Can a Biller be paid if the bill is not retrieved by the system

I get most of my bills via email notice and accessed thru Biller’s website. Can I pay Billers via Quick Pay without the


  • ....bill being accessed by the system?
  • jrich75
    jrich75 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Currently Quick Pay setup requires that an online bill relationship exists.  All other bills are called manual bills and they can only be paid by Check Pay (print & mail) if you are using the new Bill Manager system. That is one of the major drawbacks of the current Bill Manager payment process.  However, if you have established a Quicken online bill relationship with a particular biller, I believe you could make a Quick Pay payment even if the current bill had not been retrieved.
    Unfortunately, many billers that do make online bills available to account holders do not seem to work with the Online Bills system.  (Quicken Billpay and many banks can make electronic payments to these other billers).   Quicken will be upgrading the new payment system later this summer so maybe this will change.

    Quicken user since 1995
    Win10 Deluxe Subscription thru 2023

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    jrfaris said:
    Quicken will be upgrading the new payment system later this summer so maybe this will change.
    It is my understanding that what they are "upgrading" is to have the ability to schedule payments, not to change how the current system works.

    In other words, for years now Quicken has had "bill presentment" through this third party provider.  This third party provider always had this bill payment system, but Quicken Inc didn't change to it because they already had Quicken Bill Pay.  And since that is going away they started to integrate their bill payment system, starting with the easier functions of paying immediately.

    And the last step being to adding the GUI/calls to do the scheduling.

    So bottom line is I don't thing there is a "new payment system", they are just putting the code to use more of the functionality of the existing system.
    This is my website:
  • starrdd49
    starrdd49 Member ✭✭
    I have all my "billers" set up and successfully retrieved and payed my Chase Credit Card and Constellation bill but now it looks like the links are broken. I got email notification from quicken that I have NEW bills but they are not visible in "bills & Income" . I attempted to refresh the bill but got NO results. Bill Manager appears to ne not ready for prime time, I have man days invested in attempting to get the functionality to work. HELP !!!!
  • The to-be-phased-out (in August) Bill Pay worked fine to pay bills (that were received in mail, seen online or retrieved electronically from biller) and categorize payments (eg tax categories). If you don’t particularly need the system to retrieve bills or remind you (note most billers send a e-notification When a bill is due), the new system seems unreliable and less functional.

    There’s difficulty getting bills retrieved consistently, it seems, and tremendous difficulty getting the system set up - I get consistent “Billers List Unavailable; Try Again Later” messages.

    With 10+ years easy use of the old Bill Pay, the new system doesn’t seem worth it or ready for deployment.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    With 10+ years easy use of the old Bill Pay, the new system doesn’t seem worth it or ready for deployment.
    Yeah but Quicken Inc has no choice, the third party that provides Quicken Bill Pay is getting out of that business.

    Given that all of this is based on the bill presentment system that has been around for years, but has never worked "100%" (more like 80% at best) I wouldn't stake paying my bills with it.

    I would either use my financial institution's website or do what I have actually done for more than 30 years without a problem, and that is setup my bills to be automatically withdrawn from my credit card that pays me cash back.  With the exception of a few that will not allow a credit card and those come directly out of my checking account, including the payments for the credit cards.  Not only do I get cash back, I have at least 20 days to see what I'm going to have to pay which makes cash flow a breeze.  And even though it has never happened I can also dispute any charges if they are wrong.
    This is my website:
  • Thanks for the feedback. As a user since 1998 (!) Bill Pay has worked fine, save the occasional software update glitch. It allows good payment allocations, provided useful reports for tax preparation and expense tracking and was reliable.
    Given the several days and Support calls that have been necessary to even start to get the Billers added to the new Check and Quick Pay platform (not able to do so still), and the unreliability noted by several posting Members, it seems that prior to Aug 31 I'll transition to my bank bill paying service (free) and keep a record of key tax categories separately. Your suggestion about routing payments through a preferred credit card (cash or miles) makes sense.

    Quicken isn't going to survive this debacle with many happy users. Sad.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Gene Resnick I don't see how your categorization/reporting needs to change.  You use the same categories you always did, you can setup reminders basically the same way you would have using the bill pay.

    Personally I have cut way back on the reminders even, because I can since the payments are automatic, but my categories wouldn't be any different no matter how I went about it, and as such the reports/tax reports don't change.

    For using your financial institution's website it would simply be that you schedule the bill payments on that site and a reminder in Quicken. Besides doing it twice about the only other thing different would be if the bill amount is varying and you are using a standard reminder then you might have to adjust it as it goes into the register or when you are matching a downloaded transaction to it.   Note that was the "promise" of the bill presentment system to basically have the same reminder, but vary the amount based on it downloading the amount of the bill.  I say promise because in fact I have found it never really worked very good for all my bills.  Part of the problem is in the system not reliably downloading the prices and the other part is that they took away any estimating that the normal reminder has about future bills so it affects the projected balance graph people use for cash flow.  At best for the future payments it will give the last bill's amount, and sometimes it will give zero!

    In my case what I do is have a weekly reminder for my bills that vary (or ones I don't have another reminder for) as a way to predict them (just a lump sum for them all).  I just skip that reminder every week, because the real transactions come in to the credit card/checking account.  As of the actual bills and such they are paid automatically by the credit card and as they come in the renaming rules coupled with the memorized payees fill in the categories.
    This is my website:
  • @Chris_QPW Thanks, good guidance.
    Essentially, then
    1. Schedule/pay bills via credit card for those billers that accept credit card.
    2. Schedule/pay bills via bank website for billers that don’t accept credit cards
    3. Pay bills via new Quicken manual check pay for bills not payable via 1 or 2 (eg dog walker).
    4. Enter the payments (with splits, categories, etc) into new Quicken for reporting

    How would you record the payment method (eg check number, EFT, etc) for payments made under 1 or 2 above?

  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Well for me I almost never go past #1 above.  But I should say that is really 1a and 1b.
    As in go to the website of the biller, sign up for automatic payment.  If they allow paying with a credit card (1a) use that, if not use checking account (1b).  Note that one of the automatic payments is paying the credit card when it is due from my checking account.  These days almost ever bill falls into one of these two categories.

    These payments show up on the credit card or in the check account the same as any other transaction you would see there.  With the exception for paying the credit card that needs to be put in as a transfer from the checking account to the credit card account and is definitely one that is nice to have a reminder setup for it (the category is just like [Credit Card Account Name).

    Examples of automatic payments withdrawn from my checking:

    It is good to put in reminders for each of these mostly so that you can use the projected balances to predict cash flow. The most important cash flow of course is anything that comes out of your checking account.  You have to make sure that you have enough money in that account before the automatic payments come in.

    Note that "in the real world/not Quicken" I actually take no action (after the automatic payments are setup) other that making sure there is enough money in my checking account.  When the bill is due it the biller's system debits the amount from the credit card or the checking account.  And their name is the payee, so that is how it is lined up with a reminder or with a memorized payee to get the category.

    Here are some that come out of the credit card account:

    As you can see there isn't any "check number" of "ETF", because this isn't a push of payment from the credit card to the biller, is the biller being authorized to withdraw the money.  Not much different than the above Little Caesars payment.  For that I used their app and Google pay, and "authorized the payment", and it got taken out of my credit card account using their name as the payee which I in turn used a memorized payee to fill in the category of Dining.

    Now sometimes a given service might not allow for automatic payment on a schedule, but will allow you to pay from their website (extremely rare, I do pay my auto insurance twice a year like that, but for the people that pay monthly it can be automatic).  For that I would just put in a reminder, and when it comes up I go to their website and make the payment, and when it downloads match it with the reminder I have entered into the register.

    Of course there isn't anything to stop you from flipping it and send the payment through any of the services that are available.  Whether that be your financial institution's website or Quicken's manual check or in my case for the very rare times I do it, I just make how one of those old fashion checks, you know the paper ones.  And then just enter that into the register.  In fact these days there is probably an app for paying person to person the same way the depict on the ads on TV where you split the restaurant bill.

    As for ETF numbers and such for repeating ones that you put in a reminder for, the ETF numbers aren't needed.  Quicken will match mainly to the payment amount and somewhat to the payee name, it doesn't have to have a check number or ETF to do its matching.  Your financial institution website payment system may or may not even send the ETF number with the transaction when it downloads.

    I would also note that all these billers have the option of sending me an email reminding me about the bill before it happens.  For most I look at it make sure it is "sane" and delete it because it is just coming out of the credit card.  I don't worry about that much because the cash flow for those only happens when the credit card bill comes due.

    Going to each biller's website and setting things up is a little more work than setting up bill payments in any of the services, but after it is done it all gets very "boring". 
    This is my website:
  • @Chris_QPW Fantastic and very helpful. thanks.....

    As far as “In fact these days there is probably an app for paying person to person the same way the depict on the ads on TV where you split the restaurant bill.” I find Zelle which is a Chase bank service ideal for person-to-person payments; if the person has a Chase account its super easy and if they don’t they get an email or SMS telling them how to get the payment. And of course it shows up in the Chase statement as a Zelle payment to XXX for $XX.

    Thanks again. I’ll be back with any questions as this rolls along.

    Have a great weekend!!
  • JBDubhe
    JBDubhe Member ✭✭
    I totally support Chris_QPW's approach. I have been doing it that way ever since Quicken implemented the bill presentment system that was so obviously flawed. Once you have gone to each vendor website and authorized them to charge your credit card or make withdrawals from your bank account on the due date, your anxiety level about missing a payment goes to zero and things do become pretty boring (as long as you have a comfortable cushion in your checking account).

    I have a single recurring payment (a condo fee) that imposes an additional fee if I authorize the company to make a direct withdrawal from my checking account. It doesn't impose an additional fee if I send them a check ... which they then have to manually record and deposit at some internal processing cost. In their defense, however, I know from being a volunteer church treasurer that the bank charges fees based on the number of ACH withdrawals members have authorized be withdrawn from their account each month.

    My only use of the new Bill Manager will be to use Check Pay to send that monthly check -- otherwise I could have saved myself the time required to understand and implement use of the Bill Manager system. I am hopeful the ability to set up a repeating payment will be in place by the time the expiring BillPay system ends next month. If that doesn't happen, I may have to bite the bullet and signup for the condo to make automatic withdrawals despite the added fee.

    Stay safe out there!
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