You might remember that this month’s sponsor is eBillMe. I wrote a post about their cash payment method a week or so ago. Today, I had a chance to use the service, and I found it really interesting. I thought I’d walk you through my experience, and then, give you an idea of why it’s cool, but also why eBillMe has some room to improve.
First, I went to their list of companies and decided to try Buy.com. I wanted to buy a Jawbone BlueTooth headset, and I found them there. However, it turns out that Buy.com has a kind of blended selling area, where some of the items are from 3rd party merchants. The eBillMe service couldn’t pay on those types of merchants.
To me, from the outside, I was a bit confused, but I’ve seen the same experience at Amazon.com, where the 3rd party stuff sold there doesn’t have the same rules as the “official” stuff, so I fault Buy.com not eBillme.
No worries, I went to TigerDirect.com and found the same product. I added it to the shopping cart, and I went to select payment. I clicked eBillMe, and then it walked me through the next steps. Here’s what you do:
- Fill out the account info for TigerDirect.
- Get the form from eBillMe on the TigerDirect site.
- Go to my own bank.
- Select Add Payee in the online billing area.
- Copy the info from the TigerDirect form into the right spots on my bank.
- Select Make a Payment.
- Complete the transaction.
What I really love about eBillMe is that I’ve used it to shield my payment information from TigerDirect, and I’ve used it to shield my purchase information from my bank. It’s safe, and it lets me pay cash instead of credit. (Remember, that’s the main point of eBillMe. This is a way to pay cash safely and get out of the credit grind.)
What needs work is the process overall. It’s complex, has lots of steps, and just isn’t very smooth. I realize that this is a one-time setup. The next time I go buy something at TigerDirect, I’m all set. I presume that the same info carries through if I buy at Buy.com. But even then, the process just isn’t as smooth.
I’m not sure how one would improve it, though. I can complain, but I don’t really have the next move. I think it’s a matter of threading a bunch of financial data needles that just aren’t as easy as implementing something like OpenID.
So, that all said, I still endorse eBillMe, and I’m going to use it more now that I have my account set up. I hope more merchants jump on board, because it’s neat paying cash instead of using a debit card or paying credit.
Have you tried it? Go to eBillMe to see what’s interesting.
This post wasn’t sponsored, but it relates to a sponsored post.