January 11, 2008
For 8 or 9 years now, we haven’t received a single bill by U.S. mail. We use PayTrust (originally PayMyBills.com) for “online” bill pay. We have a P.O. Box somewhere in South Dakota that we’ve redirected all our bills to. The bills get opened, scanned, we get an email, we enter in a payment amount and date. No fuss, no muss. PayTrust even figures out which bills can be electronically delivered and provides an easy interface to set that up directly into the PayTrust account as well. I haven’t received a bill or written a check in years. I think we pay something like $9/month for the service.
I just ran across a new service this week called Earth Class Mail (thanks to my colleague Alex Rubin for pointing this out) that does the same thing for ALL of your snail mail, with a twist. You direct all your mail (presumably not magazines) to a P.O. Box, and they first scan in all the envelopes. You see them and decide what to do with each item — forward to you, scan in and show you online or via pdf, recycle, shred, etc. The cost seems to range from $10-60/month depending on volume.
Certainly a good idea, at least for people who travel a lot or people who have to pay for a P.O. Box anyway (not sure it’s for everyone), and another interesting service where email takes center stage as the mission critical delivery vehicle.