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Bill pay questions

June 14th, 2010 at 06:52 am

Up until now, I've always gone to individual websites to pay my bills online. And while that has worked in the past, I thought I'd finally give bill pay a try instead.

How many people are currently using their online bill pay from their bank or credit union? If so, have you had much problems with getting it set up? How well is it working for you so far?

I placed several of my bills on it. I think one of them is working, but the rest are still pending and iffy. One in particular, my internet bill, is strangely not working and I don't know why.

So, anyways, just wondering what your experiences are with online bill pay, and if there are any tips you can offer.

17 Responses to “Bill pay questions”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I only have one bill that I regularly use my bank's bill pay for: our local water bill. I pay it as soon as it arrives giving plenty of time for the physical check to arrive, since it is arriving from another state. I've never had any problems.

    All of our other bills are automated with the company. For example our mortgage: we provide our bank information so that our payment is pulled on a certain day each month. Again, never any problems with this method. I like this method the best simply because I don't have to provide information each time and I don't have to do anything other than record the payment in my check register.

  2. TheSimpleLife Says:

    I use my bank's on-line billing and it's worked great. The only problem I've had is with my phone bill - I thought it was set up for automatic billing and was working fine, and then got a call from the phone company saying they were going to shut off the phone for non-payment. It was easy to fix, but I would say double check everything.

  3. Phenomenal Woman Says:

    (Sorry this is so long winded)
    I have always used the bill pay feature from my credit union. It was pretty straightforward and easy for me to set-up but I would think that depends on your bank's website and how user friendly it is. I just enter the account information for each bill I want to pay automatically. When I select certain payments, it let me know how long it would take for the payment to arrive based on the location of bill payment collector. Some accounts I have it set where my payments goes out automatically, I do this with my bills that have the same amount. Others, I input the payment each month since the amount due is not consistent month to month. There is no additional cost or fee for me to use this feature.

    The only exception for me so far with my credit union is that I can’t make any automatic payments towards account that does not have my name on it. For an example, I would like to make payments to my parents in law for their help with child care and etc. I want the money to go to their bank account directly instead of having to write a check. I am still trying to figure this one out.

    The only exception is that I use the individual sites for credit card. I like it this way because I have it set where payments are sent automatically for the full balance each month to ensure full payments are made each month. (I am kind of lazy and rather have it all automatic as much as I can and it avoids late errors on my end).

    The thing to really watch out for is some companies change account numbers on my account without warning. I am not sure if they do this because they are confused with the bank payment or what? Comcast and one gas credit card (DH's) did this to me. After I received a bill payment error notification, I had to recheck the account number on my statements. Sure enough they changed my account number. I find this really odd. One place they had to change because of a merger, but I was very disappointed that I had no advance warning. Because of this, I am sure to check my statement each month despite the automatic payments. (Comcast actually had no excuse for the account # change, they also stopped sending statements without notice and we had to call to reinstate the statements).

  4. monkeymama Says:

    I don't know how much of this experience is due to time/technology or big/small bank, but...

    I have been doing online bill pay "forever." My old wee little CU's bill pay was a bit clunky and I found it very frustrating. The worst was that they debited my account the second they paid the bill, and then it became a problem to clear up if the payment got "lost." Happened a couple of times where money was deducted from my account, but vendor never got the payment. (They 100% mailed checks - no electronic payments).

    Around 2006 I switched to a very large credit union. The set up was easy peasy and no complaints or problems. Some of the bills they e-pay, and some they just cut checks for me (tells me which is which). For the e-pay ones, I can even see the invoices on my banks' website. They don't deduct the money until it clears (checks), which is a HUGE plus.

    I do not pay anything automatically. I just go in about once a month and enter all the amounts and dates I want everything to pay. It takes about 5 seconds. But I always look at every invoice when I received it - I do not like "automatic payments," at all.

    I have since realized that I can pay individuals through the online bill pay. My CU will just send them a check. I pay the preschool and gardener (individuals) through there. Saves stamps, checks, time, etc. Big Grin
    Which means I rarely every write a physical check any more. I love it!

  5. monkeymama Says:

    I had to add - my CU is so simple. If I want a check to be paid on 6/1, they just make sure to mail it out so that it arrives 6/1. (Electronic fund transfers would be done 6/1, then). I just put the date I want it paid. Of course, I generally pay everything well before due date, so no biggie. But I set my health insurance and mortgage to pay last day of month. There is no late penalties, so I just set to due date, and they generally always clear the last day of the month (I believe those are both paid by check).

    P.S. I have never had one issue in about 4 years, with this larger CU.

  6. Tabs Says:

    Wait... you can pay individuals with this system? Wow, I never knew that. That is interesting!

  7. Campfrugal Says:

    That is all I do is pay my bills from my bank's website. It was easy to set up and free; and I can add or delete accounts whenever I want. I don't think I will ever go back to writing a check and I certainly wouldn't pay my bills individually through that individual bills website. aaak. I have never had a problem.

  8. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I use a combination of ING check to person (pay rent to step dad), automatic payments to the CC (cell phone, car insurance) and paying on the actual website (credit card).

    I still check over everything pretty carefully. One month I thought I had set up a payment (through ING) and found out that I hadn't. So I double and triple check now.

  9. whitestripe Says:

    It's probably all different for me, but I, like you, pay most things on the payees website. Checks are very rarely used in Australia anymore and cost a lot to use anyway. I'm wary of automatic deductions but we have our life insurance and house & contents insurance taken out automatically - as well as our mortgage and personal loan payments. Our electricity, phone & internet, mobile & rates bills are paid on their individual websites and I pay our gas bill by direct deposit. That being said I've tried B-Pay a few times and it works (which is probably the same thing that you're thinking of using). The only downside for us is that BPay takes the money straight out of your account, and the others I pay with our credit card and we gain points with that. So that's the main reason I poay individually. Smile

  10. bennyhoff Says:

    For whatever reason I always go to the business's site and make the payment individually, instead of using a bank's bill pay system. I like the control it gives me, plus by doing it at the business's site, they know I tried to pay and aren't going to try to cut off xyz. Instead they'll let me know there was a problem and I can get it straightened out. I only have one bill paid automatically (my electric), everything else I have to manually pay each month. Its a little extra work, but its not that hard. And like mentioned above, if they accept credit card payments, that is extra points back for me. (As an extra thought - the one big reason I don't like using a Bill Pay system is that it becomes a single point of failure - that is if it breaks down for some reason, everything is messed up. I know thats unlikely, but still its how I view it.)

  11. homebody Says:

    We pay everything through our bill pay, except ING to pay my mortgage, Amex because I try to pay it weekly and DMV for California, I go to their site. Everything else goes through our bank's web site. US Bank is for household bills. Chase for our rental. It is so easy I taught DH how to do it in April. He is doing well with it. I would say it has been at least 5 years I have been paying everything on line.

  12. Lowell Says:

    My wife has used the service of bill pay for several years now without any problems. So far so good. Thanks for the post.

  13. North Georgia Gal Says:

    I have been using bill pay with SunTrust for several years now. I just tell them what date I want something paid and they mail the check to get there by that date. They don't debit my account until the check clears. It works great. I have only had one issue where the check cleared before the date I had wanted it paid causing overdraft to kick in. SunTrust reversed the charges for me. I am not with the local credit union because they are very impersonable. I dealt with them before and they were always very rude and unhelpful!

  14. boomeyers Says:

    I use my banks bill pay system and have for years. I think the only thing I have bad to say about it is, if you enter a new bill to be paid, the first few times it pays it out, it pays in a check until it establishes its "electronic" system. Not for every bill, but for a few. Otherwise, once it is connected, it is WONDERFUL!

  15. Waterfall Says:

    Knock on wood. I pay bills online through my bank and have never had any problems. As long as you set it up with the right account number, and choose the right one (when you have more than one account number with the same "vendor"), it should work fine.

  16. sharmanl Says:

    No more writing checks for me. I use my CU bill pay system and absolutely love it. Do not know what I would do without it. Paying bills have been made so much easier.

  17. nmboone Says:

    BA I'm trying to figure out how to use my bank's system too. I want my bank to pay my credit union for my car loan every month but it seems overly complicated!

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