As much of our lives are now conducted online, we still all receive a surprising amount of paper in the mail. Even with the advance of online banking and bill pay, much of what we lug in from the mailbox is related somehow to our personal finances. And even if we can pay some of our bills online, they’re often separate transactions.
That’s what Manilla promises to address: the organization and the simplification of our household bills.
The company launched earlier this year in private beta and today announces that it’s opening up to broader availability. Anyone can now sign up and have their household bills, finances, travel rewards programs, and various magazine subscriptions consolidated into one place online. Over 500 different companies now offer their billing statements through Manilla, and the Hearst-owned startup has also struck deals with Citi to make online bill-paying easier for that bank’s customers.
In addition to the one-stop-shop to be able to view your various monthly bills, Manilla offers 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.
It’s all the the service of helping make the process of managing your household finances easier – something that a recent study found to be more stressful than housecleaning. That’s hardly surprising because while the enemies of Dirt and Grime are a constant battle, they’re never really delivered with the regularity or with the commandments to Pay Now or Destroy Your Credit Score quite the same way that our billing statements are.
Manilla frames the savings it offers in terms of environmental costs (postage, paper) and financial costs (you won’t miss a bill), but it’s the emotional costs here that may be the most compelling reason that people will opt to sign up for the service. Of course, Manilla isn’t the only startup in this space. Doxo launched last year with its own promise of being your “digital filing cabinet.”