Bill payment services, known as “banker’s orders” or “standing orders” in some countries, are electronic services that allow users to make recurring or one time payments to utility and other companies. Most banks offer bill payment services that are easy to set up and use. There are also online companies that offer the same features and services. Paying bills online is easy: once you approve the transaction the bank sends the money from your savings or checking account to your creditors by electronic means.
In order to use your bank’s bill payment services, you may need to log on to your bank’s website and create a payee list by entering data about your bills. You would usually need to enter your account number, the name of the company that issues the bill, its phone number and payment address. The bank automatically subtracts money from your account after you create the payees and enter the amount you want to pay, and it dispatches payment to the company that issued you the bill.
You can pay almost any company or anyone with no trouble using your bank’s bill payment services. There’s no longer the need to write checks or buy stamps, since the bills are paid automatically. You can make one-time or recurring payments and the system stores several months of records for you. If your payment service does not transfer funds to your creditors electronically, then it’s a good idea to schedule your bill payment a few days in advance of the actual payment date.
Recurring payments work well for insurance premiums and other bills that have a standard fee each month. But what about utility bills like telephone and water, where the amount fluctuates? You can also authorise some banks to pay these bills for you automatically. If you go with this option, ensure you have a good handle on your budget and available funds. One way to keep track is to use a budgeting software program, or you can simply sign up for online banking to be aware of all transactions on your account.
Analysts say paying bills online, whether through a bank or not, is now the fastest-growing use of the Internet, gaining on things like getting movie times, reading news or downloading music. There’s a potential benefit for the bank: according to a recent study customers who use their bank’s web payment tools keep double the money at their banks as those who simply go online to check their accounts.
When you subscribe to your bank’s bill payment service, you no longer have to come home to a countertop or a post-box full of bills. You can pay and receive your bills all on one site. A good bill payment service allows you to pay anyone, from your gardener to your credit card bill. Some services give you the option of making payments electronically or having the bank issue and send out a cheque for you.
Ensure that your bank’s bill payment service guarantees accurate and on-time payments. In this way, any late fees will be covered by the bank once the late delivery is their fault. A good service provider should offer different alerts that tell you when your bills arrive, are payable, are paid and are past due. Additionally, you should always be able to view details of your bill, regardless of its format.