient with us as we’ve fixed bugs arising from the upgrade.

Your feedback and input has helped us better understand how to improve the user experience, so please keep the conversation going!

We’re excited about the coming year, especially as the Account Summary upgrade is the solid foundation from which we will improve the application’s usability and functionality. We want to ensure that 2014 will be your best year on PocketSmith so far!

Our Roadmap is here, come see what we’re working on and planning, and please comment if you wish: .

In the meantime, here’s a bit of news around a couple of key upgrades we’ve implemented since we launched the Account Summary three weeks ago.

Contents

  1. Live feed refreshes are now queued to improve reliability
  2. Updates to Account Summary menus
  3. Updates to Live feed creation workflow
  4. Password auto-fills causing live feed authentication errors

Live feed refreshes are now queued to improve reliability

Up until now, PocketSmith has taken an approach of refreshing an institution’s account types (e.g. bank, credit cards, loans) all at once, to ensure you get the latest information quickly. This had previously caused some minor problems with banks that disallowed multiple simultaneous logins.

Recently however, we saw these problems spreading to affect nearly all feed connections. Temporary errors were occurring for any feed connection which more than one account type. To solve this issue, we rebuilt the refresh system to be queue based.

This means the Live Feed service now refreshes all your accounts one after another, sequentially. When you log in, you can observe each account type being refreshed in the Account Summary sidebar. Click on the queued account types to access a “Jump queue” link, which you can use if your refreshes can run simultaneously without issue.

The Live Feed queue in the Account Summary sidebar

Updates to Account Summary menus

Access to an account’s Live Feed actions such as adding a new feed, adding and editing credentials, and adding an account type are now more easily accessible via a Live Feed menu in the sidebar. Some of these options were previously available under the ‘New account’ menu, and we’ve moved them out as they weren’t immediately easy to find.

All Live Feeds can be managed from the ‘All Institutions’ tab, and specific feed actions can be performed when you’ve clicked on institution’s tab.

See the steps on how to set up a live feed here:

If you’ve imported your accounts from your bank or another personal finance tool, and wish to sync them with a live feed, take these steps:

We are following this up with a separate ‘Edit feed options’ menu and form. This will offer a number of options, including edits to your auto-categorization and pending transaction options without needing to re-authenticate with your bank.

The new Live Feed menu in the Account Summary sidebar

Updates to Live feed creation workflow

We’ve separated the institution and live feed creation steps into two forms to clarify the workflow and prevent institutions from being created accidentally.

The old form invited you to type in your institution name, while using the typed results to produce a list of bank feeds you could connect to.

This guided some users to think of the institution name as a search input, resulting in feeds being created and assigned to institutions resembling partial name searches “e.g. “Bank”, or “West”, or “First”.

The new forms first request the institution name before saving it. They then use the name to suggest a search for available live feeds. You can refine the name to improve your search results.

This means that the new forms also let you enter an institution name that doesn’t have to specifically match the search phrase required. For example in step 1 of creating an institution, you could use “BofA” as the institution name, and then search for “Bank of America” in step 2.

The updated 'New institution' form now lets you first create the institution before choosing to add a Live Feed

Password auto-fills causing live feed authentication errors

We've made some changes so that live bank feed forms will no longer be auto-filled with any saved PocketSmith credentials you have in your browser (i.e. through Chrome or Firefox's "save password" feature). We had been finding that some users were experiencing incorrect "invalid credentials" errors, because the login fields were being automatically populated with the user's PocketSmith password.

In rare cases, incorrect "invalid credentials" errors are an issue with our data provider; however in most cases, something is causing the credentials sent to be incorrect. Preventing auto-filling of the login forms for the live bank feed service goes some way to mitigating the most frequent cause for this sort of problem.

Now that browser auto-filling is no longer an issue with the live feed forms, if you receive an “invalid credentials” error, please check that the Live Feed credential form isn’t being auto-filled by a password manager such as 1Password. Then, please double-check your credentials by carefully re-entering them by hand.

If all else fails, then please get in touch with us :-)