How and Why to Setup Online Banking for Bill Payments

Today I physically went into the bank to resolve a fee that I had been charged. Crediting it back to my account could only be handled on the branch level. It turned out to be the result of an entry error (mine).

MY ONLINE BANKING STORY:
Over the years, I’ve gradually grown less and less fearful of paying bills online.  At first I set up an online account with my bank so I could keep track of my balance, seeing my deposits and payments. Then I discovered that rather than traveling to the bank I could do account transfers online.

Taking those steps made it easier for me to consider setting up an online log-in with a credit card company to also follow my expenditures.  This led me to paying some of the bills online, which meant entering bank numbers and my personal account numbers, when using the “Pay Bill” option on the service site(s).

THE BANK’S STORY:
A very helpful assistant at the bank, determined to find out the exact reason for the charge, stayed with someone on the phone in corporate until she had an answer.  While I was sitting there she continued on with an interesting, informative  conversation on how I could better and more safely be making payments by initiating then from the bank website. She pointed out that our checking, and other, account information is the the most vulnerable of all sources of information we put out online.

She went on to describe how I could  set up “Bill Pay” directly from the online banking service they have as part of their service.  This way the bank is the one sending out the payment and I no longer will have to enter my bank info on 3rd party sites where any employee might have access to it.

I had seen the link before and I always assumed that it had to be used for regular, automatic payments. Given that my bill amounts vary, I shrugged it off.

WHAT’S NEXT :
I now see what a pleasure paying bills is going to be. I’ve entered the accounts to which I want to make online payments and created a list. The plan now is, when I get my bills, I’ll simply go into that list, pull up the account, enter the amount I want to pay and the date on which to pay it.

No more late fees AND my checking account is more secure.

TO GET STARTED YOURSELF:
1 – If you are one who walks into one of the branches of your bank, go in and ask for help. I would expect that someone there will be more than happy to walk you through it and help you set up your online account.
or,
2 – Do a Google, or other, search for your bank. Then click into it.  Confirm it’s the correct one. Once on your bank’s site you will find plenty of information, along with the option to register with your account.  You’ll most likely find several layers of security questions that you’ll be setting up for your protection.

3 – It may be that the site has videos explaining the services and “How-to’s”. I’ve had an online account set up for some time and today is the first time I paid attention to the video demo that’s been there.

4 – Remember, if you have a question, ASK – customer service in the bank or by phone. You’ll save a lot of time, energy and possibly wasted effort,  when you don’t think you have to figure it out for yourself.

5 – ALWAYS CHECK and make sure that ANY SITE on which you enter personal information is a SECURE ONE.  Look for the “s” in the web address, i.e. https://www. name …..

As always, please share your experiences in the COMMENTS below, including asking any questions you may have.

 

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