Manilla is a place to manage all of your bills and online payments in one place, but is it really that simple? According to their website, “Manilla gathers all of the information you need to manage your bills and accounts and puts it in one secure place, available 24/7. With automatic reminders, Manilla lets you know when important bills are almost due, or when rewards points are about to expire.”
So I decided to give it a try and see how it worked. It was very easy to set up an account. I entered my name, e-mail address, zip code, password, and two security questions. It then gave me very easy options to choose the most popular accounts. They offer to link your utilities, credit cards, banks, and magazine subscriptions. With over 1,300 providers, I found that they had all of my accounts available to link. I added a couple (my bank and Verizon Wireless) and was able to easily do so. After adding the accounts, it takes you to a screen showing you all your accounts, balances, and due dates in one snapshot which was very nice. I had to click the yellow exclamation point on my bank and answer a security question before it would fully connect which was a nice reassurance.
The top of the page offers you to view your accounts, see your bills/statements, and mail as well as allow you to set up alerts to let you know by e-mail or text that you have a bill coming up due. They place a copy of all of your statements into your inbox and keep them there as long you do not manually remove them. I decided to see about paying my Verizon Wireless bill while I was exploring. I was able to see my current balance which was accurate; however, not all providers allow Manilla to offer you their “quick pay” option using the Manilla pay system. Verizon Wireless does not allow you the quick pay option which was quite surprising to me since they are such a large common provider. I then assumed that it would automatically log me in when it redirected me to the Verizon Wireless page to pay my account, and it did not. So I had to manually log into my account there. The
My main remaining question was how can Manilla provide a service like this for free for so many users which they did answer on their site. “Manilla is free because companies would like you to get your account statements and other notices, electronically, which is faster, cheaper and more secure. Companies pay Manilla a small fee to deliver these documents to your Manilla account. Because you choose to get your documents in this new way at Manilla, the companies can stop printing and sending regular mail which is a lot more expensive and wasteful. As a result, you get an online bill organizing system at absolutely no cost to you.”
Manilla is a relatively young service. They started invitation only beta testing in February of 2011 and opened to the public in June of 2011. But young does not mean a bad thing. These are often the cutting edge companies.
So what was my overall take on Manilla? I liked the fact that I could see all my accounts in one place as well as get alerts as to when a bill is coming up due. I was a bit frustrated by the fact that I had to re-login in order to pay some of my bills; however, overall, I find it to be a worthwhile service if you are doing online bill pay. Also, it is free to try, and if you do not like it, you can always delete your account. Try Manilla.
What has your experience with Manilla been?