Mobile app review: Check


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App name: Check

Publisher: Check Inc.

Price: Free

Available on: iOS 6.0 or later on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch. Android 2.2 or later (reviewed here).

What’s it supposed to do? As Check’s slogan says, the app is intended to do the “worrying and work for you” on all your bills, bank accounts, and credit cards. Aggregating balances, due dates and payments in one simple user interface is designed to end the days of bills lost in couch cushions, email inboxes or the dog.

Ease of use (5/5): Setup through personalization of the app is as simple as entering your login credentials for the accounts you wish to be tracked (utilizing 128-bit encryption for security) — about two minutes per account to sync. Alternatively, users can manually enter bill due dates. Major institutions are preloaded for selection, minimizing required information. After setup, signing in requires only a four-digit pin.

Features (3/5): Push notifications and emails notify users of impending bills, low account balances, credit usage and suspicious activity. From the app, bills can be paid by the push of a button, though there’s no in-app way to note it as paid elsewhere, such as in another app or account management site. Other features, like charts of how you spend your money, are a bit too basic to be of much value.

Effectiveness (4/5): Check instills a level of confidence to the daunting process of juggling handfuls of monthly bills, knowing you’re about as likely to miss a payment notification as you are an Instagram post. That doesn’t always pan out, though, thanks to some technological limitations of Check. According to a representative, Check’s system is unable to reflect payments over the minimum, and the due amount remains fixed until the next statement publishes.

Value (4/5): The app is free to download and use. Issuing payments with a synced bank account is also free, though there is a $4.99 charge per payment to use a credit card toward bills which the company says covers back-end processing fees. Either way, it beats groveling to your financial institution over $25 because your spouse doesn’t text you to pay your bill on time.

Verdict (16/20) Good: Check’s friendly interface and cohesion of all monthly financial commitments help to simplify and streamline an otherwise arduous responsibility. As its name implies, Check’s value is helping to prevent fees and credit dings due to mismanagement of bills, and it succeeds in that mission. Its free cost and responsive customer support round out a solid app worth consideration.