Let us look into the main benefits of paying the bills online:
Using online bill pay allows you to save on time. Instead of writing out checks, gluing stamps and keeping a file of papers, setting up an online account can get rid of these steps. It will also be much easier and faster to manage your debt.
When you need to go over previous bills, you do not have to waste time looking for them because all of your account details are located in one centralized location.
Online bill payment enables you to save on postage stamp costs. On the average, a household receives 15 bills every month, amounting to $70 in postage costs per year.
Try to avoid late fees that can be incurred when payment is made after the due date. When you miss payments, this could bring about:
- Higher interest rates;
- Over limit fees and late fees;
- When payment is overdue, your account could be placed on collection status.
To manage debt more conveniently and efficiently, go for automatic online bill payment solutions. Creating an account will enable you to set up recurring payments that will regularly be withdrawn from your account. This way, you can minimize the possibility of late or lost payments, saving time during the process.
Even if any of your bills is due the following day, online bill pay makes sure your payment is posted right on schedule.
What consumers should watch out for
There is always some kind of risk involved whenever doing transactions by electronic means. This may only be minimal, but it continues to increase due to the development of more sophisticated hacking techniques.
Over the last few years, a technique called “phishing” has become a major concern. Phishers give out fraudulent messages (via a web page pop-up or email) that are intended to deceive you into sharing your personal account details. Such messages often look legit (with their company logos etc.) so they can easily trick consumers when they are not too careful. According to a recent study, 57 million Americans have been sent phishing emails, and of that number, almost 2 million individuals have been tricked into giving their personal account info to a counterfeit source.
How to Avoid Scams
Consider the following tips to stay away from online scams:
- Review your online banking transactions on a regular basis to make sure there is no suspicious activity going on.
- Change your online passwords every 1 to 2 months. Always choose a password that has upper and lower case letters, plus symbols to reduce the chance to be guessed.
- Watch out for fraudulent emails. Even if an email looks legitimate (with a logo), it may have been sent by a fraudulent source. If the email wants you to verify or update your personal account information immediately, do not respond to the email.
- When you get an email from an unknown source, make sure to delete it. If you mistakenly open the email, do not click on any of the links. You might download a virus to your computer. If the email looks legitimate, type the web address in your browser instead of clicking on the link.
- Keep the anti-spam and anti-virus spam software on your computer. This will help you to block out spam and junk mail.