I know direct checking debits might be questionable for some, but for years now, I have chosen that path carefully and it has automated my bill paying perfectly and it has never been abused by any vendor for the decade I've used it. I set up MD reminders to automatically post those amounts that don't change and when I download my banking transactions, I observe that the downloads are merged with those automated MD transactions in my register. Rarely for some reason the amounts are different and I investigate. I usually find that a vendor has failed to notify me of a change or did notify me and I failed to change my reminders. I am careful to only allow direct debits from trusted vendors. Utilities, insurance, loan payments, etc. Although I have my direct debit info set up on my credit cards when I make payments, I never allow them to auto debit except for minimum payments which I set up as a backup to keep a perfect payment record. I use MD to download transactions from my credit cards and remind me to download statements and make payments to any vendor where I don't allow auto debits. For those utilities where I use auto debit and the amount changes a bit each month, I have a MD reminder to enter those amounts when I download the statements. And again when I download transactions from my checking, I look for the matching MD merge. I also use the MD budget to help me watch my activity. So, to sum it up, I don't trust any PC application to make my bill payments. I use MD as auditor. Just to watch and record activity. Unfortunately, as some credit cards are dropping direct connect for MD, I just delete the online setup in MD, set up the vendor web page in MD, and enter a control Download click to pull up my browser and log in to download transactions. Yeah, not automatic anymore for some, but easy enough to work around. I haven't used a stamp in many years, and I don't get paper statements from anyone except on occasion when they are required to send. It's automated and secured, and I don't spend any time paying bills except for triggering online credit card payments as needed. So far so good.
Thank you for your thoughts. Yes, giving vendors access to my bank account is a way to make sure payments are on time - I just prefer not to do that. MD should be able to do that for me, but I just can't seem to get them to tell me how. Best wishes. Peter