FileThis App Review: Automatically Backup Your Online Statements

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A few months ago on my post about Paperless vs. Paper Statements, I received this helpful comment from reader Daveraham:

I like the services FileThis.com. It’s setup similar to MInt, where it stores account information, but instead of fetching dollar amounts and transactions, it grabs every statement available and stores them where you direct. Personally I store it an evernote account and then periodically pull it off to store on a removable HD that get’s stored in a fireproof box. Overkill?? Sure…. But its the point. You want to keep that snapshot of data for a long period of time.

I made a mental note to check the site out and… promptly forgot. I was again reminded in this Liz Weston article about apps to organize your financial life. In November 2015, FileThis announced their 2.0 version with new features. You can use the FileThis.com website, iOS app, or Android app (1.0 version only for now).

FileThis is now one of many “bill organizers” that ask for your account passwords in order to sift through your accounts and remind you of due dates. Personally, I don’t need or use due date reminders. I sit down at the end of every month, read through all my paper statements, track expenses, and pay my bills. I’m an old fart like that (although I do use free online billpay).

I previously shared that I maintain physical statements for critical financial accounts and have it mailed to a secure PO Box. But I also have several other financial accounts which are either dormant, temporarily opened for reviews or experiments, or have low balances which are set to paperless. Ideally, I would still log in and download those PDF statements every month and back them up. But I never do.

FileThis will log in and automatically download all your paperless statements and then save them to your cloud service of choice: Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Amazon Cloud, and more. You can even use their in-house storage (500 mb free). The cost options:

  • Free for up to six (6) connections. Checks weekly.
  • $2 a month ($20 a year upfront) for up to 12 connections. Checks weekly.
  • $5 a month ($50 a year upfront) for up to 30 connections. Checks daily.

Besides things like bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage statements, FileThis will grab stuff from your mortgage provider, car loan servicer, cell phone bill, utility bills, insurance bills, and even online shopping accounts like Amazon. An added bonus is that they will even grab tax documents like 1099 forms.

I linked up a few accounts, the list is relatively extensive but it couldn’t find a local credit union. Here are some screenshots from my website and smartphone app.

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Remember that the actual files are on your cloud service. Here’s a screenshot from my Dropbox app. The files are stored in the folder Dropbox > Apps > FileThis.

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This is pretty cool. The initial download basically grabbed all the older documents that were available as well (up to last 3 years, supposedly). They’ll even grab PDF statements if you also get mailed paper statements (assuming they are available), giving you an additional backup copy.

By allowing backups directly to a third-party cloud service (Dropbox in my case), I will still have all of my online statements even if FileThis shuts down some day (remember Manilla?).

The trade-off here is that another FinTech startup has your account logins and passwords. Their security measures seem fair enough (encrypted SSL transmission, passwords are encrypted on server, the documents can be stored at your cloud service). I already track my paperless accounts in real-time with Mint, but I am willing to make this trade-off as I think it’s worth it to have my old statements backed up for me. (Why can’t Mint do this for me too?) The only other service I know that offers something similar is Finovera, but I think they store the statements on their own servers as opposed to your personal Dropbox.

As an existing user, if you sign up using my referral link, both you and I will receive an additional free connection (so you’d have a total of 7 free to start) and an additional 250 mb of free in-house cloud storage.

Comments

  1. Ha, glad to see that you checked it out. Not related/involved with them in anyway but a user, that likes a decent product.

    That being said, they didn’t have my local credit union either. I put in a request, and about a week later or so there it was. So feel free to ask!

    Ideally yes, it would be awesome if Mint was to buy them up.

    • Thanks for both comments 😉 I did see that Mint has a new app called Mint Bills (formerly Check) but they don’t offer this functionality. Doesn’t seem that hard to implement. My skeptical guess is that this bill backup feature is helpful for consumers, but doesn’t promote “lock-in” to their app or other services which have more revenue potential. If I don’t need bill reminders then I technically I don’t even have to log into FileThis regularly anymore.

  2. Hi Jonathan,
    What’s the reasoning for sending statements to a secure PO Box?
    Is that to protect from mail theft?
    Thanks.

  3. What is defined as ‘per connection’? Is it per account? or per login? Say I have more than 1 Amex credit cards, does it count each card separately or it’ll download all cards under the same account and that counts as 1 connection?

    • If they are all under one login and password combo, it will count as one connection. I have three Capital One 360 accounts (checking, savings, and kids) under one login and it counts as one connection.

  4. Might this service be used to keep track of health insurance statements? If you have a Health Savings Account that you’re using primarily (currently) for its tax deferred benefits, some time in the distant future when you start withdrawing from it you are supposed to have documented proof of medical expenditures being offset (that you paid out of pocket for at the time), as I understand it. I’ve always meant to be better at tracking at least those health insurance statements, and this seems like an “automated” method. Anyone have experience on comments about that use?

    • I took a look at the available FileThis account connections, and I think by insurance they mean home, property, auto, and/or life insurance. I don’t see any health insurers. Wouldn’t you need the bills from your actual healthcare providers anyhow?

  5. Thanks for writing about this. Was so looking for service like this. I signed up using your referral link but I didn’t get 7 accounts. I did get 250mb of extra storage, which is not much useful. 7 accounts would have been lot better.

    BTW, is there any service like this that will download EOBs from health insurer’s account?

  6. mac parfet says:

    Man, if they downloaded all the insurance EOBs and statements, that would be great. I have 2 children and a wife at the doctors regularly.

    Medical Insurance industry kicks out more statements now than the financial industry

  7. Bob Don says:

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