FinTech has revolutionized the financial sector and nowhere is this more obvious than in the personal finance space. From budgeting to expense tracking and bills management, apps like Personal Capital, Mint and YNAB has changed the way we approach money management. Asides these favorite personal finance apps, there are lesser-known but equally powerful solutions.
One of such apps is the Prism bills management app.
Technology that automates your finances relieves you from tasks which you may find arduous and tedious. However, you may still feel you have to scrutinize your bills before paying them manually, just to make sure things are alright. At the same time, you wouldn’t want to spend all day checking into every biller’s website. And you also won’t want to forget paying a bill and be hit with late fee charges.
This is where the Prism app squarely fits in. It lets you see all your bills in one place. You can also automate your bills payment and at the same time pay them manually.
There’s hardly another app there that manages your bills better.
So, what is Prism?
Prism is a simple bill management app that enables you to view and settle all your bills from one place. It’s a personal finance app just like Mint and YNAB but focuses solely on managing your bills. It’s available as a mobile app (on iOS and Android), and a web app version has been recently developed.
Setting up Prism is quite straight forward. To start, all you have to do is link all your bills to the app.
They call these billers.
You can track your bills, check your balances and pay your bills easy and instantly.
This is exactly what I did and it was a breeze. These include gas, electricity, cable, internet, water, credit card bills, student loans, mortgage, etc. I mean they have everything.
Then you link your bill payment accounts. Paying with your credit card can qualify you for reward points although it may not be acceptable to all the billers.
Now that your payment and biller accounts are all linked, Prism monitors your bills, and when a new one arises, it sends a notification to your phone. The notification is to let you know that you have to initiate a bill payment immediately or schedule it to be paid sometime in the future.
You can pay the bill instantly if you so desire since Prism doesn’t rely on any third-party apps for its payment. This is ideal especially when you just realize that you have a bill that is due. You thus avoid late payment fees.
Prism App Cost
Now here’s the best part. The app is entirely free to download and use. But some payment methods may charge a fee per transaction.
How Does Prism Work?
Prism accesses the accounts with your pending bills and the accounts that have the money you want to pay with, to track your due dates and balances. It then facilitates the transfer of funds from your bank account to your biller’s account.
The Prism bill pay app is connected to over 11,000 billers and payment accounts from which you can select the appropriate ones. Inputting your usernames, PINs, and password allows the app to link to them.
If you can’t find your biller in the list, you can request Prism to add it. In the meantime, you can set-up the app to remind you of the bill so you can manually pay each month. When you get a new bill, it shows up on the bill pay screen. This screen shows you the bill amount in the first section. You can choose to pay all, a set minimum amount or any other amount you wish to.
Right below this, there’s a row that lets you choose when to pay the bill. You may want to pay immediately or set it to be paid in the future.
On the third row, you’ll see where you can select the account that you’ll use to pay the bill. Some billers will charge a fee if you pay with your credit card or some other payment platforms. Here’s the kicker: Prism will inform you beforehand the costs attached to a payment method to help you choose. Of course, you’ll preferably go with the payment method that charges you zilch – nothing.
Finally, when you’re satisfied with your choices, you just swipe down on the screen to schedule your payment. The app sends you a notification that your bill payment has been planned, and it takes care of the rest.
Even better, you don’t have to go through this process for each bill. Prism memorizes how you paid a bill so that when next you get that bill, all you have to do is to check if everything is okay and then swipe down to schedule the payment.
How Secure is Prism?
Security is a major concern for anyone using technology for their finances; since you’ll be granting the company access to your accounts and your personal information. The Prism app, however, features adequate security to prevent unauthorized access to your data.
According to Prism, an app-based solution is much more secure than a desktop program or website. Sensitive information transmission with your services such as credentials and account information is passed through their secure cloud service.
They also confirm that all your connections are authentic and undertake to make sure your account details are never exposed to the wrong party or transmitted through an insecure protocol.
Again, since you only share access to your billers, it doesn’t really matter if anyone gets your login details for your water or electricity bill.
For your payment accounts, you still need to provide the routing and checking number of your bank. If you are paying with a card, you have to provide your credit card information. And if you have ever paid any bill online, your biller already has the information. Just that with the Prism app, you get to see it all together in one place.
One of the outstanding features of the Prism app is that you get to see all your expenses in one location. It gives you a snapshot of your total monthly expenses, so you get a perspective on your spending. Especially if you make all your payment via credit card.
You also have the option of adding your payday to keep track of when you get paid as against your bill. While this may not be necessary, it helps you to ensure you are keeping enough funds to cover your bills.
Prism will also alert you to a bill that looks out of place. For instance, if there’s a sudden spike in the amount you pay for a particular bill, Prism notifies you and prompts you to double-check the transaction. This is very helpful in making sure your bills are accurate.
Lastly, Prism helpfully maintains a record of all your bills so you can always check back to see what you paid each month.
Prism users said they have hardly missed a bill payment. Even for those that didn’t fully automate their bills. In addition to it’s noted efficiency, consumers also loved that they are able to view all their bills in one place and make payments easily.
A few consumers complained that the app was unable to make their scheduled payments on time thereby making them pay late fees.
Overall, the app is well received, and there’s not been a serious competitor yet.
If you find paying your bills too much of a hassle, and you’re on the lookout for an app to help you, I’ll recommend the Prism bill management app. It’s easily the best app out there for tracking your bills and helping you avoid late payment fees.