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Online Money Management: Check Vs. Mint

Last year, I wrote about how I just couldn’t break up with Mint.com, despite competition from a personal finance service called Pageonce.com.

Since then, much has changed for Pageonce, including the name.

It’s now called Check (check.me), and it’s moved from being a site that primarily tracks your money — what you earn and what you owe — to more of a mobile bill-pay service with a personal finance snapshot attached.

“There’s a lot of companies out there, including us, who did just personal finance, and there’s a lot of companies that did just payments,” says Check COO Steve Schultz.

Check aims to become the best of both.

“You can be most effective when making payments when you understand how much money you have and understand what your personal finance is,” Schultz says.

When Pageonce started in 2008, it aimed to give you a financial snapshot on one page — hence the name. You could also use the site and app as a bill-pay service for a monthly subscription fee. That didn’t work, says Schultz.

So now, Check is mostly free.

You still get the personal finance information and can even look at details of your bill through Check.

That’s a big difference compared with Mint. I can see what’s due and when, but Check also can show me the actual bill.

Its interface for money and bill tracking also is much cleaner. I don’t always need a bunch of ads when looking for what my money’s doing.

Bill pay is free through the website and an app if you’re paying from a bank account.

The only exceptions are if you pay with a credit card (4% fee) or if you need to schedule a payment to get there that day ($10 fee). You can also do peer-to-peer payments through Check, which is also free if you’re paying through your bank account.

Now, here’s the thing: Most banks offer free bill pay, so if you pay all your bills from one account, Check might not be worth it for you.

But, if you pay from different accounts or you want everything to be mobile, there is an appeal to the service if you can avoid the fees.

It’s certainly being used by a lot of people: Pageonce/Check has 8 million users, and Schultz says the company moves $1.5 million a day and is growing 30% every month.

I don’t use bill pay.

As a freelancer, I have a fluctuating income and prefer to pay my bills when I’m ready to pay. I still use Mint for my morning financial snapshot, but I’m giving Check a chance to wow me.

I still like that Check sends me reminders of when bills are due and reminds me if I’m paying fees I really don’t need to be paying.

And sometimes, the busyness of the Mint.com page gets to me. It’s nice to see a clear, clean picture of my finances.

I’ll still hang on after the name change, even if I won’t be using Check to pay bills in the near future.

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