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Online Bill Pay is Secure and Convenient

Aug 1, 2008
For those who have discovered online bill pay, the world of writing checks and addressing envelopes just got a whole lot brighter. Online bill pay allows users to manage their bills without the hassles of shuffling paper and affixing stamps. It is also a secure way to handle finances online from home.

To begin, it's important to determine which type of online bill pay a user will employ. Choices include using the online service offered through a bank, a service provider, or a bill pay service.

Online Bank Service
Many banks now offer online bill services through their websites. In this case, the service pays bills from a personal savings or checking account. Depending on the set up at the biller's end, the bank may print and mail a check or transfer money electronically through the service.

In most cases, to set up this type of service all that is needed is a copy of the bill sent by the service provider. A user must then indicate the name of the company, or new payee, at the bank's online bill pay website. The set-up procedure will require information including the provider's address and an account number. Each month or time that the bill is due, the user simply enters the amount due and the bank handles the rest. The money will then be withdrawn from the user's bank account.

When first setting up bill pay, confirm with each provider regarding their requirements for receiving payments via the Internet. Additional instructions may have to be followed for a provider to receive a payment.

Online Service Provider
Users who choose to pay their bills online directly to a service provider are only able to pay one company. This choice also requires the user to visit each provider's website to where monthly payments will be made. Major credit card companies, telephone companies and others typically provide the ability to pay bills online.

At each site, a user will create a username and password and include personal information including name and e-mail address. Once registered at the site, a user will also be able to access monthly statements and financial information. Registering for bill pay at these sites will also require a bank routing and account number. These can both be found on a check. After entering a bank account number or credit card number, the user then chooses the payment amount to be made and clicks the submit button.

On some provider websites customers have the option of setting up recurring monthly payments. Others require the customer to visit the site monthly to make a payment online. It's also important to pay bills a few days before they are due as payments can take several days to process.

Online Bill Pay Service
For the ultimate convenience in bill pay, an online bill pay service charges a monthly fee to handle an entire group of bills. This service may be appealing for those who travel often and have a good handle on their finances. For those who hate keeping track of payment due dates and paying late fees, a bill pay service may be the ticket to more freedom, rather than being tied down to a computer to pay bills.

As with any financial transaction online, check the security offered at each website. Account numbers and passwords are sensitive data that should be handled with the utmost security. When checking into the security of a website, look for a site's URL, which should read "https" instead of "http". Also, check for the locked padlock icon at the bottom of a secure website page. This indicates the page is secure and safe for sending sensitive information.
About the Author
AmericanMomentumBank.com provides a wide array of personal banking and business banking options and banking solutions tailored to your individual needs. For more information, please visit AmericanMomentumBank.com.
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