Why I Love PayTrust

There is a service I use that doesn’t get enough credit. The service acts as your permanent billing address, bill payer, and bill minder. Anyone you receive a bill from you point to your PayTrust address. Then PayTrust ensures any invoices received get paid on time and reminds you if you haven’t paid a bill or received an expected statement. If they receive something which cannot be scanned such as a credit card, they forward it to your current mailing address.

Here’s what I like about it:

  • Cheap! Only $9.95/mo.
  • Multiple funding sources (e.g. any checking account you want to use such as your brokerage account or traditional bank checking account)
  • Late bill reminders, if no statement received with-in N number of days of your last one.
  • Permanent billing address (PO BOX 1819*****, SIOUX FALLS, SD, 57186) that doesn’t change when you move.
  • Paperless. All mail gets scanned and is available on their site for viewing or download.
  • View new or existing bills while out of town. I can go out of town for a month and not worry about anything.
  • Integrates with Mint.com “Real Balance” so you can see what your available account balances are. Kind of basic, but still a good thing.
  • Does both E-Bills and paper bills. E-bills is where it logs into the account and downloads the PDFs for you (go green!)
  • Backed by Intuit & been around for more than 10 years, so it feels more legit than some small little startup.
  • I get almost no advertisements in the mail as they all go to PayTrust and get shredded.
  • 24 hour phone support and no wait times. It’s almost like a direct line into their offices.
  • They research any payment issues such as payment not received or missing statements
  • They don’t float your money. Money leaves your account the day the check clears, not a few days before like normal banks do with online bill pay.
  • I use it as your billing address for “private” registration for DNS.
  • I receive CD once a year with all my bills that I hold on to for safe-keeping and store in Evernote.
  • Automatically pay statements with variable monthly amounts such as a gas bill (No bank offered Bill Pay service can do that!)
  • Pay exactly what you want to pay. For example, pay off your monthly credit card bill so long as it is under your maximum threshold.
  • No need to update 50 vendors with your new credit card the next time you lose it or it expires.
  • No need to login to multiple sites to manage your automatic payment profiles. Manage them all on PayTrust.
* I received no credit or commission for this post.

17 comments

  1. PAUL BERGLIN says:

    DO I UNDERSTAND THAT PAYTRUST INFORMATION CAN BE DOWNLOADED INTO MINT SO THAT ACCOUNT BALANCES IN MINT CAN BE KEPT CURRENT?

  2. kimc says:

    Hi, I’m trying to figure out if I want to use PayTrust and ran across your blog. Have you ever had trouble with your credit card purchases because of the billing address (being an out-of-state p.o. box)? They ask for a lot of private information at sign up (Social Security number and photo ID) and I’m wondering how secure their service is. Your review is glowing, do you mind if I ask how long you’ve used them and if you’ve ever had any issues? Thanks!

    • e says:

      I’ve been using PayTrust for one and half years. I have moved every bill to the service, even the one from my accountant! That means credit cards, utilities, cable, gym memberships, etc all go to PayTrust. I’ve had no problems with the out-of-state address. It just requires that I remember which zip-code to use when asked for verification purposes. Things like physical credit cards have been properly forwarded to my physical address.

      About the only problem I’ve had is with their ability to do eBills with Bank of America, so I’ve switched it back to paper bills that go to my PayTrust PO BOX.

      As for all the PII, the fact that they were owned by Intuit gave me a little peace of mind. As an long-time Mint.com member, using PayTrust was a natural compliment for minding my bills. Additionally, I subscribe to credit monitoring services so I am aware of any compromises of my identity quickly.

    • Samuel Engelman says:

      It’s not the billing address that is changed to the PO box. It’s the mailing address. Your billing address is still you home address. I’ve only had issues with one merchant that couldn’t understand the difference between a mailing address and billing address.

      I’m using Paytrust since 1997. I wouldn’t manage without it.

      • e says:

        Just for clarification, it is the billing address.

        I think what you’re referring to is their SmartBills feature which enables you to leave the address associated with their supported vendors the same since they login to the vendor website and pull down your statements. However, technically the address you receive bills at is your billing address. Thus, PayTrust.com will fulfill this requirement.

        Per the PayTrust.com FAQs:

        What is my billing address with Paytrust?
        Upon enrollment, you will be assigned a unique P.O. Box number at Paytrust’s state-of-the-art mail processing center in Sioux Falls, SD.

        For bills you have redirected to the Bill Center, this will be your billing address. Some merchants ask for a billing address to confirm credit card purchases made by telephone or over the Internet. In addition, your payees may reference this address when verifying your account or identity with them.

  3. James says:

    Have used this service for more than 10 years. Outstanding service and more.

  4. John says:

    I have used Paytrust since it’s very beginning. Solid service and the only one I know of with all of those features. My only complaint is it has not been updated in quite a while. It would be nice to see it evolve more.

  5. Judy says:

    I’ve used Paytrust for 12 years. Extremely satisfied except for one feature that I miss: Smart Balance. Did you say that it still works for you? Not for me. Wish it would be available again.

    • e says:

      Yes, they refer to it as “View Real Balance”. You’ll find it on the menu on the left hand side of the page under “Funding Accounts”. You’ll need to manually push the button to refresh the list and it requires that you link your PayTrust account up with your Mint.com account.

  6. askmrlee says:

    I have used Paytrust since the late 90’s as well. I generally love it. It was owned by Metavante which is well known bank services/processor and was part of M&I Bank, so I always had trust in the company even before Intuit acquired it.

    However, in the last few months, I’ve had problems with my bills not being retrieved ontime. Today for the first time in NINE years, I had a late fee charged to my Amex because Paytrust did not retrieve the bill on time.

    Also, the email response time is typically one to two WEEKS. You have to call to get anything done and hold times are glacial at best.

    And you can’t twitter to @paytrust, because it doesn’t look like it’s monitored.

  7. WC says:

    Hey if we are paying an automobile insurance bill and they have the PO box as our mailing address, will they send our updated coverage cards to them instead of our house? What about updated Home Depot Credit Cards, etc? What about unforseen unusual correspondence like a letter discussing fraudelent activity on a credit card?
    Thanks

    • e says:

      PayTrust forwards cards to your primary address. Correspondence gets scanned and published on the site as ‘notices’. Any time a new bill or notice is received, they send you an email. I use PayTrust as my billing address for automobile insurance as well as credit cards.

  8. Bromeo says:

    I also have used PayTrust since the 90’s when it was this hungry startup called PayMyBills, invented out of necessity of its world-traveling founders who grew frustrated with paper billing, late payments from being out of town, etc. I switched over from CheckFree, which had grown increasingly useless to me.

    Now that PayTrust is owned by Intuit, it seems to have been left to flounder at 73% reliability (in my estimation). PayTrust attempts to periodically log into a biller’s web site using your supplied credentials, retrieve your current bill, interpret it, alert you and optionally auto-pay from your chosen funding source, either mailing a check or more likely, an e-payment of some sort.

    What happens is payees, such as the phone company, often contract out their billing. Occasionally they’ll switch providers, ostensibly to shave some cost. When that happens, Paytrust often grinds to a halt, unable to retrieve an e-bill, send a payment to the new payment address, or worse. If you’re like me, and you Trust PayTrust to Pay your bills for you (thus the name!), you might not notice until you see an unusually large bill with a late payment fee added. That could be several billing cycles, and I don’t always get alerts from PayTrust that they haven’t received a bill from a Payee.

    Sometimes bills won’t get entered properly and they are left as “Unassigned.” Again, broken, and now you’ve got to go assign the bill to a payee, pay it, and wonder what just happened. Will the payment make it in time, or even to the right place?

    Then you have problems with biller’s own web sites… they change them from time to time, and this seems to confuse PayTrust as well.

    So, what we’re left with is 90% bug-free performance for all of these links in the chain: Payee Billing, PayTrust, Payment Processing. 90% times 90% times 90% is really 73% end-to-end reliability. Is it any wonder it can be a frustrating service?

    I’m left to evaluate going back to paper checks, which have worked just fine for decades, or setting up auto-payment with the vendors who support it, use my bank’s BillPay service where I can, or some combination. Since I travel, it’s a hard choice of who to trust. I know my own limitations, and processing paperwork is not one of my strong points.

    • e says:

      After a couple years, I still have no such problems. I have over 20 active payees that I receive regular statements from. I always get the notices that a bill or notice has arrived. Bills will not be attributed to a payee when there is more than 1 received in a billing cycle (to protect you from over paying), if there is any confusion on their part on the amount due (e.g. I have a negative balance on my BlueShield), if the account number changes (such as a replaced credit card). In all cases, an email notification is sent (“Action required – Bill needs to be assigned”). As for the new payment address situation, I can understand how that would be problematic; fortunately it has yet to affect me and I don’t see this getting addressed by PayTrust since the address of the payee is manually configured when you set them up. It’s a necessary security precaution. If for any reason you’re having consistent problems with PayTrust logging into your accounts to download your statements, just switch to paper invoices, which will get reliably delivered via USPS, scanned and entered into the system. So, for dramatic effect, in my estimation their reliability is somewhere around 99%.

  9. Jim E says:

    Eric,

    Since you never experienced the service provided by the old PayMyBills or pre-Intuit Paytrust, your satisfaction with the service may be based on not knowing any better. But, may of us remember Payrust when it was still trying to provide excellent service rather than coating like it is now.

    I have been using paytrust since 2001 or 2002. There were two to choose from in those days. PayNyBills and Paytrust. I choose PayMyBills because it seemed to be trying harder.

    So, imagine my chagrin when PayMyBills, was bought out by Paytrust a few years later. Paytrust,, in turn, was bought out by Intuit, the company that sells Quicken brand products, including its own Quicken bill paying service. I think the original idea was that Paytrust would be integrated with Quicken, but this never happened.

    When the service started, it was very good. Most bills were extracted electronically from the bill issuer. The set up was sometimes involved, but once set up, seemed to be infallible. If the bill could not bet set up electronically, then it was read by a person and assigned.

    Since Intuit took over, the quality of service has deteriorated markedly. Most paper bills now result in an e-mail asking me to log in to assign the bill. Electronic bill fetching has failed in at least two instances this year. In one instance the computer mistook an account balance of over $4,000 as the minimum payment due, and was all set up to make a “minimum payment” of over $4,,000 before I caught the error. I reported it. It was not fixed so the next month the same thing happened. I reported it again and was told that Paytrust could not fix it,, and recommended I check the bill each month.

    In another instance the service could not fetch my Bank of American credit card bill electronically, and failed to notify me of this fact, so a late payment occurred. Paytrust blamed the problem on BoA changing its log-in process. However, logging into my account proved not to have changed. Again, it took several months for Paytrust to figure out their problem.

    Customer service, which used to be very good, and located in South Dakota, has been moved to the Far East somewhere, it think the Philippines, and it no longer worth a damn. A recent problem to figure out a problem with the Paytrust web site resulted in a disclosure that Paytrust does not have a technical support service for its website. Another recent issue, assigning a secondary user to the account resulted in the revelation that absolutely no one knew how to do that, even though it is supposed to be possible. Finally, I wanted to assign a second payment account, so I could pay bills from either checking account — but since the name on the second account does not exactly match my name under which the Paytrust account was established, Paytrust finds this impossible to do.

    As usual, customer service in the Far East, is monumentally unhelpful because the customer service operators have no authority to actually do anything except to tell you why they can’t do anything.

    I am probably not going to stay with the service. The only reason I am still a customer is pure inertia: it is a long and involved process to change to another service, and naturally Paytrust does not offer any help in that regard.

    It’s really too bad. This used to be a great service, but it has been neglected and underfunded to the point where it is now just about moribund.

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