Our adoption rates for Online Banking have grown immensely over the past few years, along with Mobile Banking, Mobile Deposit and most of our other digital products and services. The one service people still seem to be a little uneasy about is Electronic Bill Pay. When we dug into why people are so tentative to try it, we found that many people seemed to have some misconceptions about the service. We’re here to debunk some of the myths flying around about Bill Pay.
Myth #1: Paying bills electronically is not as secure as sending payments through traditional mail.
Although it seems like these days we are constantly hearing about a new electronic security breach, dumpster diving remains a top tactic identity thieves use to steal personal information. 1st Mariner Bank uses professional top-notch security with multifactor authentication to ensure all information and transactions performed online are kept secure – including bill payments.
Conversely, the security of paper bills is largely dependent on your behavior. If you forget to shred a credit card statement and someone decides to ruffle through your trash, that person will have found the key to committing fraud using your information.
Myth #2: Without seeing your payment being physically sent to the payee, it’s impossible to know if your payment was actually sent.
If you pay your bills by way of traditional mail, you may like the feeling of dropping your envelope in the big blue mailbox. You may get a feeling of satisfaction that your bill has now been paid. Only it hasn’t been paid yet, and when you get another bill with a late fee attached a few weeks later because your bill payment got lost in the mail, you have no way to prove that you sent in the payment.
With electronic bill pay, on the other hand, you receive a confirmation when a bill has been paid, and this confirmation is saved in your bill payment history. This makes it easy to dispute a late fee or a claim that you have not paid a bill.
Myth #3: You still need to see a paper copy of your bill in order to know how much to pay.
What’s the point in paying your bills through your Online Banking account when you still need to look at your bill to find your account number and exact amount that you owe? Isn’t that double work? Well, it would be if this were true.
In actuality, this can all be done through your Online Banking account by setting up E-bills. You just set up each of your payees one time by entering your specific account information, and once you do that, your account information is saved. You can even set up recurring monthly payments for hundreds of payees, even if the amount of your bill changes from month to month. Bill Pay will pull the information from each monthly bill and automatically pay the correct amount (if you choose to set up this automatic payment).
Myth #4: You have no control over when the payment is taken out of your account.
Just like in Myth #2, you may feel like you’re in control by watching your bill envelope drop in the mailbox, and choosing what day you drop it in; but in actuality, you don’t know when your payee is going to deposit your check. It’s important to keep good records of all of the checks you write so you do not accidentally overdraw your account.
Electronic bill pay often gives you more control over when the payment comes out of your account. Many businesses are set up to receive electronic payments, so the day you select to pay your bill is the day you will see the funds removed from your account.
I hope this cleared up any confusion you may have had about paying your bills electronically, and I encourage you to give it a shot.
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