The internet has made paying bills fast and easy for anyone. Using an online bill pay service, you can set up a secure online account that lets you pay all your bills from one place, saving time and effort. Not only that, but you can avoid late payments with automated payments or scheduled reminders and alerts.
How Online Bill Pay Services Work
Enter your monthly payments into your chosen bill pay service. You'll need to know the name, address, and phone number of the payee, your account number, and the amount due for payments that remain the same every month, such as a car or mortgage payment. For fluctuating costs, such as your electric or water bill, you'll need to go in and adjust the amount every month. You can also set the date for payments to be made.
What To Look For When Using Online Bill Pay
When choosing the right bill paying program for your situation, you'll want to look at and compare price, convenience, reliability, ease of use, accessibility, automation, and security.
Benefits of Paying Your Bills Online
Each online bill payment service—whether it's a specialized software program, an app, or a website—will offer slightly different benefits. These might include same-day payments, juggling paper bills, or set-it-and-forget-it automation.
You'll also save money on checks, postage, and late fees by signing up for and using a service that fits your needs.
Learn about some of the best bill pay services, how they work, and how they help you manage your finances.
You'll never need to miss another bill again with Prism Money. This app tracks your bills for you and sends you updates and reminders when your due date nears. It shows an overview of all of your bills in one place and lets you pay each bill any way you want: with a credit card, debit card, prepaid card, or your bank account. Plus, Prism even offers same-day bill pay, which could come in handy if you've forgotten a bill until the last minute.
Prism joined with BillGO in 2018 and positions itself as an alternative to Mint Bill Pay and Unbill now that those services have gone away. You can download Prism for free on iPhone, Android phones, Windows phones and computers, and Kindle tablets.
You can use Quicken Bill Pay as a supplementary service to Quicken's financial software, or use it on its own. If you are a Quicken Starter or Deluxe customer, Quicken Bill Pay is $9.95 a month. If you have Premier, the service is free.
Quicken Bill Pay lets you pay all of your bills from one place. You can access both e-bills and manual bills, plus review and schedule everything right from your dashboard. Also, when you pay bills through Quicken Bill Pay as a Quicken user, your transactions are automatically updated.
Keep your online bill paying secure by never sending account information through email, and consider using a service that incorporates a two-step verification process.
MyCheckFree, from the banking service giant Fiserv, lets you pay bills online from hundreds of companies. Although the site's design is outdated (Scout the dog, the service's mascot, "fetches" bills for you), the price of MyCheckFree (it's free), plus the service's 100% guarantee, makes it worthwhile.
Paytrust's service includes handling your paper bills for you, by scanning and displaying them online. Since it also handles e-bills, that means no matter what kind of bills you receive, you can pay everything in one place.
Paytrust offers a one-month free trial; the service is $9.95 a month after that.
Prepaid Cards or Credit Cards
If you have a credit card or a prepaid card, you can use it to pay bills online. For prepaid cards, you'll need to make sure the card is registered to you and that it is loaded with enough money to cover the bill. Credit cards are already registered to your name and you pay using your line of credit.
With both kinds of cards, you can make a one-time payment or set up recurring bill payments. If you have a credit card that awards cash back or points for purchases that you pay off every month, using this type of online bill pay can be especially beneficial.
Most utility and loan companies allow you to set up automatic payments from your bank account. This can be helpful for bills that have varying amounts each month.
Your Bank or Credit Union
Many banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions offer free online services, including bill payments through their websites. However, these online banking sites may not provide all the features that a dedicated online bill pay service offers. Consider the reasons for using online banks and their services to see if they can meet your needs.
Financial institutions that offer bill pay services usually let you schedule payments in advance, which is useful for avoiding late payments.
Through the Company's Website
Of course, you can always visit your biller's website or online bill pay portal to pay them directly. When you choose this method, you provide the biller (whether it's a utility, mortgage company, phone company, or other service provider) with your financial information and authorize them to withdraw the amount of your bill.
- There are several easy and fast way to pay your bills online every month.
- Using online bill pay can save time and money.
- When choosing an online bill paying method, look for those that are free or low cost, secure, easy to use and access, and reliable.
- Set up online bill pay through an app, your bank or credit union, your payee's website, through a prepaid debit card, or with the help of computer software.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it safe to use an online bill paying service?
Yes, if you use a secure, trusted site that has a stringent verification process, paying your bills online can even be more secure than paying with paper checks, which have all of your financial information printed on them.
Do I need a checking account to pay bills online?
In most cases, a checking account is required to use online bill pay. Some methods of payment, such as a prepaid debit card or cash management app, may enable you to use the service without a checking account.
Is it free to use a bank's bill paying service?
Most banks offer bill pay to their account holders without charging extra, but they may have balance or usage requirements in order to access the service for free.