We live in the golden age of personal finance. You might not even remember what it was like for your parents to pay bills. They had to send in physical checks, call customer service numbers, and hope nothing intercepted their payments. And to prevent overdrafts, they had to balance their checkbooks with math skills that would put a statistician to shame.
These days, there are many free and low-cost apps out there that take the hard work out of this equation. You may have even heard of some of the most popular options like Personal Capital, Mint, and YNAB.
The Prism App is a little less popular, which is a shame because it’s a great app and a worthy alternative to any of these options. So, what is Prism? And how will it help you get your personal finances on track?
Discover everything you need to know in this complete Prism App review.
What is the Prism App?
The Prism App describes itself as a “free app that helps you get control of your money.” It is a personal finance app that helps you get on top of your expenses. Unlike Mint, it has a simpler and more streamlined interface. It focuses mostly only on income and expenses so you can get an exact picture of your current financial obligations.
Once you open a Prism account, you’ll find that it works in a way that is similar to many of the other apps for banking, money management, and budgeting out there. It can help you pay bills manually or automatically, improve your credit report, and keep closer tabs on your checking account.
With Prism, you can aggregate all of your expenses so that they are connected to the app and you have a complete picture of your financial standing and your overall budget.
You will be able to pay all of your bills and match your expenses against your income for better budgeting and managing your payment accounts.
The only potential downside for some is that Prism is mobile-only. There is no option to use it on a desktop. So, if that’s you, you’ll want to look to one of Prism’s alternatives instead.
How to Use the Prism App
The Prism app is easy to use. To get started, you will need to create a Prism account and download the app.
It is available from the App Store, Windows Phone, Google Play, Kindle Fire, and Windows 8. To sign up, you must be at least 18 years of age and be able to create a password and account designation along with a personal ID number.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can add each of your bank accounts and billing accounts. They’ll be synced so you can get a full picture of everything you need to know, including balances of bank accounts and billing charges, the due date for each bill, and so on.
You can add multiple billers to the app, too. You will need to provide credentials for each biller so that Prism can access the information moving forward.
It’s not the most technologically-advanced app out there and doesn’t offer some of the same features as the other free app choices for budgeting that are out there. However, its strength is in its simplicity. It’s so shockingly simple to use that it’s easy to manage the due date for each bill and to avoid any late fees that might otherwise be charged.
Eligibility To Use Prism
To use Prism, you must be at least 18. To sign up, you’ll have to provide your email, phone number and a personal ID number.
Prism is only as effective as the accounts you link with it. So, try not to leave any out.
Prism App Features
The main thing that Prism does is help you track and pay your bills more easily. But it also comes with a variety of other features including:
- Account Aggregation – Prism pulls together all your income, account balances, and expenses so you can get a complete picture of your financial health.
- Bill Calendar – Know exactly when your bills will happen
- Account Sync – Prism automatically syncs your account each day
- Change your bill payment source and date – pay from a different account and change your dates
- Payment cancellation – if for any reason you have to cancel a payment, you can cancel one up to ten minutes after it’s been sent
Prism App Cost
Prism is 100% free to use. There is no Prism premium plan, add-ons, or other costs.
How Much Does Prism Bill Pay Cost?
It costs you absolutely nothing to take advantage of all the services provided by Prism Bill Pay – only billers pay the fees.
However, if you have a payment returned unpaid because there is not enough money in your bank account to cover it, you can be charged a $15 returned item fee.
So, How Does Prism Make Money Then?
Prism makes money in two different ways. First, some billers will pay them a commission as Prism helps them get their money quicker and cheaper than other ways such as using a credit card which usually comes with a merchant charge of 2-3%.
Prism also displays relevant ads on occasion; however, they do not sell your data.
Prism App Security
Because Prism is an app that deals with sensitive financial information (like your credit report and bank account details), it only makes sense that you’d want to make sure everything is secure.
Rest assured that with Prism, everything (including your login credentials, your identifying information, and more) is secured.
Your personal data will never be sold and all communications are encrypted. There are information firewalls in place and there is also an unauthorized charge transfer protection.
Additionally, all Prism transactions are encrypted with bank-level security. The way it works is through an API (Application Programming Interface) that securely logs into your accounts and takes care of transactions on your behalf.
Since its founding, Prism has processed 1 billion + transactions.
Prism Customer Service
Prism is known for its excellent customer service. You can access these support teams seven days per week.
You can contact support by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the email and live chat support services here are excellent, there is, unfortunately, no phone support line. That’s not totally out of the ordinary for free apps, but it is disappointing.
Prism App Pros and Cons
Below are some of the biggest benefits (and disadvantages) of using the free Prism app.
Pro: Helpful Bill Tracking
Prism makes it easy for you to track your bills so you can pay bill payments on time. No more late fees!
You won’t have to worry about missing a payment and being charged late fees because it will pull all of your information into one central list or calendar. Then, you can pay each bill directly from the free app so you don’t have to move offsite to pay bill charges. Easy peasy!
Pro: Gives You a Comprehensive Picture of Your Payment Accounts
With Prism, everything is in one place. The app syncs each bank account and billing account each morning. You can also manually refresh if you need this to happen sooner.
This is an app that has all kinds of features to make paying bills and meeting due dates easier.
You can choose your bill payment source (paying from a checking account or by debit or credit card) and often the bill payment due dates, too. You can schedule payments to be paid right now or even in the future for maximum convenience.
There is even an option to cancel a payment when necessary. Although this isn’t necessarily meant to deal with things like unauthorized charges, it allows you to cancel a payment within ten minutes if you make a mistake.
Pro: Wide Variety of Bank Accounts
Despite being a relatively new app, Prism has a large network of partners. This network includes more than 11,000 billers including banks, credit unions, cable companies, phone services, electric utilities, insurance providers, and much more.
Plus, if you find that a biller isn’t listed in the Prism network of providers, you can add it manually.
Con: No Phone Support
While you can reach Prism support at any time via the email or contact features on the website, it does not offer any phone support. FOr some people, this can be frustrating.
Con: Only US Billers Allowed
If you work with any billers outside of the United States, you won’t be able to access them via the Prism app. Unfortunately, this is a service that only works with American billers.
It’s also important to note that with Prism, you won’t get any paper statements any more. Any payment history documents have to be viewed through the app.
Con: Can’t Be Used to Pay Retirement or Investment Accounts
Unfortunately, at this time, Prism cannot be used to pay investment or retirement accounts. It also has no autopay capabilities.
Prism App Alternatives
We’ve already name-dropped several of them. It depends on what type of person you are. Here is a quick breakdown of the most popular Prism alternatives.
Prism vs. Mint
Both Prism and Mint are free. They both help you track finances, pay bills and get a sense of your financial health. However, Mint offers a large range of services. They also have a budgeting, credit score monitoring, and long-term income and spending trends.
Mint is overall one of the best personal finance apps out there. The only reason you’d go for Prism instead of it is if you prefer a more streamlined and simple experience. If you want to learn more, check out our complete Mint review here.
Prism vs. YNAB
YNAB (You Need a Budget) is a millennial favorite. It’s a serious budgeting app that helps people save thousands every year. People have used it to pay off debt, save your goals and really build their financial health. It costs $84/year, but their huge and loyal fanbase say it’s totally worth it. Once you’re ready to graduate from Prism, it’s worth looking into.
Prism vs. Personal Capital
Personal Capital comes in two flavors. The free version helps you better manage finances and track your investments. Once you have saved up enough to invest, you can upgrade to their wealth management tier. The free version also comes with a lot of insights on investing, so it’s definitely worth looking into if you’re ready to head down that path.
Who Should Use Prism?
If you are a personal finance nerd, then Prism will probably not be meaty enough for you. It’s really out there for those who have a hard time keeping on top of their expenses and need something more straightforward. This makes it a great fit for college students and younger millennials and Gen Z just starting on their path to building better financial health.
Is The Prism App Worth It?
There’s a lot to love about Prism. It’s simple, very easy to use and makes automating your bill payments a breeze. And it’s 100% free. If you find Mint to be too bloated with information you don’t really need and YNAB to be a bit of a waste of money, then you’ll definitely want to check it out.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from using it with other options to give you the best of all worlds!
Is Prism a Legit App?
Prism is totally legit, and while it might not be the best option for everyone, it does have plenty of features that can make managing each bank account and billing cycle a bit less stressful.
If you want a quick, easy, and free way to get on top of your finances, it’s hard to beat Prism. It may not be the most feature-rich option out there, but it’s just what you need to never pay a bill late again. So, if you’re just starting on your long-term wealth building journey, be sure not to miss it!