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Online bill payment

Online bill payment is a convenience worth exploring. Bankrate explains it.

What is online bill payment?

Online bill payment is a secure electronic service that allows customers to pay bills without having to write checks and mail them. Online bill payment usually is tied to a checking account from which funds are withdrawn electronically for payment of one-time or recurring bills. Online bill payment is offered by many banks and bill-pay services.

Deeper definition

Online bill payment, also known as electronic bill payment or automatic bill payment, offers several advantages. Among them:

  • Online bill pay remits payments almost immediately, so no need to worry about whether payments arrived on time.
  • Online bill pay is environmentally friendly, eliminating paper waste. Often, banks and bill-pay services give customers the opportunity to opt out of paper mailings.
  • Many banks offer online bill payment free of charge to their customers. External bill-pay services may charge a small monthly fee or a fee per transaction.
  • Many banks that have comprehensive online banking services allow customers to schedule automatic payments and work with platforms with which they are already familiar.

Online bill payment example

Connie travels a lot for her job and has unintentionally paid bills late before because she was not home to retrieve her mail and write and mail checks on time. She has a mortgage, car loan, utility bills and a couple of credit card bills to pay each month. Connie has heard many of her colleagues and friends say they enjoy using online bill payment, so she inquires about the service at her bank.

Connie banks with a major financial institution that offers full online banking services, including bill pay. She signs up for the service at her bank’s website. She enters the key account information for each of her creditors and schedules payments for specific dates each month. Now, Connie travels with peace of mind, knowing her bills are being paid on time. She can also check her account using a mobile computing device, such as her smartphone, while on the road.

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