Online Bill Paying Saves Time and Eliminates Paper (2023)

  • Budgeting
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Software

7 Great Ways To Pay Your Bills

ByShelley Elmblad

Updated on March 15, 2022

Reviewed by

Michael J Boyle

Online Bill Paying Saves Time and Eliminates Paper (1)

Reviewed byMichael J Boyle

Michael Boyle is an experienced financial professional with more than 10 years working with financial planning, derivatives, equities, fixed income, project management, and analytics.

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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 avoidlate paymentswith 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.

Prism

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.

Quicken Bill Pay

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.

Note

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

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

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.

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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.

Note

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 youschedule 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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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.

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Sources

The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Prism. "Magic for Your Bills."

  2. Prism. "Bill Pay On Mint is Going Away. Prism Is Here to Stay."

  3. Quicken Bill Pay. "Quicken Bill Pay."

  4. MyCheckFree. "Frequently Asked Questions."

    (Video) How to stop screwing yourself over | Mel Robbins | TEDxSF

  5. Paytrust. "For Less than the Cost of an Average Late Fee, Paytrust Is an Investment That Pays Off."

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FAQs

What are the pros and cons of online bill pay? ›

5 Pros and Cons of Automated Bill Payment
  • Pro: Automatic billing makes life easier. Tired of putting a long list of payment due dates on the calendar or on sticky notes around the house? ...
  • Pro: You can avoid late payment fees. ...
  • Con: You still risk incurring fees. ...
  • Pro: Your credit score can improve. ...
  • Con: Nobody's perfect.
Nov 1, 2021

Is it safer to pay bills online or by mail? ›

IT'S SAFER THAN SNAIL MAIL.

Most financial fraud occurs when checks, credit cards and account statements are stolen from mailboxes. Online financial transactions are encrypted to help reduce the possibility of identity theft.

What are the disadvantages of paying your bills online? ›

Disadvantages of Online Payments
  • Technical problems. ...
  • Password threats. ...
  • Cost of fraud. ...
  • Security Concerns. ...
  • Technological illiteracy. ...
  • Limitations on amount and time. ...
  • Disputed transactions. ...
  • Loss of smart cards.
Jul 26, 2022

What are 3 benefits for paying bills on time? ›

Paying your bills on time is an important aspect of taking control of your financial life. Knowing when your bills are due and making a habit of paying them by the deadline can reduce your stress, save you money, boost your credit score, and enable you to get lower-interest credit in the future.

How online bill pay can save you time and money? ›

Secure and saves you money

You don't have to worry about exposing your personal information. Paying online also helps protect your privacy and identity by eliminating any risk associated with lost or stolen paperwork. You'll no longer have to pay for cheques, stamps or envelopes. You can save on the fuel costs too.

How safe is online bill payment? ›

Is online bill pay safe. Online bill pay is included with an online bank account, and online bank accounts are generally very safe. Banking sites protect your accounts in a number of ways, including multifactor authentication, alerts for suspicious activity and website encryption.

What's the safest way to pay your bills? ›

The safest method of payment for paying bills is to use a credit card. That's because a credit card number does not give anyone a way to get access to your cash. With a credit card number, they can make a charge on your account. But credit cards offer strong protections from fraud and unauthorized charges.

What is the safest way of payment? ›

1. Credit cards. The most familiar form of online payment is also one of the most secure payment methods. Credit card transactions are encrypted, which means the details are jumbled up and encoded.

What is the point of bill pay? ›

Bill pay is a convenient service offered by many banks and credit unions. This service allows you to organize all of your recurring bills in one place and pay them automatically.

Are online payments safe and secure? ›

Credit cards use online security features like encryption and fraud monitoring to keep your accounts and personal information safe. Most issuers also offer zero fraud liability that ensures you won't be on the hook for a cent in fraudulent transactions charged to your credit card.

Why is paying bills on time important? ›

Timely payment of bills helps your credit score

Late payments on credit card bills can add up to big annoyances, including late fees and interest charges. They can also negatively impact your credit score. So staying on top of paying bills now can help you avoid credit issues later on.

Which two are benefits of faster payments? ›

Consumers can benefit from the flexibility that faster payments offer, such as the ability to complete last-minute or emergency payments. With this capability, consumers can avoid late fees, the risk of account overdrafts, and damage to their credit scores.

How does online banking save time? ›

Mobile Deposits

It is as simple as that! This commonly free of charge service saves you time from having to go to the bank to physically deposit the check and it puts the money into your account sooner. The deposited amount is usually available in your account within 24 hours but may take a few days.

How does online bill payment work? ›

Online bill pay enables you to view, schedule and pay your bills right from your computer, tablet or mobile phone. Online bill pay works by deducting a payment from your account balance and transferring it to a service provider. This service may be included as part of a checking account's features.

How much time does bill com save? ›

Estimated time for ACH transfer: Less than one minute. Based on these times, your business can save 73% of the paper-based time spent on bill payment processing with an online bill payment system and ACH transfers. Keep in mind that these time estimates don't include receipt and reconciliation of payments.

What is the safest way to pay online? ›

Pay using a credit card. You'll have more protection. Or use online services such as PayPal – so scammers can't get hold of your bank details.

Is it safer to pay bills online or over the phone? ›

Online bill pay can be a safe and convenient way to manage your finances, and paying your bills online can actually be more secure than paying them in person or through the mail.

Is it safe to use your phone to pay bills? ›

With the ability to track and lock your phone, as well as delete its data, mobile pay can be more secure than physical cash, and at least equally secure as a physical credit or debit card.

Is it better to pay bills online or by check? ›

If you want to keep your money safe, use electronic bill payments instead of personal checks. Some people cling to their checkbooks, but the traditional checkbook is going the way of phone booths, VCRs and newspapers – all victims of the Digital Age.

What is the best online payment method? ›

  • Shopify: Best overall.
  • Amazon Pay: Best for streamlined checkout.
  • Stripe: Best for API customization.
  • Square: Best for selling via social channels.
  • BlueSnap: Best for splitting payments with other vendors.
  • Clover: Best for integrations.
  • Adyen: Best for omnichannel commerce.
  • PaymentCloud: Best for high-risk merchants.
Aug 1, 2022

What is one secure method of online payment? ›

Credit cards, virtual card numbers, digital wallets, ACH transfers and wire transfers all come with security features that protect your money and identity. Credit cards are at the center of many payment methods and have several layers of protection.

What is the best payment processing? ›

The Best Credit Card Processing Companies Of 2023
  • Best Overall for Small Businesses: Square.
  • Lowest Card Processing Rates: Payment Depot.
  • Best for Online and In-App Payments: Stripe.
  • Best for Fast-Growing Businesses: Helcim.
  • Best for High-Volume Sellers: Stax.
  • Best Low-Volume Rates: National Processing.
Jan 6, 2023

What are the 3 methods of payment? ›

Traditionally, cash, debit cards, credit cards, and checks were the main types of payments. Now, more advanced forms of digital payments are becoming more popular. This includes online payment services, digital currencies, and electronic transfers.

Is paying bills online risky? ›

Is online bill pay safe. Online bill pay is included with an online bank account, and online bank accounts are generally very safe. Banking sites protect your accounts in a number of ways, including multifactor authentication, alerts for suspicious activity and website encryption.

How safe is online bill pay? ›

Is It Safe to Pay Bills Online? Banks and financial institutions have been using encryption for years to keep customer information safe and secure. Any information you enter on the website, such as your username and password, is concealed so that it can't be read by anyone else.

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