Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big fintech geek. And there are some really awesome fintech apps out there today. You’ve probably already read reviews about some of the big players in the fintech world- apps like Mint or Personal Capital. I thought it’d be helpful to share reviews about some of the lesser-known fintech apps that I personally use and that I think might be useful to you. One such app that I use is a bill management app called Prism. In this Prism app review, I’m going to go over what Prism is, how it works, and why I recommend it.
While I’m a big fan of automating your finances, I still like being able to look at my bills before I pay them. There’s something comforting to me about being able to make sure that my bill looks right before I pay it.
At the same time, I don’t want to spend a ton of time logging into every biller’s website. I also don’t want to ever forget to pay a bill. And I definitely don’t want to get caught paying any late fees.
With that in mind, I was looking for a solution that would let me see all of my bills in one place and allow me to basically automate and manually pay my bills at the same time. Prism served as that solution.
What is Prism?
Prism is a bill management app that lets you see and pay all of your bills from a single app. I like to think of it as similar to Mint or Personal Capital, but dedicated solely to managing your bills. The app only works on your phone and there’s no web app for it at the moment.
The steps to set up Prism are pretty straightforward. First, you link all of your bills with the app. When I signed up, I linked my electricity, gas, cable/internet, water/trash, and credit cards.
Next, you link your payment accounts – i.e. the accounts you will use to pay your bills. I linked my checking account and my credit cards. I typically pay my bills with a credit card if possible in order to earn points and miles, although not every biller allows you to pay in that way.
With your billers and payment accounts linked, Prism will now monitor all of your bills for you. When a new bill is available, Prism sends a push notification to your phone letting you know that you should schedule a bill payment. You then go into the app and either pay the bill immediately or schedule a payment for some time in the future. Since Prism doesn’t use a third-party payment platform, you can pay any bill right away without any delay if you want. That’s perfect if you suddenly realize a bill is due.
Most importantly, Prism is completely free. If the payment method is free with your biller, then it’s also free with Prism.
How Prism Works
When a new bill comes in, it brings you to the bill pay screen. Prism change its interface in 2021, so this is what it now looks like for your typical bill:
There are three parts to this screen. The top row lets you pick how much you want to pay towards your bill. You can either pick the full amount, the minimum payment, or a custom amount. Of course, I always recommend you pay the full amount due on any bill.
The second row allows you to pick which payment account you’ll use to pay your bill. Some billers charge a fee if you pay using a credit card or some other payment method. Prism warns you in advance if you use a payment method that has a fee. My tip is to use the bill payment method that doesn’t cost you anything.
Finally, the last row lets you pick the date you’d like to pay your bill. I generally like to pay all of my bills on the first of the month, but do what works best for you. My advice is to always give yourself a day or two of buffer time just in case there are any issues with your payment.
Finally, when you’re ready to pay, you simply swipe click the pay button to schedule your payment. That’s it! Prism notifies you that your bill payment has been scheduled and it handles the rest from there.
The big concern for almost everyone when using a fintech app is security. After all, you’re giving this company information and access to your private accounts. I don’t think you need to worry about Prism though. The app maintains robust security features to avoid any unscrupulous people accessing your information. As explained on Prism’s website:
- “All communication is encrypted.”
- ‘Sensitive information is firewalled.”
- “No sensitive information is stored on your device.”
In addition, I’m willing to bet that most people reading this already pay their bills online. (Does anyone write checks anymore?). If you’re already paying your bills online, then using Prism is really no different in terms of security. In fact, Prism maintains that it’s actually more secure to pay your bills using Prism when compared to a normal payment website. As explained by Prism:
“Prism runs as an app, which is inherently a much more secure environment than a desktop program or web site. All of the sensitive information exchanges with your services (i.e. transmission of account information and credentials) occur through our secure cloud service. We confirm the authenticity of every connection we make, and we take steps to ensure that your account information is never transmitted to the wrong party or via an insecure protocol.”
The other good thing is that you’re really only sharing access to your billers. I honestly don’t really care if someone got a hold of the login credentials for my electricity or gas bill.
With respect to your payment accounts, you simply provide your checking and routing number of your bank. When paying by card, you provide your credit card information. Again, if you’ve ever paid a bill online, then other bill payment platforms already have this information. At least with Prism, you get the benefit of seeing it all in one spot.
I like being able to see all of my expenses in one spot. Since I pay almost everything using credit cards, Prism gives me an accurate picture of my total monthly expenses. Here’s what it looks like on my main screen:
You can also input your paydays to track when you get paid in comparison to your bills. While not necessary, I find it does help you to make sure you are keeping enough money on hand to cover your bills.
Another nice feature – Prism notifies you if your bill looks out of the ordinary. For example, if your bill is suddenly much higher than it was in the previous month, Prism will let you know and recommend that you double-check the bill. It’s a good way to make sure, at a glance, that your bills are accurate.
Finally, Prism keeps a history of all your bills so you can easily look back and see what you’ve paid each month. You can also view your statements within the Prism app. This can be helpful for most people.
My Experience With Prism
I’ve been using Prism now for over five years. In all of that time, I haven’t missed a single bill payment, even though I don’t automate any of my bills. It’s also super useful for my own money management system to be able to see all my bills in one spot and easily pay them with a tap of my finger. Whenever I get a new credit card or some other new biller, I always add it to Prism so that I have it all in one location that’s easy to see.
The only issue I’ve ever had with Prism was a single incident when I paid a bill using my credit card and found out that I had been charged a credit card processing fee by the biller. Prism hadn’t notified me of that fee in advance, so I had assumed that paying the bill with a credit card was free. When I contacted Prism about this fee, they immediately acknowledged the mistake, noting that the biller must have recently added this fee and that the app hadn’t caught it yet. They then apologized and reimbursed me for the fee immediately.
The New Prism App Makeover And Issues
Prism has gone through a few interface changes over the years. When I first downloaded Prism back in 2014, the app had a different look. Then I think sometime in 2016, they changed the interface again. Each of these changes has always required a bit of an adjustment period, as tends to be the case whenever any app makes updates.
The most recent update occurred in 2021 and if you look at the comments in this post, you’ll see that a lot of people are not happy with the changes. I definitely can relate because I also preferred the previous iteration of the Prism app. It’s important to remember that the app still does the most important thing, which is to allow you to pay your bills in one spot using a single app.
That said, I agree there are some current issues with the new iteration of the Prism app. For me, one issue I’ve noticed has to do with the payment dates. In the old version of the app, I could make a payment based on business days before the due date. So, for example, I could select to pay my bill one business day before it was due. The new version of the Prism app seems to have removed this feature, which means when I pay, I need to look at what day it’s due and then manually select my payment date. It’s a small annoyance for me, but it’s still something that makes me wonder why they changed that feature.
I know many others are having more issues with the new app. Prism has announced that they’re hearing the complaints and are working on addressing them, so I’d say it’s worth waiting to see what changes Prism makes to their app. It’s also worth remembering that whenever any app makes changes, there’s always some initial uproar before things settle down and people get used to it. My guess is that people will probably get used to this new version of the app and eventually might even forget what the old version of the app looked like.
If you’re looking for a great bill management app, I highly recommend using Prism. It’s without a doubt one of my most used fintech apps and one that I’ve been using for quite some time now without any problems. Seriously, give it a shot and see if it’s for you.
Let me know if you try it out! Prism doesn’t offer any referral incentives, so you can be assured that I’m writing this post solely because I find the app useful.
If you’re interested in other app reviews, be sure to check out some of my other fintech reviews below:
- Albert App Review – The Ultimate Review and Everything You Need to Know About This Savings App
- Peak Money App Review – A Free Goal-Based Savings App (And The Best Alternative To Qapital)
|App Type||Bill Pay|
|Available On||iOS (iPhone, iPad), Android|