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Why should I sign up for an electronic bill payment service?

 

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Question:

Why should I sign up for an electronic bill payment service?

Answer:

There are several good reasons to sign up for an electronic bill payment service as listed below.
Make sure to pick one that does not cost you money. Many credit unions offer electronic bill payment for free. Most Internet banks do so too, the author works with Umbrellabank (www.umbrellabank.com).

When picking a service, look for these characteristics:
  1. how many national billers (merchants) do they already support?
  2. if they do not support your merchants e.g. your local utility company, do they offer the possibility to add new merchants?
  3. do they offer to send checks to just about anyone e.g. to your neighbor?
  4. how long do they hold the money until it is actually sent out? This is the spot where the bill payment service generates income for the bank. Don't expect immediate transmission from a free bill payment service

In general, the advantages of electronic bill payment are:
  1. Pay automatically and eliminate all late fees
  2. Save money on stamps, envelopes, and checks
  3. Save the trip to the mailbox
  4. Pay with credit cards and never bounce a check
  5. Accumulate frequent flyer miles or other benefits on your credit card while paying regular bills
  6. credit card protects you in case there would ever be a billing error
  7. electronic tracking (web reports, real time expense charts), possibly interface with Microsoft Money, Quicken or similar software
  8. Payments that clear instantly (depends on service)



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Comments:

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