The U.S. Postal Service estimates that businesses mail nearly 48 billion account notices, statements, offers and bills to their customers every year. Online bill payment cut into the volume of mail, as we all have learned to click and pay. But here comes the next step: online bill presentment.
It all starts with Manilla, a free online service that collects and organizes your bills, everything from credit card and mortgage payments to student loan debt and auto payments. It’s better than scurrying around the Internet to find the companies that already post your bills online at their websites. Now all the bills come to you in one place electronically.
Signing up for Manilla marks the end of most paper bills, return envelopes and all those annoying bits of paper stuffed into the bill. Instead,
your bills will be presented to you online, in your secure account at www.manilla.com and on your smartphone with a free Manilla app.
This is truly the next step in the paperless economy, saving millions of trees and even more money for both you and the companies that no longer have to pay to send all that paper through the mail. In fact, that’s why Manilla’s ser-vice is free. The billing companies pay for it, still saving money over sending out paper bills. And they can post important notices, such as required privacy forms or billing practices, online for each customer to read in his or her own account.
No more going to your mailbox or post office box or risking late payments because you were traveling. Now the bills arrive in your Manilla account, where you can see the exact bill that would have arrived in paper form. You can see the exact details, even more than many billers send in the mail. And you can reach out to contact the biller or dispute a charge, just as if you had received a paper bill.
Manilla will notify you when bills are coming due, so all you have to do is click and pay securely. And if you have several bank accounts (for business and household, for example), you can choose which account to pay from when you are paying your bill. There’s a handy calendar on your secure home page, showing you regular monthly bills that you receive and the date by which they must be paid. Plus, Manilla will send you reminders by text or email when regular bills are scheduled to arrive, or if you’ve failed to pay a bill on time. The service started in early 2011 and already has all major banks, credit-card issuers, cable companies, department stores and utility billers available, with the numbers growing monthly.
More than current bill payments, Manilla is about free records storage. If you save every paid bill for years, this paperless process will be revolutionary. Yes, you might want to look back at year-end to see how much you spent in various categories. You can do that online, because Manilla securely stores your paid bills for years. It allows you to search bills faster than you could by going through a stack of rubber-banded envelopes. It can track all your financial accounts, including credit cards and bank loans. It even can keep track of your travel rewards at various airlines and credit-card issuers, so your points or miles never expire worthless! And it tracks expiration dates of all your subscriptions. Your home page becomes your own searchable file box, dividing accounts into various categories: household, financial, subscriptions, travel and rewards points.
Manilla won’t make your credit-
card balances go away, but it will
make your credit-card bills a thing
of the past. That’s a step in the