How Do I Set Up Online Bill Pay?

Man paying bills online
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Online bill paying services can simplify your finances by letting you transact without dealing with pesky checks and paper currency. The two main types of online bill paying services are those offered by your bank, and those directly offered by service providers such as phone companies, mortgage companies and utility providers.

With the bank model, your financial institution sends money to whomever you wish, by printing and mailing checks to recipients you owe money to. However, if a recipient company is already set up within the bank's system, the bank can transfer the money electronically--without issuing physical checks. To set up a bank online bill paying system, you’ll need a copy of a bill issued to you by a service provider. You then visit your bank's website, click "new payee", and type in the name of recipient company. You must then copy the address and your account number, along with any other essential information needed. Thereafter, each time you want to make a payment, you simply enter the amount of the bill, and the bank does the rest by pulling money from your account. To be safe: double check with each payee; see if they have unique online payment instructions or requirements.

To set up online bill paying directly with a service provider, you’ll need to provide a voided check and an authorization form to the company in question. You'll then be asked to provide information such as your account number and any routing numbers associated with the checking account. In some cases, you may be able to deliver this information online. Once things are up and running, payment goes directly to your service provider.

Automatic Online Bill Pay

If you love automated processes that you don't require your constant attention, automated online bill paying will let you facilitate recurring payments on a regimented and regular basis. For example, your online bill paying service can pay your monthly phone bill and your quarterly insurance payment.

You can also authorize your service providers to pull money from your account for one-off expenditures, without any activity on your part. In these cases, the service provider directly asks the online bill paying company for payment as needed, and the payment is made without your involvement. But be careful! If you authorize these types of payments, shrewdly budget your finances, in order to keep enough available funds in your account, to cover these payments.

Simply put: online bill paying can save time, reduce paperwork and make life easier!