Online bill paying services offer a range of benefits, but the most important is that it saves one of your most valuable assets time.

Online bill paying services were created to save individuals and businesses time and resources in the bill paying process. Unfortunately, many do not know that these services exist and even fewer understand how they work and what benefits they provide.

In 2004, less than 20% of Internet users were accessing online banking services. That percentage was expected to grow to at least 33% by this year still only a fraction of all U.S. Internet users. Nevertheless, people are catching on. The Bank of America has tripled its business customers using online banking since 2002, and with the increased promotion of online banking services by banks themselves, online banking is gaining momentum.

What's in it for You?

Online bill pay is just a more convenient and secure way for you to take care of your bills. The most obvious benefit is that it saves you time paying your bills as well as the money you spend on stamps, checks, envelopes and trips to the post office. But there are more:

  • Avoid Late Fees   Many online bill pay services can alert you when bills arrive and when bills are due so you don t ever  forget  your bills.
  • Automate it   Most services also provide the ability to automate your payments. You establish how much needs to be paid where, on what day of the month and the service will pay it for you every time. You won t even have to think about it.
  • Be Nimble, Be Quick   Accessing the Internet takes only a few seconds and so does paying your bills with an online bill paying service. With most services you can pay more than one bill at once and all your billing information is saved automatically once you enter it. Therefore, paying a bill requires only a simple mouse click.
  • Access It Whenever   Using the Internet to pay your bills means that you can do it on your own time whether it be at night, on the weekend or even on a trip.
  • Be Secure   with the majority of identity theft occurring from mail theft, online bill paying services offer security in your transactions. All online bill paying services use the latest technology and security to keep your information safe. Passwords and security keys are required to access your accounts and all your information is encrypted.
  • Get E bills   You can clear your mailbox of bills all together if you wish. Many major companies now provide e bills that are sent to your online bill paying service electronically freeing you of the paperwork.

With the bursts of technological advances we have seen over the past five years, it is slightly surprising that more people haven t jumped on the online banking bandwagon. Maybe we feel like we have more control over our finances when we have stacks of paper lying around the house. Financial institutions are confident, however, that once we realize how fast, easy and safe online banking is, we will be able to take full advantage of their services including online bill pay.

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Komando, K. Online banking. Retrieved July 13, 2006, from Microsoft Small Business Center Web site: lure_online_bill_paying.mspx

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