When can I shred those paper checks and bank statements? Answers to your online banking questions

As the COVID-19 pandemic causes banking customers to turn to online technology to manage their money, those who are trying online banking for the first time may find themselves with questions about how to handle things previously. carried out in person or with paper documents.

If you don’t know how to handle some of the practicalities of online banking, here are the answers to some common questions.

Do I have to save the monthly statements?

Experiential, EXPGY,
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one of the three major credit bureaus, recommends keeping bank statements for tax purposes to confirm your deductible income or expenses. If you end up using your returns for your taxes, you may want to keep your returns for up to seven years in case the IRS decides to audit you. Even if your bank keeps digital records of your statements, you may want to print or download your statements just in case.

Also see: Does it matter if I don’t have emergency funds?

When should I shred the paper check for a mobile deposit?

Big banks recommend that after making a mobile deposit, you write “mobile deposit” and the date of deposit on the face of the check. Keep the check until you’ve made sure the deposit has been made – which can take several days – and the bank doesn’t need the original check for some reason. Once the check is cashed in your account, it is best to shred it.

How do I send money or pay bills through my mobile banking app?

If you want to send money to your friends or family, your bank may offer you Zelle money transfer service. Zelle, which is integrated with many major banks and also available as a separate app, allows registered users to receive and send money from their bank accounts.

You can also sign up for money transfer apps like Venmo or Cash App and link them to your bank account to send and receive money, as long as your sender or recipient has the same app.

See: How Venmo Works and What You Should Know Before Using It

To pay your bills online, your bank may have the option of setting up recurring payments for services such as your mobile phone provider or utility company, allowing you to automate your monthly bills. Some banks can also send a check on your behalf if needed. Wells Fargo WFC,
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, for example, offers online bill payment services, but you can also schedule paper checks to be sent for yourself if your service provider does not accept electronic payments. Find your bank’s FAQs or contact their customer service for more details on their bill payment features.

What should I do if my mobile banking app isn’t working?

It is a universal truth that technology comes with occasional frustrations. Sometimes banks experience app crashes, and sometimes there are issues on the user side. There are several things you can do to diagnose the problem:

  • Make sure your login credentials are correct. Entering an incorrect username and / or password is a common stumbling block and will prevent access to your account. Some banks can even block you after too many failed login attempts. If you forgot your login information, contact your bank’s technical support team.
  • Check your email and your bank’s social media accounts. Your bank may have posted on its Facebook FB,
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    or Twitter TWTR,
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    accounts or sent an email notification on any known app issues. Today, many consumers also use their banks’ platforms to report issues themselves. In the event of a failure, your bank may publish information on how long and how you can access your account in the meantime. Bookmark or follow your bank’s social media accounts for quick access.
  • Update your app and / or your phone software. Your version of the app may be out of date, or your phone software may need to be updated to use a newer version of the app. Access your phone’s application market (e.g. Apple AAPL,
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    App Store or Google GOOGL,
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    Play Store), find your bank’s app, and see if there is an update option.
  • Get technical support from your bank. For assistance, contact your bank’s customer service representatives by phone, email, or chat, if available.
  • Use your office ID or visit a branch or ATM. If your app isn’t working, you might still be able to sign in on a desktop computer. If your bank has physical branches, you should be able to get service in person, although COVID-19 precautions could mean hours are limited or appointments are required. If you’re trying to deposit a check or check your balance, you can use an ATM, as long as your bank offers network use.
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