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Sponsored App Review: Prism: Pay bills for free

February 10, 2015 - Written By Tom Dawson

Prism is an Android app and service that essentially does what it promises to do; it lets you pay bills for free, right from your device. Your bills are all neatly put together on one screen, with their due dates for you to see when you need to pay up and it makes budgeting and calculating your outgoings much, much easier. It’s been praised in the mainstream press a number of times now, and it claims to support more billers than anyone else, which should make Prism the one app that fits your monthly schedule. With Prism, you can make sure your account balances have enough to cover the bills, pay them whenever you want to and get a real sense of unexpected bill increases as they happen. Best of all? It’s all 100% free.

Much like any other Android app, you just need to download Prism from the Play Store. In order to start getting your bills to Prism, the app will need to know where you live (as all your bills will be associated with that address, in most cases at least).

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Once you’ve added in your ZIP code, you’ll see all of your bills appear. Not every bill you pay will be supported here, but the majority probably are, and these include:  AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Comcast, T-Mobile, Orchard Bank, DirecTV, Netflix, Time Warner, GEICO, DISH, PayPal, Bill Me Later, Sallie Mae Student Loans, State Farm, Travelers, Progressive, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Ally Auto, Allstate, Travelers, National Grid.

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With Prism, you can view and pay a bill individually, keeping you in control of your budget.

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You can choose how much to pay as well, so as long as your biller supports this. Paying off a credit card in full is a little tricky, but certainly doable.

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For me though, the ability to pay for all of your bills in one swoop is the best feature. Of course, you have to be pretty good at handling a budget this way, but at least you shouldn’t have any surprises later in the month, because after all you’ve paid all your bills. Many people might wonder why they need an app like Prism, as everything is set to be paid automatically. However, that’s not how you stick to a budget, and a lot of households simply can’t do this. With Prism, you can stay on top of your bills however you like, and one of the best ways to stick on top of your finances is to be fully aware of how much you’re paying; Prism can keep your eyes wide open.

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You can pay however you want with Prism, you can use your bank account, a credit card of your choosing and more. The following bank cards and credit unions are fully supported:  JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Capital One, HSBC, TD Bank, Fifth Third Bank, Fidelity, Ally Bank, U.S. Bank, USAA, Navy Federal Credit Union, State Employees Credit Union, America First Credit Union and BECU.

If, for whatever reason, you want to get into contact with someone from Prism, you can do so directly from within the app.

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After spending some time with Prism, I can definitely see the attraction. After all, more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to check up on their bank balances and shop online, so why not go ahead and pay for life’s essentials that way as well. We all need to pay our bills, and the easier that chore is, the happier people will be. I’m fairly paranoid and clued up as a result of my job, so trusting Prism didn’t seem all that clever, but after some time with the app I quickly thought to myself; companies must enjoy working with Prism as it gets their bills paid easier and presumably cuts down on paper wastage. While I don’t think I’d pay for absolutely everything through Prism, it’s definitely a much easier way of staying on top of your bills and keeping your budget running smoothly.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – Prism runs great on Android and there’s never any need to wait for the app to load. In terms of payments, your account should be marked as paid right away, while the payment could take 2 – 3 days to leave your account.
  • Features (5/5) – For a lot of people, their phone and tablet are their digital lives, more and more people forego even using a laptop, so Prism being truly mobile is great, and it’s also exceptionally easy to use.
  • Theme (4/5) – A good-looking app, Prism is nice and easy to use, with step-by-step guidance along the way.
  • Overall (4.5/5) – If you’re someone that banks online, shops online and uses their phone for those two things, then Prism is right up your alley, and something many should be using to make budgeting a lot easier when running a household.

Pros

  • Keeps track of the balances on your credit cards as well as in your bank accounts to help make budgeting easy, and make sure you have enough to cover your bills.
  • Works with a vast range of accounts, banks and billers. This makes Prism one of the easier options to get used to.
  • No need to jump from app-to-app to sign for bills or authorize payments, just do it all in seconds with Prism.
  • Great for those looking to streamline their budget and take the stress out of the monthly chore that is bills.

Cons

  • Only works in the US, which is no problem the majority of our readers, but still something to be aware of.
  • Paying off a credit card in full is a little finicky, but it can be done.

All-in-all, there’s a lot of potential here with Prism and for a lot of people it’ll cover everything they need, but with a few issues here and there, Prism has some work to do. Having said that, for paying household bills every month, this is a much, much better way of doing it on a laptop or PC and for those looking to stick to a budget and keep their outgoings regular, Prism is an excellent way to keep on top of things. Control is a powerful thing, and having control over your finances can lead to a stress free lifestyle. With Prism, you don’t have to worry about wrestling an erroneous bill back from your bank, you can question an amount before you pay for it and you control how much you pay out by the week, giving you more flexibility when it comes to the day-to-day.

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