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How to Pay Bills Online

Aug 20, 2008
If you're still paying bills via snail-mail, it may be time to consider paying them online. With today's online bill pay systems, you can forget the stamps and checkbook and discover the ease and convenience of your nearby computer. You'll need a computer, access to the internet and an online bill pay service. This is moderately difficult.

Paying bills online will require a small amount of homework. There are several choices available so make sure you choose the right option for you. Your choices include making payments directly through the biller's Web site, which will require a credit card or setting up an authorized withdrawl from a bank account. Bank's also offer online bill pay through their Websites, or there are third-party services available which will collect the bills and send e-mail alerts when it's time to make a payment.

If you choose to pay bills through a bank, be aware if they charge a fee for this service. Some banks will offer online bill pay for free with an existing checking account. Others offer the service for free with a minimum bank account balance, or they might charge a minimal amount for the service. Unless a bank partners with a company that will post your bills electronically, you will still receive your bills in the mail. The convenience, however, lies in being able to pay all those bills at one time and one site. Many billers' Web sites will allow online payments free of charge but then you must spend the time going to each site to make the payments.

If your bank charges for an online bill pay service, consider the overall benefits of their service versus the other options. There may be other less expensive options, but be certain that their total service is as beneficial and as convenient as using your regular bank.

Once you have chosen which banking center you will use to pay your bills online, it's time to set up an account. First, you may be required to sign an authorization form and define the checking or money market account from which the bills will be paid. Or you may need to provide a credit card number. Using the information on bills currently received, you will create a payee list online and indicate the payment amounts for those accounts, as well as scheduled payment dates.

For recurring payments, the system may allow you to arrange for payments to be made automatically each month. The beauty of online bill pay is that scheduled payments can be made ahead of time, avoiding missed due dates and late fees. Online bill pay services may also create a paper check and send it via mail if a payee does not accept electronic payments.

Be aware that there are some restrictions when it comes to online bill pay. They may include tax payments, alimony, child support, and some court-ordered payments.

Monitor bill pay accounts each month to make sure there are no problems, especially in the first month of the service. Keep track of all payees that have been set up for online bill pay and make sure those payments appear on monthly bank or credit card accounts.
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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