Insights

According to recent studies, more than half of all bills are now paid online. This is not surprising, as Online bill pay offers many benefits. It's convenient, environmentally friendly and can save you money.

Here, then, are the basics of how online bill paying works, and why so many people have embraced it.

Convenience

If you're still mailing bill payments, think about the time you invest each month. You have to write a check, record the amount in your checkbook's ledger, address an envelope, find a stamp and go to your local post office or the nearest mailbox to mail the payment.

When you are paying many bills each month — as the average U.S. household is — this can add up to a lot of wasted time.

When you pay your bills online, though, you simply log onto your online banking with your username and password. You can then either manually send your payments or set up automatic payments, so they will be sent automatically on the same day each month with you doing nothing, other than making sure you have money in your account to cover them.

Cost savings

That leads to the next benefit of online bill paying: It can save you money over the long run. It makes financial sense to sign up for a free online bill pay service. Consider these numbers from ClearPoint Credit Counseling: The company estimates that the average U.S. household pays 15 bills every month. If you factor in the cost of a stamp for all of those bills, it comes out to more than $70 a year. Also, those calculations do not factor in the costs of an envelope or the gasoline you spend driving to and from the post office.

Now, $70 a year might not seem like much money, but it can add up. Why spend it if you do not have to?

Environmental factors

Do you care about the environment? Do you consider yourself a "green" person? Then online bill pay is for you, too.

Think of how much paper you waste when paying bills the old-fashioned way. Your creditor sends you a paper bill. You use an envelope to send it back. You tear off a check from your checkbook to write in your payment. That is a lot of paperwork that simply disappears when it comes to online banking.

Security

Some consumers are hesitant to sign up for online bill pay because of security concerns. They worry that an unauthorized person could gain access to their accounts. But online bill pay is actually more secure than leaving checks in your mailbox. Plus, there are simple steps you can take to protect your accounts.

First, choose a password for your accounts that will be difficult for others to crack. Make sure to include numbers, symbols and letters in your password, and change the password often. Secondly, don't fall for phishing scams. Your bank will never ask in an e-mail message for your password, ATM number or Social Security number. Never give out personal information online or over the phone to someone claiming to be from your financial institution. If you receive such requests, the odds are good someone is trying to steal your personal information.

Learn about Digital Banking

There are many features within Digital Banking that give you the ability to bank wherever you are. Learn about Text Banking, Money Management, Mobile Deposit, Account to Account Transfers, Online Bill Pay and more.


This content is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice or indicate the suitability of any product or service for your unique circumstances. You are encouraged to consult with a qualified legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professional based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
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