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Personal Finance - FAQ

What is Personal Finance?

Personal Finance is a set of comprehensive financial management tools such as spending reports, budgeting and transaction management to help you consolidate and manage all of your finances in one place. You can add and track accounts from over 11,000 financial institutions within the Personal Finance center.

Why should I use it?

Personal Finance allows you to get a single consolidated view of all your finances. You can automatically manage and track all of your accounts within Cathay Online Banking. Just add your online checking, saving, credits cards, loans, investment accounts, rewards programs, and real estate properties from over 11,000 supported online financial institutions to the Personal Finance center.

Personal Finance benefits include:

  • A complete financial picture of all your accounts when logging into Cathay Online Banking. Once you enroll and link all of your financial accounts, you will be able to see and manage them in one place.
  • A “Net Worth” view provides a summary of all your accounts and groups them into assets and liability accounts. It calculates your net worth by subtracting your liabilities from your assets.
  • Automatic refreshes of account information for all your accounts. You can also get one-click data updates so you can see your most recent account balances and transactions.
  • Automatic categorization of your transactions into common spending categories based on the merchant description.
  • Ability to view and reconcile your latest banking, credit, and investment transactions. You have unlimited transaction history and can view transactions across various accounts and time periods.
  • Budgeting tools and spending reports that allow you to see where you’re spending your money and to alert yourself when reaching budget thresholds.
  • Email and text alerts that tell you when account balances are low, and when large transactions have been made in one of your accounts
Is there a cost for this great service?

This service is available for our Cathay Bank online banking customers at no additional cost.

What is “linking a personal finance account?”

In order to get the benefits of Personal Finance within Cathay Online Banking you need to add your online banking, credit card, investment, rewards, and/ or real estate accounts from ANY financial institution to your Personal Finance center. Personal Finance uses your credentials to login to your financial institution’s website and retrieve your transactions and balances. This does not mean that you are adding a NEW account with your financial institution, but rather adding a link to your accounts at the other financial institution to the Personal Finance center. Simply click on “Link Personal Finance account” from the online banking landing page, from multiple pages in Personal Finance or from the Manage Accounts page. A dialogue window will appear where you can enter the name of your financial institution or you can also browse accounts by category.

Is it secure?

Yes, the confidentiality, integrity and security of financial and personal data are of paramount importance to us. As a natural extension of this holistic, in-depth information security, audit and risk programs have been implemented to guard your data.

What types of accounts can I add to my Personal Finance center?

You can add all types of accounts including online checking, saving, credits cards, loans, investment accounts, rewards programs, and real estate properties from over 11,000 supported online financial institutions.

What if I don’t have an online account at the other financial institution?

Simply go to your financial institution’s website and create an online account. After you have successfully added your account there, return to Personal Finance and add it using your login credentials (username and password).

How do I track my spending?

Personal Finance provides tools that allow you to automatically track your spending. By automatically categorizing all of your transactions for you, Personal Finance can generate reports that break down your spending and help you to set budget goals.

How does Personal Finance automatically categorize transactions?

Personal Finance has a built-in categorization engine that looks at each transaction and maps it to the best category. The best category is applied based on extensive knowledge of how other users have categorized their transactions.

What happens if Personal Finance mis-categorizes a transaction?

If you do not agree with the automatic categorization done by Personal Finance , you can change the category. Simply left click on the category in the transaction and select the proper category. The categorization engine learns from these changes and the next time you have a transaction with the same description it will correctly categorize it for you. You can also use the Manage Categories function to remove un-used categories or to rename a category for your own use. You can also setup custom category rules for certain payee names or amounts.

How do I set and track a budget?

You can set a budget and track your spending against that budget by going to the Track Spending tab, and then selecting Set Budget Goals. Personal Finance automatically recommends budget goals for you based on your spending over the last 6 months and allows you to drop in your budget goals by category. Personal Finance will also automatically track your spending against your budget goals and allow you to generate budget reports to track if you are staying within your budget.

You can set alerts that notify you when you reach a specified percentage of your budget goal and you can also select to receive a weekly/monthly budget report.

What does the Financial Accounts page provide?

The Financial Accounts page shows a list of all the accounts you have added to Personal Finance. The page shows you the last update date for your accounts. You can initiate a full refresh of your accounts from this page if you desire. If you need to take action on any account because of an updating problem, you will see that highlighted here. You can also click on the Account description to access that account’s transactions.

What does the Track Investments page provide?

The Track Investments page aggregates investment holdings from multiple sources and provides you a complete picture of all your investment accounts and positions. There are multiple “views” that you can take of the information by changing the information at the top of the page. The Summary View allows you to link to current quotes or historical charts on each position within your portfolio.

What does the Track Rewards page provide?

The Track Rewards Manager shows all of your rewards programs and points. You can add your frequent flier miles, credit card rewards, and hotel and car rental points to Rewards Manager.

What does the Track Home Equity page provide?

You can either manually add or retrieve an estimated value of your home through Zillow.com, an online real estate service that tracks home prices across the USA. This will pull through to your Net Worth statement. You can then also link in your mortgage to calculate and track your increase in home equity over time. Multiple real estate properties can be added.

What does the View Financial Activity provide?

You can view all of your transactions for all of your accounts, account groups or individual accounts. You can view the category that is assigned to any transaction and can re-assign it if desired. You can do search activity by category or time period or do more advanced searches. You can change the description of any transaction, add a note or tag transactions by tax class to simplify your expense management and tax filing. History will build for you over time and an unlimited amount is saved. You will still need to access the Account Activity page to view your check images.

What does the Track Spending tab provide?

The Track Spending tab provides a number of valuable views of your expenses. One of the most popular views is the Expense Analysis pie chart view. You can see your top spending categories. You can click on a section to see all of the transactions associated with that category for any time period. You can also see different views of your spending against your income or by category. You can also click on “Set budget goals” to create a budget for yourself. The system will reflect your average spending for the last six months but you can establish the budget limits you want to manage to. Then use the budget alerts or the Budget vs Actual Spending report to help yourself stick to your new budget. Also to help manage those credit cards, you can view a “Credit Card Usage” report that shows your balance against your available credit by card or for all cards.

What do I use the Manage Accounts tab for?

Use the Manage Accounts tab to link new external or manual accounts. The Manage Accounts tab will list all of your current accounts and will highlight any issue or action that may be needed for an account. Personal Finance uses agents to acquire your account data when you are not online. If there is a problem getting that data, you may see an error message highlighted. Some of the common reasons for not being able to acquire the data may include:

  • The site was not available for access – this may correct itself in a few days.
  • The site changed and our agent needs to be modified – we are notified when this occurs and will take steps to correct
  • Your user id or password was not recognized, has expired or has been locked out – in this case you will need to go to the external account site or contact them to re-establish your access. You will then need to sign back into Cathay Online Banking to access Personal Finance and update the new User ID or password if it has changed.
How do I manually add an asset or liability account?

Sometime you may have an asset or liability where you do not have an online access account. You can still add these to Personal Finance to show a complete Net Worth. To add an asset or liability account manually, simply click on the “Link offline asset or liability” Quick Link on the bottom of the left navigation panel. You can manually add an account description, the balance and other information.

If your question has not been addressed here please call us at 1-800-9CATHAY (1-800-922-8429) for further assistance.


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