Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want, but I believe the goal of the Internet, mobile and computer devices, and apps and online services like Dropbox is to create a paper free world where everything is accessed digitally and in the cloud. If I’m correct about this, then add Doxo as another useful online app service designed to help you go paper-free, pay your bills and store your personal documents online.
How It Works
Doxo works sort of like Mint.com, as a personal finance accounting service. Whereas Mint reports your daily account transactions, Doxo allows you to connect with financial services and merchants to pay your bills online, as well as store personal documents and account information.
After you register your account, Doxo contains “over 12,000 providers“—a few of which you may already pay bills to. These include Chase Bank, AT&T, Netflix, AAA, GEICO, and Humana, to name a few.
To set up your Doxo account, you simply select providers and add them to the appropriate file drawers. You can also store any personal documents you like to your account, including scanned copies of tax related receipts, legal documents, birth certificates, etc.
The user interface of the personal account page is pretty straightforward, with drag-and-drop functions for existing providers.
After you add a provider, the next thing you need to do is see if it is already connected in Doxo’s network. If it is, you provide your account information for that provider and authorize Doxo to deliver bills and documents to your Doxo account. The goal is to reduce the amount of paper coming from these providers, as well as provide a way for you to pay bills in one place.
Though the service is free to Doxo users, providers that sign up with Doxo pay a fee in exchange for saving on paper and mailing costs to their customers.
When you set up an account, you can not only pay bills, but you also get reminders of when bills are due, and you can archive personal records in one place. However, of the three providers I added to my account, only one, AT&T, was in Doxo’s network. That doesn’t mean there are not several other providers already in their network, but it does mean if a provider does not agree to use Doxo to save paper and mailing costs on their end, then you can only use the Doxo service for storing usernames, passwords, account numbers, addresses, etc.
Storing account information in the cloud could also be useful, however, for having just another place to get at that information when you need it.
Doxo Mobile [iOS]
The online Doxo service has been around for over a year, and it recently released a free mobile app that enables users to access their account from their iPhone.
The app mirrors pretty much everything that can be done in the online version, including receiving and paying statements and bills from selected providers, snapping and uploading photos of receipts to add to your digital file cabinet, as well as adding and accessing usernames and other account information.
The app’s user interface is also well designed and easy to use. The only drawback is that after you snap and upload a photo of a receipt or document (which the app handles very well, by the way) you can only view a smaller version of it once it’s put into one of your account file drawers. This is not a big issue, but if you need to view the details of a document, you won’t be able to do so in the app, because there’s no way to enlarge the images. There’s also no option to save a copy of photo documents to the Camera Roll.
Despite this minor limitation, Doxo seems like a useful free service to make use of. But if you already use Doxo, let us know what you think of it.
For other similar articles on personal finance apps and online services, check out our directory here.