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CNNdotCOM Tools: Paperless bill-paying

  GALLERY

 
At StatusFactory.com, you can view your list of bills, see whether you've paid them, and view the scanned bills themselves.  

(CNN) -- Buried in a pile of paper every month? Your monthly bill ritual can be made a little easier by paying bills online with sites like paymybills.com, paytrust.com and statusfactory.com.

We met with Karen Silver, of PC World magazine, and took a look at statusfactory.com, which accepts all of your bills -- paper or electronic -- and either makes the payment automatically or helps you pay them online. After signing up on the phone or online and sending a voided check, all your bills go to the service instead of your mailbox.

You receive an e-mail every time statusfactory.com receives a bill, with a link that takes you directly to the site. You can then view what your bills are, and whether they're paid or scheduled to be paid. All your bills are scanned in as picture files, so you always know what charges are listed.

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Another feature is automatic bill payments. For example, you can have statusfactory.com automatically pay your rent by the first of every month.

But what about security? After all, you're giving access to your bank account.

All transferred information is encrypted and stored on a secure server, which means nobody can access that information, and even if they somehow did, it would be encoded.

"So if you feel confident purchasing something on the Web, or frankly if you feel confident handing your credit card to your local waiter, you should feel confident trusting these services," Silver said.

And even though some banks offer free online bill paying, Silver reminded us that a bank will not scan your paper bills or notify you of bill payments.

"Banking is a different process," she said. "It's a great way to manage your money, but it's not a way to manage your bills."



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