Should banks and credit card companies email us whenever there's activity?

Would this influence you as a consumer to choose a new bank or credit card company?

I’d like it if my bank and credit card company would send me an email telling me every time there’s any activity on my account. So when I check my email during the day I’d see something real simple, probably all included in the subject line so I don’t even have to open it. Just something like: Jack’s Diner $40.00 or ATM $50. So if there is something outrageous like $500 for a magazine subscription I’m on it immediately. Or even the little things, like if I paid $75 for dinner last night and it comes in as $95…today I could catch it. By the end of the month, no way I remember.

I think it would help me keep track and even though I know nothing about identity theft I think it would have to help there also.

What do you think? Is there some obvious reason not to do it that I’m missing?

My Amex card account already does most of this.
It sends me a weekly statement. It sends me when I approach my credit limit (I set the level. I set it at $1000, so that I get an email if I go over that.). It sends me a notice when I make a payment. And it sends me a notice when I have to make my next payment.

Not mine :frowning: I hear from them once a month and they always have their hand out.

Good God, no. The last thing I want clogging up my email or voice mail is “Hey, guess what! Remember dinner last night?” Yes, I fucking do, thanks.


Excellent point! So let’s amend the OP to include the word “OPTIONAL” as many times as is necessary.

All this is optional. I wonder if Amex will give me a kickback for plugging them?

My bank allows me to get the following e-mail options

So it can definitely be done .

I’d like it and you could just set up a filter and route all the notices into their own folder so they wouldn’t clog everything up.

Retailers and processors for retailers often batch their transactions and send them in files or online messages after the fact, and I suspect this is especially true for the sort of things that are more likely to come out wrong, like a restaurant authorizing the cost of your meal (say $60) but accidentally sending the final amount as $95 instead of the $77 you intended.

In other words, it can often take a day (or longer over weekends and holidays) for the transactions to post against your account. Typically your credit card company will see the original authorizations as they happen, but even this isn’t guaranteed if someone further up the transaction chain decided to do a stand-in approval, and the amount of the authorization isn’t necessary going to be the same as the final amount anyway.

I don’t think it is technically impossible for a practically real-time view to be available, but a lot of existing infrastructure will have to change for this to be possible, so I wouldn’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

Aside from that, I don’t see any reason why a company couldn’t send you an email for every transaction as soon as they became aware of the final amount, which may be good enough for your purposes. I personally would find that overkill, and check my accounts online at least once or twice a week anyway. Perhaps they could let you choose how often you wanted to be notified: every transaction, once a week, once a month, over a dollar amount, etc.

My Mastercard already does this. I have it set to text my phone.

I use it for most stuff but I don’t spend a lot so it is not a flood for me. :smiley:

I am anal about the Tracking the $$$ anyway, don’t have nuff to lose any so I watch pretty close. :smiley:

If my credit card offered it, I’d like to get an email notice whenever there’s activity. As it is, they’ve called me up a couple of times to confirm that large spending surges were in fact mine (they were).

Thanks for all the responses. I’ll call my my bank and credit card companies to see if it’s available to me already.