Gestures to try

If you have not done this yet - please, try:

  • Tap and hold the header of the transaction list until a perspective menu appears ...
  • Tap and hold the footer of the transaction list to change the date range size ...
  • Swipe left or right in the footer area to change the date range ...
  • Click on the footer to select a date to include in the range ...
  • Tap and hold a transaction to label, tag or highlight and define rules ...
  • Tap and hold an account ...
  • Swipe left or right in the header or transactions area to navigate between accounts, tags or highlights ...
  • Tap the header to navigate between accounts, tags or highlights ...
  • Open Android's options menu and select Info ...

Please, check the tips below.


TIP 1: How to see how much you spent on phone bills?

For example, you want to see how much you spend on Vodafone mobile bills and BT land line every month. Please, try the following steps:

  • Open the Bank Control transactions list and enter into the Search mode (click the magnifying glass button in the header). Enter bt gr in the search input field - most likely you will see a list of payments to BT where descriptions contain BT GROUP PLC.
  • If you can't find transactions using the search feature - switch off the search mode and try to scroll. E.g. click on the header (or swipe left or right) and select an account which you use to pay to BT. Tap on the footer and hold until a date range size menu appears. Select Year and scroll until you find the transaction you need. Swipe right in the footer area to see transactions for a previous year.
  • Tap the phone bill transaction and hold until you see a Change Transaction menu. Select Tags. If you already have a tag for phone bills - just select it and skip the next step.
  • If you don't have a tag for phone bills yet - you can create it now. Click Create New, enter PHONE as a tag name and click on the drop down list under Select icon to set the tag's icon. Select phone-3 from the list of images. Click Create.
  • The PHONE tag has been assigned to the selected transaction and you are presented with a screen where you can define a rule to tag transactions as PHONE. A transaction will be tagged as PHONE automatically when downloaded if it matches the conditions you define in the rule. Please, select Matches exactly and leave BT GROUP PLC as the text. Click Create button and then Apply in the dialog. The rule has now been created and applied to all transactions in the local database.
  • Repeat the steps above but looking for a Vodaf using the search feature. Use the same PHONE tag we created before.
  • Switch the search mode off if you are still using the search. Tap the header of the transactions list and hold until the Select Perspective menu appears. Select Tags. Now, you see transactions organised by tags rather than accounts. You can see a summary (aggregated values) across tags or see transactions for individual tags. To navigate between tags or summary you can: tap the tag in the summary list, tap the header, swipe left or right in the header or list areas.
  • Tap the list footer (where dates are shown) and hold until the Select range menu appears. Select Month from it. Now you see summary information or transactions for the calendar month. To change the month: swipe left or right in the footer area or tap the footer and select a date to include from the pop-up calendar. Note: summary data and individual transactions are always shown for the date range specified in the footer. Always check the date range - e.g. it does not move automatically at night and you may miss downloaded transactions.
  • TIP: When you select 10 or 30 days date range interval - the range will be automatically adjusted to the current date (today). Calendar date ranges (week, month, quarter, year) are not adjusted to today when selected.

TIP 2: How to configure credit card interest alerts?

Bank Control application may notify you about unsettled transactions on your credit cards which are attracting or are going to attract interest payments soon. In order to use this feature, you need to know two dates, which can be found on your credit card bill:

  • Statement date - the date when bank issues statements to you - e.g. 22 if it's 22nd of each month
  • Payment date - the date by which you must repay your previous bill - e.g. 16 if it's 16th of the following month

Please, complete the following steps:

  • Open the main transactions screen. Click Android's options button and then select Settings and Accounts. Tap on a credit card account you want to configure and hold until you see a list of operations. Select Alert Settings.
  • Select (tick) the checkbox Alert when interest is paid or will be paid soon. Select Credit card interest radiobox. Specify your statement date (e.g. 22) and payment date (e.g. 16). Then specify how many days in advance you want to be notified (e.g. 10). Click Update. The alert rule is now created.
  • To switch off the interest alerts, please, untick the Alert when interest is paid or will be paid soon checkbox.

For example, you made a payment with the credit card on 10th of July. This transactions will be included in your statement issued on 22nd of July. You must settle it by 16th of August to avoid any interest payments. If you have not done so, a green interest alert will be shown on 6th of August (e.g. 10 days in advance) which will become amber alert after 16th of August.

Unsettled transactions are also highlighted with a small percent icon in the lists, where green percent icon means this is an unsettled transaction but the interest won't be paid soon (e.g. before 6th of August in example above), a yellow icon means the interest will be paid soon (e.g. between 6th and 16th of August) and a red icon means that the interest is being paid already (e.g. after 16th of August).

Note: some transactions (e.g. cash withdrawals) usually attract interest immediately. There are also introduction periods and other special situations. The interest alert feature is provided as a guidance only and we are not responsible for any financial decisions you take based on the information presented by the Bank Control application.


TIP 3: How to configure HSBC account for refresh?

Unfortunately, login to HSBC Internet Banking requires a numeric key generated using their Secure Key and the old way of login is no longer supported by the Bank Control. How much this improves security is questionable, but it makes background synchronisation for HSBC accounts impossible.

You need to switch the background synchronisation off for all HSBC accounts, otherwise you will see the annoying Bank Control's "Login problem ..." notifications. Please, follow the steps below:

  • Open the main transactions screen. Click Android's options button and then select Settings and Accounts. Tap on an HSBC account you want to configure and hold until you see a list of operations. Select Refresh Settings.
  • Unselect (untick) both: Refresh when application started and Refresh automatically in background options. Click Update.
  • You need to complete the steps above for each of the HSBC accounts individually.
  • You still can use the manual refresh, but you will need your Secure Key to login. Bank Control will try to synchronise all of your HSBC accounts together when you use the manual refresh option.

TIP 4: How to change your email address?

Please, follow the steps below:

  • Open the following URL: https://secure.bankcontrol.co.uk/profile/update
  • Login with your service user name and password (top right corner)
  • Enter a new email address in the Change email address section and click Request update
  • You will receive a email message with email verification key and instructions.

TIP 5: When to exit Bank Control?

To exit the Bank Control application you should open the Android options menu and select Settings and Exit. It will take about 15-30 seconds for the application to compact the local database and exit. Please, don't start it again while it's doing that.

The Bank Control application is intended to be always running. You should not kill or exit the application using the way described above. This will allow the application:

  • To complete statement synchronisation in the background (retrying when needed) - so you will always have reasonably up to date statements in your phone
  • To notify you when new transactions are downloaded, suspicious transactions are detected, balances are outside of configured values, credit card interests, etc.

You should exit the application every 3-5 days - this is when the database is being compacted, which will decrease the amount of memory used and will improve performance.

The little Bank Control icon you see in the notifications area is not there to simplify your access to the application (you could just use the application shortcut). This icon is a standard feature for Android "foreground" services and can't be switched off at the moment.


TIP 6: How to make payment or transfer

Please, read the following notes before you start using payments and transfers:

  • Mobile networks are very unreliable and therefore, your payment may end up in an uncertain state. Please, DO NOT REPEAT your payment in case of technical failure until you check using a browser that the payment has not been made.
  • Please, read the confirmation screen carefully before proceeding with the payment. It contains an exact copy of the text provided by your bank.
  • We plan to improve user experience for payments and transfers in future updates. Please, be patient.
  • Bank Control or J Expert Ltd are not responsible for incorrect or duplicate payments you make using the Bank Control application. This service is still in a release candidate state.

To make a payment or transfer:

  • Open the Bank Control transactions list and navigate to the account you want to make a payment or transfer FROM - e.g. tap the header or swipe left or right in the list or click on account on the summary screen.
  • Open Android options menu and select "Payment". If the Payment option is disabled - the account does not support payments or transfers (e.g. credit card account).
  • Select either payment or transfer in the form - this is when the Bank Control application will download the list of beneficiaries. Select the one you want to make the payment or transfer TO.
  • You can select another beneficiary using the search button. You can also specify a "Hint" in the field below the beneficiary name. This hint will be displayed in the list of beneficiaries next time for your convenience.
  • Specify the amount with pence - e.g. 10.00 for £10.
  • You also need to specify a reference, but it is not used by NatWest or RBS because it's a part of registered beneficiary already. Leave it as is.
  • Select the immediate payment or a date. There is a limit on how far in advance you can schedule a payment. Bank Control limits it to 100 days but your bank may limit it to smaller value and reject the payment.
  • Click OK. You will be presented with a confirmation message from your bank. Read it carefully.
  • Enter the transaction password and complete the payment. The confirmation message will appear for a short period of time - we are going to improve this in the future.

TIP 7: Manage account and email subscription?

You can now delete your profile yourself if you decided not to use the Bank Control service

  • Log in to the Web Site (top right corner) using the user name and service password as you had defined when created the profile.
  • Select My Profile from the top navigation bar and Profile Status from the left side navigation bar.
  • Click on Destroy My Profile button. Your details will be deleted and you won't receive any messages from us after your profile is deleted, although your audit records will be kept for about 3 months.

You can configure subscriptions - which messages from us you want to receive

  • Log in to the Web Site (top right corner) using the user name and service password as you had defined when created the profile.
  • Select My Profile from the top navigation bar and Profile Status from the left side navigation bar.
  • Change settings in Manage Email Subscription settings and click Update Subscriptions to confirm.

TIP 8: Available balance and "unconfirmed transactions"

Available to spend balance

Available to spend balance takes into account arranged overdrafts for current accounts or credit limits for credit cards.

We tried to put as much information as possible on the tiny phone screen but we could not find a room for both - real account balance and "available to spend" figure. You can switch between real and available to spend modes instead.

You can now choose whether you want to see the real balances or "available to spend" balances from Settings->Application configuration screen. Use the "Show available to spend funds instead of real balances" switch. This setting is persistent and will be used when you start the application next time.

The current "available to spend" balance is displayed in italic in the BC header.

"Available to spend" balances for accounts are displayed in italic on the accounts summary screen.

Unconfirmed transactions

Some banks (e.g. NatWest and RBS) display transactions before they are confirmed. Later, banks may change descriptions, balances and even dates of the unconfirmed transactions.

Bank Control application can now download unconfirmed transactions but they will be deleted and created again when become confirmed by the bank. As result, you should not use tags, custom labels or highlights for unconfirmed transactions.

Unconfirmed transactions are highlighted with the transaction's balance value shown in italic (the tiny balance figure under the transaction amount). You can tap a transaction to see its details and status.

New alerts are used to notify you when unconfirmed transactions are updated.


TIP 9: How to use and configure alerts

Bank Control application uses alerts to notify you about important changes to your accounts or detected issues.

Application settings

Please, use the Android options menu, Settings->Application to open the application settings screen. You can switch on and off the following alerts common for all accounts and providers:

  • Alert for technical problems - various failures excluding communication problems which don't raise alerts anyway
  • Alert for last login mismatch. Bank Control compares last login timestamps from your account provider (bank), Bank Control server and Bank Control client application and raises alerts if it detects any mismatches. The intention was to have it as a security feature but it does not work properly due to the unreliable mobile communication. The mismatch alert also appears if you access your online banking web site from a browser. You can now switch these alerts off, although they still can be seen using the Log Viewer.

Account settings

To configure account alerts, please open Android Options menu, select Settings->Accounts, long tap the account you want to change and select Alerts from the popup menu. Otherwise, you can long tap on account from the accounts summary screen or use Android options->Rules from an account transactions screen.

The alerts below should be configured for each account individually:

  • Alert when new transactions downloaded is raised when new transactions downloaded, unconfirmed transactions updated or account balances changed (e.g. new overdraft value)
  • Alert when suspicious transactions downloaded is raised when newly downloaded transaction(s) has been highlighted as suspicious using the rules you defined.
  • Alert when account balance outside of specified range. Please, leave a value empty if you want your range to be open ended. E.g. enter -500 as a "from" value if you don't want your account balance to become less than £-500.00.
  • Alert when interest is paid or will be paid soon. Please, use it for credit cards accounts only and switch off for other accounts. You need to specify two dates which you can find on your credit card bill - a day when statements are issued (e.g. on 10th of every month) and a day by which you need to settle your previous bill (e.g. on 26th of each month).

TIP 10: Log viewer

Bank Control client Log Viewer is available from Android options menu as "View Log". It allows you to see important messages from the last 7 days:

  • New transactions and suspicious transactions. You can also see all successful synchronisations even if there were no transactions downloaded - select "Show Downloads" from Android options menu.
  • Login to provider problems and last login mismatch messages
  • Technical issues. You can also see communication problems - select "Show connection" from Android options menu.
  • Successful or failed payments
  • Balance and interest messages, which disappear when fixed

TIP 11: When application is not working

Application crashed

We are improving stability of the Bank Control application with every update. Unfortunately, there are still some problems with the Bank Control application which we have not fixed yet and there are some Android OS issues as well, which are outside of our control. As result, the Bank Control application crashes occasionally, although it should not happen often or repeatedly. Please, find some useful tips below.

  • If Android restarted the application automatically after a crash and it seems like your providers, accounts and transactions are gone: DO NOT try to register providers again. In fact what happens is: Android restarted the application but there is no valid password to decrypt the database. Don't worry - just exit the application using Android options menu->Settings->Exit. Let the application to complete compacting the database (up to 30 sec.) and then start again. You information should be present.
  • Please, always send a crash report when Android asks you to do so. This is an Android OS feature and it helps us to identify most popular issues and address them first.
  • Please, keep the application up to date. Some features are not available to old versions of the application.
  • The Bank Control application is designed for running in a background but you still need to exit it via Android options menu->Settings->Exit every 3-5 days. This improves performance and releases some extra memory used by the database.
  • Please, let us know if you experience continuous problems with the application: support@bankcontrol.co.uk

Application hangs or frozen progress spinner

Some operations take some time and can't be executed in a background. As result, it looks like the application hangs or got frozen. Usually this happens when the application is saving large number of transactions (e.g. first time synchronisation) or during the exit, when the application compacts the database.
Please, don't kill the application as Android OS suggests unless it hangs for longer than a minute. We did not come across a situation where the Bank Control application got frozen indefinitely.

Server side technical problems

The most common recommendations are:

  • Always try to log in to your from a browser before reporting a problem
  • Try again in 2-3 hours before reporting a problem
  • Note, that sometimes banks bring their servers down. Usually, this happens at night or during weekends.
  • Sometimes, bank put some important messages on their web sites which blocks the login process. This is done for a purpose and Bank Control service should not bypass these messages.
  • Sometimes, we bring our server down. Usually we do it about 6:30am or during weekends
  • Please, contact let us know if you experience continuous problems with the service: support@bankcontrol.co.uk

TIP 12: BC-212 - Change account number or new credit cards

The Bank Control application uses hash codes built from account sort codes and numbers to match accounts during the statement synchronisation. We don't keep the actual numbers neither in our database or on your phone. Sometimes banks change your sort code or account numbers and you may receive the BC-212 error (account not found) in this case because the hash code will be different.

Similarly, BC service uses credit card numbers to build the hash code for credit card accounts and sometimes credit card numbers change when you get a replacement card. This will result in the same BC-212 error.

This tip describes how to achieve continuity of your statements when account numbers change. In brief, you will need to register a new account with the new number, copy transactions, settings and rules to it from an old account and then delete the old account. Please, follow the steps below:

  • Open Android options menu from the main Bank Control screen and select Settings->Accounts
  • Tap Create New ... and select the provider
  • Select a new account from the list of supported accounts
  • Specify account name and appearance but DO NOT download transactions when offered.
  • From the list of registered accounts: tap and hold the new account you just created and select Import from the pop up menu
  • In the import screen: select the old account you want to copy data from and tick appropriate check boxes. If selected, transactions, rules, settings, etc. will be copied to the new account.
  • Try to manually refresh transactions for the new account. If it works - delete the old account

TIP 13: Provider login locked

You probably know that your bank may block access to your Internet banking after a number of failed login attempts. We want to prevent this situation if, for example, you changed your online login passwords but BC is still using old passwords for background synchronisation.

BC service will block access for the background synchronisation after the first failed login and will delete encrypted login details from our database. If this happens, you will receive a email and a technical problem message like "Not all login details saved..." or "... background refresh is disabled".

To enable background refresh again, please, follow the steps below:

  • Make sure that you can login to your Internet banking web site from a browser
  • Synchronise (refresh) statements manually. You will be asked for the passwords again and your new login details will be encrypted and split between our server and your phone automatically.

Unfortunately, BC service can not reliably determine if the login failed due to the invalid passwords or some other reasons. Sometimes, your provider gets locked because of the networking issues. This happens more often with John Lewis partnership accounts.

You can also reset (lock) your provider manually using the Settings->Providers->Logout option.


Please, let us know what information you'd like to see in this section or may be send your own tips.