Quick Tasker tip: Pull your account balance into Tasker using SMS

Screenshot_2013-06-19-02-58-49I have a ton of minor Tasker creations that I actually use fairly often, but rarely talk much about. One of them is a neat little trick to get your account balance into Tasker, and from there, use it in various ways.

Financial information is normally closely guarded by various logins, but many banks offer one option that’s Tasker-friendly: SMS. For my bank here in Norway, I can send an SMS with a specific code word in order to get back a simple SMS that contains my account balance and nothing else.

As many Tasker users know, SMS is something that Tasker can both send and receive. There’s an action in the phone category called Send SMS which allows you to send it, and a Received Text event context that allows you to trigger tasks based on incoming SMS. Using the built-in variables for SMS information (listed here) you can then use that information for things like widgets, notifications, or even text to speech.

I have a button in my custom sidebar UI that sends the code word to the bank’s number when clicked. The SMS I get back triggers a profile which splits the actual balance out from the message, puts it in a widget on my lock screen, and sends it to my Sony Smartwatch as a notification (for the SMS). The way I normally use it is to just click the button, lock my phone, and go about my business until the balance pops up on my watch a few seconds later.

I don’t know if all banks offer this, but it seems to be a fairly standard feature. It’s a great way to get otherwise hard-to-grab info into Tasker, and you can do a lot with it once it’s there. Another option from what I do would be to use AutoVoice and add a feature where you could actually ask the phone what you balance is, and it speaks it back to you after checking it.

As for those leftover SMS messages this leaves in your inbox, I found this method by Reddit user iloveboxcutters to do wonders to fix that little annoyance.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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