Handling Syncing Issues

How does bank syncing work?

Before we get into troubleshooting syncing issues, it's important to understand exactly how bank syncing in Lunch Money works.

We use a third-party service called Plaid to retrieve bank data from numerous institutions. Plaid can be thought of as the middleman, taking data from institutions in various countries and normalizing the data to a common format. From there, Plaid shares this cleaned-up data with Lunch Money and other personal financial apps.

At times, Plaid works directly with the institution and is able to integrate with them directly. At other times, Plaid employs other methods to retrieve your data without a working relationship with the institution.

In all cases, Plaid receives data from the institution, and passes it down to Lunch Money. Being downstream from this process, Lunch Money has very little control or means to fix syncing issues. Such issues can arise from (but not limited to):

  • a broken connection between Plaid and your bank, perhaps from a back-end update made by your bank

  • limitations imposed by your bank

  • issues or downtime experienced by Plaid

How do I know I have the latest data available from Plaid?

Look for the following timestamps under 'Status':

  1. Lunch Money's last successful import - This is the last time we were able to successfully import new data into your Lunch Money account from Plaid.

  2. Plaid's last successful fetch - This is the last time Plaid is reporting they received latest updates from your bank.

  3. Lunch Money's last successful fetch - This is the last time Lunch Money received latest updates from Plaid.

Hitting the Trigger Refresh for this Account button basically resets the last successful fetch timestamp of 19 hours ago to just a few seconds ago. This lets you know that our systems are operational and getting the latest from Plaid, but Plaid doesn't have the latest from your bank.

We don't have a way to tell Plaid to go to your bank since that's dictated by however their integration is done. Being downstream from this syncing process means all we can do is report problems upstream. This is why we tell users to create bank syncing support tickets, since the more of these we open for a particular problem, the more that Plaid will notice user impact and prioritize accordingly!

How does Lunch Money handle bank syncing issues?

Unfortunately, the only thing we can do, being downstream from this process between your bank and Plaid, is bringing up syncing issues to Plaid to aid them in prioritizing issues based on user impact.

When you create a bank syncing support ticket, we relay the same information to Plaid. While an immediate or even short-term solution may not always be available, it's important to make your voice heard that this is an issue that is affecting you.

Our awesome customer support reps will reach out directly to Plaid on your behalf and keep you posted whenever Plaid responds.

How do I create a bank syncing support ticket?

If you have already connected the account in question:

  1. Go to the Accounts page and click on the account in question

  2. Scroll down to where it says "I need help with this account"

If you have not been able to connect the account in question:

  1. Create a general bank syncing support ticket by clicking on 'Help' at the top right corner of the app

  2. Select 'Open bank syncing support ticket'

  3. Choose 'I am having trouble with a new connection'.

How I safely disconnect and reconnect my bank connection?

We sometimes find that a new bank connection can get fresh data while an existing data stays stuck. You may find it helpful to attempt to create a new connection to your bank. Here's how we recommend doing it:

  1. Note the date of the last transaction that was imported from your current connection. This will come in handy later on to prevent duplicates.

  2. Go to the Accounts page and click on 'Add Account' and select 'Auto-import from my bank'.

  3. Follow the instructions to link to your bank.

  4. When prompted, deselect 'Import all historical transactions' and input the date from Step 1. to prevent importing duplicate transactions.

Did you get new transactions?

If so, congratulations! You can now merge together your old connection to your new one. To do so, you first need to convert your old connection to be a manually-managed account as opposed to a synced account.

  1. Select any account within the old connection from the Accounts page.

  2. Scroll down to select 'Remove or troubleshoot this account'

  3. Select the option to convert to a manually-managed account and keep all data.

Once the manually-managed account is created, you can then merge it with the synced account. Note that your connection may have yielded multiple accounts, like 2 credit cards and 1 savings account. At this stage, you will be matching them 1-to-1 with the newly created manually-managed accounts.

  1. Select a newly-created manually-managed account.

  2. Scroll down and select 'Merge with synced account'.

This will now merge your transactions from the previous transaction, which were moved to a manually-managed account, into your newly-created synced account.

If you didn't get new transactions, you should delete the new connection and create a bank syncing ticket.

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