Manilla, which is owned by the Hearst publishing company, says it will be more than just a bill-paying service.A new startup launches its beta today, promising to help organize and simplify your household bills online. There are any number of services that will help you manage your finances online, but
The startup will let people consolidate various accounts into one place - household bills (like cable and phone), air travel rewards, magazine subscriptions, and financial bills (like the mortgage payment). When you sign up, you can link all your personal accounts to Manilla and then have one place to go in order to manage them.
Then, you'll get reminders - via email or text message - that you have bills and renewals due. You'll be able to pay online and the service will keep an archive of your bills for you. Manilla is free and while the service says it isn't ad-supported per se, you will see offers and notifications (um, ads) from the companies and magazines to which you're subscribed.
The service is aimed at making paper bills more manageable for customers, but it also offers a benefit to the businesses involved as well as an alternative to paper bills. According to the U.S. Postal Service's Annual Report, businesses send about 48 million billing statements and account notices each year. That's a ot of paper, that's a lot of postage, and that's a lot of garbage.
Despite the costs (financial and environmental), many businesses have been slow to convert to paperless billing. Manilla hopes to incentivize the move to online billing by making a simple interface that's attractive to both customers and businesses.
Manilla isn't the only startup in this space. Doxo launched last year with its own promise of being your "digital filing cabinet."