Managing Account Aggregation
Ewise - safe and secure account aggregation
I'm terrible at remembering passwords. And if they change then I'm really in trouble!
Because over the years I have lived in a number of countries the problem is even worse as I have more than my fair share of bank accounts and other financial services I need to keep track of.
Luckily when I lived in Australia I discovered a service called Ewise.
They provide automated, scripted login to just under 300 financial accounts (mostly US, UK and AU based but others from Hong Kong, South Africa and others) and they add others at a fairly regular rate so if you have a look and discover your bank isn't there just drop them an email and they can usually help.
Unlike some other services there's no worry about how secure they are. You control your login details and they are never stored on their servers. All the usernames and passwords are stored (heavily encrypted) either in the registry on your machine or an a 'portable profile' (that can be stored on a USB key, memory stick, phone memory or even a floppy if your computer still supports them!)
Once you've added an account to your profile getting the current balance (or logging on) is as simple as one click.
The best things is that for all your accounts you only need to remember the one password for your user profile so it's a very simple process!
When you log in the last recorded balances are displayed (they also get stored in the local encrypted data store) so you can decide which accounts need refreshing, or with one click update them all.
Because the encryption service is an Internet Explorer plug-in you need to use IE - I'd strongly recommend you update to at least IE8 as it is secure and robust. You do have anti-malware installed don't you?
What makes it especially good is because you're not tempted to click on a link in an email to access your bank records - because it's easier to use their aggregator login - it reduces the risk of phishing attacks. You're also less likely to write the password to your bank account on an easily lost bit of paper - again, because it's so easy.
For US only users there are other services that you might want to check out that offer more active reporting as well.
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