Manilla is a free, easy-to-use, online tool to help you organize and manage your financial life. With Manilla you get bank-level security and the ability to see all of your accounts in one place (including your utility bills and rewards accounts) Additionally, with Manilla you can view (and permanently store) your statements, set up alerts, and even pay your bills.
Quick and Easy Sign Up with Manilla
Signing up with Manilla is fairly straight-forward, and can be done rather quickly. You’ll need to give them your name, email address, and setup some security questions. After a quick email confirmation, you’ll be taken to a screen where you can choose the financial accounts you’d like to see in your Manilla account.
To connect your accounts, you will need to provide Manilla with your login credentials at each of these places. After you’ve done this once, you are good to go.
See All of Your Accounts with Manilla
The Manilla “Accounts” tab is where you will see all of your accounts in one place. Here you can see your “household” items like your cell phone bill and any other services and utilities you can connect. I was unable to connect my water and energy providers as they are not in the Manilla system yet. However, I was able to connect my cell phone (which I just lowered by 20 bucks), and my Internet service. Manilla now has over 1300 service providers in their system.
When you click into an individual account, you are taken to a screen where you can see the latest statement and click a button to go to your account to pay the bill. From what the Manilla FAQs say, they have quick pay set up with only a few of these providers. Therefore, some of the “pay now” buttons merely take you to your providers home page.
Also under the accounts tab I have all of my financial accounts, which includes my checking, saving, retirement, and mortgage. The next category under the accounts tab is for travel and rewards, which is cool to have. I tried the “book travel” button from one of my rewards accounts (AAdvantage) and it simply took me to the AA.com home page. Nothing ground-breaking there.
Finally, under the accounts tab you have a section for subscriptions. I found this to be an odd section. I’m not really a magazine reader so I guess that’s why it didn’t make sense to have this here. Additionally, I’m unable to remove the widget from the accounts tab. So, each time I log into Manilla to see my accounts, I have to stare at this unused subscription widget. It would be nice to be able to remove it or at least move it to the bottom.
Store Your Statements for Free
With Manilla you will receive mail in your account just like if you were signed into your providers account. So, if you have a bill due, or if a new statement just arrived, Manilla will let you know.
What I think is nice is that your account statements are automatically imported to this section of your Manilla account. I know many people who keep their online statements and purposefully download them because the financial institution only keeps a year’s worth online. With Manilla you can keep them as long as you want, and they are all in one place, and not taking up your hard-drive space.
Also under the mail tab, you will receive offers from your providers. I’m assuming this is just like when you receive offers with your paper statement?
My Take and More About Manilla
Manilla also has a tab for reminders. I didn’t explore this area very much, but I’m assuming when you have a bill due, something will show up here. I think I saw that you can manually create reminders as well.
The dashboard style home account screen is pretty sweet. Simple as heck, and it shows how lean and mean the team at Manilla have intended for this tool to be (i.e. manage your finances quickly and easily).
Manilla is a free service because they partner with your service providers to get you off of paper statements onto electronic statements. Does this mean that if you already get digital statements that you can’t use Manilla? No. I was totally digital before I signed up and was let in.
People are going to naturally want to compare this tool with Mint. If I were to compare the two, I would say that Manilla is Mint minus the graphs and budgets, plus statements, rewards, and quasi bill payment. If you’re looking for a place to help you make the whole account statement download and storage problem go away, then Manilla is your tool. Check em out at www.Manilla.com.
Security Question from a Reader
With all your financial information at Manilla, do you have any security concerns? Should your file be compromised, identity thieves or hackers would have the “keys to the candy store” – and could really wreak havoc with your finances. I’ll bet the Manilla Terms of Service Agreement has a “Hold Harmless” clause in this case.
Thanks for the email and for checking out my site. What kind of things could id thieves/hackers do?
If they illegally accesses funds in one of my banks or brokerage accounts, that institution would rely on the insurance they purchase to compensate me for the loss. If they create fictitious accounts in my name using my info I would catch it when reviewing my credit and shut it down immediately.
I’m not trying to make light of your concern or say that ID theft isn’t real, I’m just trying to chase down what “wreak havoc” really means. There is a lot of hype with regard to ID theft. I’ve just never met an individual who has suffered a financial loss because of it. It would be a pain in the ars to shut down bogus accounts or call my bank because of an illegal withdrawal of funds, but it would just be a loss of time and angst.
In that sense I see no real concern with giving a site like Manilla, who’s reputation is built on the fact that they maintain bank-level security, access to my accounts. It’s no more different than having statements in my mailbox or having an account with BOA or Chase to begin with.
They are just as likely to give up my info, and they are a direct line to my money. Either way, the money is insured against loss and/or I’m on top of my credit reports such that I’d pick up on anything out of the ordinary.