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Quicken Bill Manager Versus Quicken Bill Pay

I spent today trying to figure out how I can do what I have done for 20 years with Quicken Bill Pa with the Quicken Bill Manager. It seems I can't. I have upteen businesses and individuals I need to pay every month. I still get paper bills in the mail so do not have a whole slew of on-line accounts set up.

 Now, I set up a Payee with Quicken Bill Pay, enter address and account information, pay the bills and QBP either sends an ACH if the payee will accept electronic payments or a paper check if not. I do not have to decide. It now appears that in order to send an electronic payment, I must have an on-line account with the biller, supply Quicken with my username and password for that account, and have quicken download the bill. I really don't want to have to set up upteen more on-line accounts with businesses.

 So, my only other choice appears to use the Manual Bill/Check Pay which I understand is paid by a physical check only, even if the business would accept an electronic payment, and I only get 6 per month with no way to add more... (unless I used a lower version of Quicken and was paying Quicken Bill Pay 9.95 per month---then I would get 15 electronic payments and 15 manual---which seems backwards since I have Quicken Premier.) In any case, I make around 20 payments per month on the average----and I have no desire to let Quicken download my bills or set up 15 more accounts , some of which probably would not work anyway.

 I am hoping I have some of this wrong----but if not---it is ridiculous that this replacement would have less functionality than what its replacing...and have the nerve be be advertised as a "better". It is not in anyway shape or form better. If I didn't have close to 30 years of records and account history in Quicken, I would jump ship for sure. Now I will need to start using my bank to do all my payments and made duplicate entries in Quicken. At the very least, Quicken should provide a financial break to those subscribers that are affected like this. As I said, I hope I am missing something here.

Thanks!

[edited for readability]

Comments

  • Jack Harris
    Jack Harris Member ✭✭
    Same problem! For 20 years have used Quicken Bill Pay with my Fidelity checking account, but the new Bill Manager will not work with my account because it is considered a "brokerage" account! I'm told I have to move my checking account to another bank! That sucks!!!
  • alanyost
    alanyost Member
    HI Again:

    I apologize from my bit of a rant above. Just a frustrating day. What I likely did not succeed in communicating was needing answers to a few questions:

    1. Am I correct that the only way to get an electronic payment sent as opposed to a physical check is to use QuickPay?

    2. Is it correct to assume that using QuickPay requires quicken to be able to download an electronic bill, so I would need to provide usernames and passwords to all payees? This would require me to create quite a few new accounts and it appears the only way to know if they are "participating" is to try it, and if successful, would require me to update Quicken with every password change. Also, what about the current trend to require 2nd level authentication for every login? Can QuickPay handle that?

    3. If number 2 is correct, and I elect to use Checkpay with a payee instead .. only a physical check will be sent, even if a payee does accept electronic payments? This is workable, but requires a much longer lead time and is definitely a degrade in service since QBP made the decision of
    ACH or check for you.

    4. Because I am a Quicken Premiere customer, I only get 6 CheckPays. Is there a way I can switch to paying $9.95 a month and receiving 15 QuickPays and 15 CheckPays (which would go a long way to solving the problem).

    5. I all the above is true, I would greatly appreciate an note from Quicken as to whether or not Quicken intends to address the above in the near future (being able to send ACH payments without bill downloading requirements, and an increase to the allowed number of transactions, or preferably simply charging a fee for transactions over a certain amount like Quicken Bill pay did.


    Thank you in advance for any verification Quicken can supply on the items above. I talked to a couple different support folks and they were a bit helpful, but not sure they were very sure about their answers, or were familiar with how this is different from Quicken Bill Pay.
  • Quicken Hugh
    Quicken Hugh Alumni ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020
    Hello @alanyost,
    Thank you for posting your questions about Quicken Bill Manager.

    1. Am I correct that the only way to get an electronic payment sent as opposed to a physical check is to use QuickPay?

    Yes, and, maybe.

    Yes, if you are only using QBM, then yes, you would send a form of an electronic Online Bill payment via Quick Pay. 
    And, if your biller offers the option to be paid via direct debit, that would also be a form of electronic payment, which might be available to you from some of your biller(s). Strictly speaking, this would be set up outside of Quicken. Direct debit does not conflict with QBM, and you could set up a Reminder for the direct debited bill in Quicken. 
    Maybe you will choose to have some bills (like utility bills,) automatically charged to a Credit Card, and you then pay the Credit Card off each month with Quick Pay. (Some people choose this route in order to maximize airline miles or rewards accrued on the CC.)

    2.  ...QuickPay requires Quicken to be able to download an electronic bill, so I would need to provide usernames and passwords to all [Online Biller] payees?
    Yes, you can use Quick Pay to quickly pay your Online Billers. Online Billers require usernames and passwords.

    [W]hat about the current trend to require 2nd level authentication for every login? Can QuickPay handle that?
    Yes, Quicken can handle MFA.

    3. [If] I elect to use Check Pay [for] a payee instead .. only a physical check will be sent, even if a payee does accept electronic payments?
    Yes. If you elect to pay someone via Check Pay (although they are eligible to be paid via Quick Pay), then an actual physical paper check will be printed and mailed out through the USPS. Do allow time for the USPS to deliver the mail to the recipient. When triggering a Check Pay, the system will provided a USPS estimated delivery time frame. 
    The underlying systems of the QBM (Quick Pay for Online Billers, and Check Pay for a paper check to be mailed out to a payee) are different than the old QBP. 

    4. ...I only get 6 Check Pays [per month]. Is there a way I can switch to paying $9.95 a month and receiving 15 Quick Pays and 15 Check Pays[?]
    Not as of the moment this message was written.

    5.  ...I would greatly appreciate an note from Quicken as to whether or not Quicken intends to address the above...
    Keep in mind it is exceedingly rare for Quicken to announce future-release-date features/functions. We do encourage you to keep your Quicken software up-to-date.
  • BobC
    BobC Member ✭✭✭✭
    Hello @alanyost

    I can't respond to what Quicken Bill Manager, with Quick Pay and Check Pay will or will not do for you.  Sounds like Quicken Hugh covered most or all of your questions. 

    However, from my very limited experience, (a few weeks in March or so), your evaluation seems correct to me.  I really appreciate your post, because your experience of trying to make Quick Pay and Check Pay work was much the same as mine in March.  After attempting to make it work for me, I looked at the alternatives, and found that Quicken and the bank checking account I used most frequently as a "payment source" in Quicken Bill Pay by Metavante, (which was a Chase personal checking account), could do most of what Quicken Bill Pay (QBP) did, without QBP.  In some areas, more.  And my connection to my bank "source" checking account was, and is, a "Direct Connect" connection. And I had already set it up, back in December 2019, when there was a problem with Quicken - QBP connectivity, and I still needed to pay bills.  So, in theory, I had all of the steps needed to replace QBP with my bank's bill pay, (BBP).

    So I removed the few Quick Pay bills I had set up in Quicken Bill Manager and set them up with reminders (again) in Quicken.  (After a payment was set up in Bill Manager, Quicken asked if I wanted to link it with the existing reminder.  I said yes.  Then, when I got tired of Bill Manager, (a few weeks later), and removed the Bill/Payment from Quick Pay, the reminder was gone.  So I needed to re-enter the associated reminders.  Sigh).  Then I changed the configuration of my bank checking account, in Quicken, to use the BBP, rather than QBP, and stripped all bill payment functionality from the other checking accounts I had been using as alternate source accounts in QBP.  (These other banks did not have the ability to accept payment information from Quicken, to send out to any US payee, even though they had Direct Connect communications with Quicken).  I had already set up my bank checking account to do bill payments independently, as noted above.

    Now, using Quicken reminders, I enter bill payments and payments unrelated to bills, into my Quicken checking account register, (as I did before with Quicken and QBP).  The payments, once entered into my checking account register, are sent by Quicken, (at the next One Step Update or account Update), to my bank checking account, where they are automatically entered and paid by the BBP.

    I wrote a relatively detailed post on the process as I understand it, (see Changes to Quicken-Chase Bill Pay Functionality Due to Quicken Bill Pay Termination?).  I have had no indications that it will not continue to work as it is working now.

    There are a number of features and functionality using the bank bill pay functionality that I find significantly better than the currently available features and functionality in Quick Pay and Check Pay.  They are described more completely in my posts to the above thread. Collectively they allow me to do a better job at cash flow and credit/debit management than I could do before, without concerns such as the number of payments, or whether two credit card statements from the same bank got mixed up.

    There are disadvantages:

    a) The funds for my payments are deducted from my bank checking account when paper checks, (where necessary), are printed by bank, (typically 5 days before you have scheduled them to arrive, or 2 days before most EFT transactions are scheduled to be at the destination, same day for some),

    b) Printed checks show as cleared, (and reconciled if you reconcile to online balances), in my bank register when they are printed, not when they clear my bank, so you don't have confidence they were received and cashed.  However, the detail available on the bank web site, if you want to track down a payment, (date scheduled, date sent, date cleared the bank), is actually more complete and easier to see, including the cancelled paper check, for those payments, than it was by looking at Quicken and Quicken Bill Pay.

    c) Unlike Quicken Bill Pay, where I had 3 or 4 payment accounts, I now need to use the one bank account for all my bill payments.  The other bank accounts I use cannot make payments based on input from Quicken.  So that means I need to occasionally move $ around between bank accounts.  However I needed to do that in the past and will need to do so in the future, regardless of the bill payment system I am using, so I don' t consider it a significant disadvantage.

    d) I can't transfer funds between bank accounts from within Quicken, (which I could in the past, via Metavante's Quicken Bill Pay functionality).  However, I have found that by transferring funds from the source checking account to the destination checking account, at the source account's web site, they are generally available a day faster than by doing the transfer from Quicken or the destination account's web site, so this is not an issue for me.

    e) There may be a bank charge to provide this functionality, if the bank can do it all.  Depends on your bank and your account balances, among other details.  Ask, do not assume.  For example, only one of the banks I use has the ability to make payments for me and integrate relatively seamlessly with Quicken to make such payments.  If I had a BUSINESS checking account, they would charge $10/month, or so, for  this payment functionality.  Maybe less or zero with more substantial minimum balances, different types of accounts, etc.  However, for the type of personal (only) account I have, there is no charge, at this time.  Bottom line - ask the bank before you assume it will work, and how much it will cost.

    So, as some of the Quicken Expert Users who normally respond to posts on this Forum have said, in a variety of threads revolving around Quicken Bill Manager and the transition from QBP to Quicken Bill Manager, a bank bill pay systems may be a good alternative.  It is a better alternative for me, although circumstances and details matter, so your results could be different.

    Hope this helps.


    Thanks,
    BobC
    Quicken Subscription 2020, Build 27.1.29.20, Windows 10 Pro v 1909 Build 18363.959
  • alanyost
    alanyost Member
    Hi and thank you very much for your quick reply. So to summarize:

    QBP (Quicken Bill Pay) seamlessly allows the user to pay any bill to anyone and does not require the user to make any distinction between ACH and paper checks. The user simply enters the payee information and account numbers for the first transaction and QBP handles the rest. Future transactions are a simple matter of entering the payee in the register at the desired pay date with a Send in the check number field and running QuickUpdate. The user has total control over when and how much is paid with no limitations. QBP changes the pay date if it a physical check is required and advises the user. QBP allows 15 transactions per month for free for Quicken Premier members and charges $5.00 per month extra for more, but still processes the payments.

    QBM(Quicken Bill Manager) requires the user to create online accounts with payees in order to have bills downloaded directly to Quicken for electronic payments. The user does not know if the payee will interface with Quicken until he/she tries to connect them. If the interface is not successful, the user must use a manual reminder and issue the payment with Checkpay even if the payee would normally accept electronic transfers, but for some reason will not interface with Quicken, or does not provide electronic billing capability. The limit on electronic transactions is 12 and 6 check payments. Meanwhile Quicken Deluxe members currently pay $9.95 per month and get 15 electronic and 15 paper checks per month. It is not possible for Quicken Premier members to downgrade their membership, pay the $9.95 and get the extra transactions. Furthermore, there is no published plan to increase the number of transactions for a fee.


    I know you are just the messenger and I appreciate that, and lessons in software engineering principles are outside the scope of your job here, but the very first thing that happens with a software project is called "Requirements Analysis". When replacing a current system, its functionality and all current "bugs", user comments, wishes, etc. are split up into "Shall" sentences. As an example, each sentence in the first paragraph above could be turned into a "Shall" requirement. A prototype system is developed and tested against each requirement by test engineers and then beta testers if available. The fact that the initial release of QBN had no scheduling capability, and the number of issues with the product on this forum tells me this was not done in a thorough manner, but in a "get it out as fast as possible with core functionality". I assume this was because of the contract with Metavante going south and Quicken decided to try to replace it from within instead of looking for another provider that could provide an acceptable replacement.

    There is no way for users to know what actually occurred here, but the fact remains that Quicken subscription members are being forced into this situation with no offers to try to offset the inconvenience, and very little explanation. In fact QBM was advertised as a "better experience". The suggestions of finding a new bank , or using autopay from payees instead of QBM does not address the core issue and is a little insulting. We all know how to get around this, but the advantage of QBP was that it did not require setting up accounts with any payees and the user had total control over the amount paid, and when it was paid with one simple entry. The absolutely only advantage that I can see of QBM is that if someone really does want to have Quicken download and track their bills (providing the businesses will interface with Quicken, and there seem to be a lot of problems with that from reading messages on this forum).. then QBM would be just fine. However, I really don't think that applies to many folks over 50, although I could be wrong.

    Anyway, thank you again for you time. I really hope Quicken will at least send out something to users with a better explanation of what happened here and what future updates will entail. Personally, I will not be using QBM at all and will resort to paying bills through my bank and making Quicken entries, basically doubling my workload. This is very disappointing after over 30 years as a customer.
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