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How safe is paying my bills thru my bank?


crzy2
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Hi, I'm new here - just joined today!

Just wanted to know if paying bills on line is really safe? I have only done it once or twice thru my bank for a utility bill and a credit card, mainly because I ran out of stamps and almost forgot to pay them! Can these payments get "lost" like bills could thru the mail?

:)++

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I pay all my bills online thru Bank of America and I have NEVER had problem. I enjoy it really. I go on there once a month, and input each amount I need for every bill I have. It's quick, easy, and painless :). Plus, I get to save a few trees in the process, and if you want to have a paper statment, you can print it straight off the website (it looks EXACTLY the same as if it came in the mail).

It's also nice when trying to establish recurring payments for a company - can set it up for constant payments or for a # of payments.

You should check out the bill pay system with your bank; I'm sure you will enjoy it :)

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Thanks to everyone...Chester P. Dexter, Swirlgirl & Esquire!

All your advice does make sense. I think I'll take the plunge and really get into this high tech stuff more. As you can probably tell I'm a newbie to more than just on-line bill paying. Computer stuff and forums, oh my what's next?

It did actually seem like fun. Except for my bank balance going down in the process - oh well you make the bills, you gotta pay em right? :p

I like the fact that you reminded me about saving the trees too. Again, thanks to all. This was actually fun.

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Thanks to everyone...Chester P. Dexter, Swirlgirl & Esquire!

All your advice does make sense. I think I'll take the plunge and really get into this high tech stuff more. As you can probably tell I'm a newbie to more than just on-line bill paying. Computer stuff and forums, oh my what's next?

It did actually seem like fun. Except for my bank balance going down in the process - oh well you make the bills, you gotta pay em right? :p

I like the fact that you reminded me about saving the trees too. Again, thanks to all. This was actually fun.

I'm glad we could all help out, and you will see how easy and simpler it'll make your life :) And if you don't end up liking the process or you will have that itching desire to send some bills through snail mail...GO FOR IT! The postal system will always be around :)

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Another benefit with doing online banking is for me is that it reduces stress. I have my bills going out the same time as my check is direct deposited. That way, I know the money is there and that the bills are being paid.

That's EXACTLY why I enjoy it! I already know how much I'm getting paid, so I can calculate my bills, and I know how much I will have after all my bills and savings are paid/deposited.

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So speaking of favorite banks, anybody know if it's safe to stay with Wachovia with all the bank messes going on? That's who I am with right now.

So far, I have not heard anything bad...

I do have a Bank of America nearby. Are they any better? How does a newbie find out the condition a bank is in?

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Personally, I think everything is going to turn out OK. You can always call your customer service number to ask them a few questions, but they might give you a scripted answer.

It's probably up to you - I haven't had any problems with BoA, and I have been banking with them since 2004.

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I just paid all my !@#$ bills with one click. Hate seeing money fly out of my account, but it's a good feeling to have all bills paid through Jan. 9th.

Others have mentioned setting automatic payment. I never do this. I'm too much of a control freak. I want to at least push the button to make the payment go through, after I have checked on the due date and amount due. I review all bills at the very least once per month (usually more often) to be sure I am on top of the due dates, because they do change. I also have a separate Word document in which I list all bills, their due dates, and the minimums as well as total balances - all that stuff. I don't always fill out all balances but I do keep track of which bills are due on exactly what date, and I update this as I pay them.

It may seem redundant but I don't mind keeping track of bills in several different places, because I want to be that sure that I don't pay anything late.

I also update my word document after checking to verify that bills were actually paid. Because of all this I go over some aspect of my credit cards/ bank accounts usually daily - maybe not every single day but close to it. I actually enjoy it. I know that makes me a little weird, but like I said, I'm a bit of a financial control freak (detail-oriented is how I like to put it. :) )

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So speaking of favorite banks, anybody know if it's safe to stay with Wachovia with all the bank messes going on? That's who I am with right now.
Wachovia is fine, but they won't be Wachovia much longer. They were bought by Wells Fargo, or maybe Citibank. They are fighting about this in court right now.
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Same thing my mother said, though I am trying to get her to switch over to Bank of America :)

Ha ha, how ironic, I used to be with BoA! The only reason I switched, though, is because we were moving to the west coast and my husband had banked through WF for many years, so he wanted to go back to them. BoA was fine. :)

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Others have mentioned setting automatic payment. I never do this. I'm too much of a control freak. I want to at least push the button to make the payment go through, after I have checked on the due date and amount due. I review all bills at the very least once per month (usually more often) to be sure I am on top of the due dates, because they do change. I also have a separate Word document in which I list all bills, their due dates, and the minimums as well as total balances - all that stuff. I don't always fill out all balances but I do keep track of which bills are due on exactly what date, and I update this as I pay them.)

Me too, and BRAVO, this is brilliant. One way ID thieves are so successful is that so many people really don't watch the payments going out of their accounts. They assume that the creditor knows what they're doing...which in many cases may be correct, but the fact is if you're not watching your own account like a hawk, rest assured someone else is. :shock: You know?

I had to laugh at the "control freak" comment because I can so relate.

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Oh, I use the automatic payments for my household bills. I'm not worried about ID theft on my cable bill. For my credit cards, I still pay them online, but I personally set up and send the payments.

In general, I review all of my credit cards weekly, just to make sure there aren't any funny transactions.

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Oh, I use the automatic payments for my household bills. I'm not worried about ID theft on my cable bill. For my credit cards, I still pay them online, but I personally set up and send the payments.

In general, I review all of my credit cards weekly, just to make sure there aren't any funny transactions.

The only auto payment I set up: Car payment. I love the fact it's always the same and I will never be late on it :)

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They should pay you for any fees occured as a result of late payment.

Yup, they should, and that's another reason they need to be watched...because they're not exactly going to offer all by themselves! ;) I'm not dissing banks...but the other day I got a letter in the mail that someone's check from my husband's fantasy football league had bounced...and that WE were being charged $7. Fabulous, not only were we out the $200 we thought we were depositing into our account, but on top of that we were being penalized for this other person's screw-up?

Okay, it was only $7, and it's not like we were going to starve without it...but it was the principle of the thing. I just HAD to know. What on earth had we done wrong??? So I called the bank. "Well, the other person's bank still charges us a fee for processing," he said, "so, normally we pass it on to the customer."

"Why?" I asked.

Silence.

Clock ticking.

More silence.

"Well, because...that's just how we normally do it."

Then some more confused stuttering from him and then he had the $7 put back in my account. :lol:

Sorry to go off-topic there. My bank is normally great but they, like most banks, do require a lot of babysitting and watching on the part of the customers. It's probably pretty much the same for any bank.

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I pay everything that allows online. I prefer to pay on the account's website rather than use Bill Pay from my bank. My other half prefers to pay everything from the bank website. Neither of us has ever had a problem.

When I get the confirmation page, I hit "Alt+ Prt Scrn" to capture the screen. I I open Microsoft Paint, I paste the screen onto a blank page, then crop the confirmation message and save it as a jpeg or bmp in "My Pictures" named by creditor and date of payment, ie; "Hooters PIF 12-10-08"

This helps me check any of my accounts while I'm online since I have the saved images right here on my laptop.

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Has anyone ever had a payment go out late?

This hasn't happen to me...yet (knocks on wood). I make sure I schedule the payments WAY before the due date. I always schedule them right when I receive the bill, or I have a spreadsheet which helps me keep track of my expenses. Keep this helps me set up the exact PIF payment.

For my car payment: It takes 4-5 business days to get to the insitution, so I set it up as a recurring payment; I never have to change it, and it ALWAYS makes it to the bank either before the due date or on it.

ADVICE:

1. Keep track of all your transactions (i.e. spreadsheets, receipts, bank statements)

2. Setup bill pay payments before the due dates.

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Hi, I'm new here - just joined today!

Just wanted to know if paying bills on line is really safe? I have only done it once or twice thru my bank for a utility bill and a credit card, mainly because I ran out of stamps and almost forgot to pay them! Can these payments get "lost" like bills could thru the mail?

:)++

Hi Crzy2 and welcome to our little corner of the world. I always use the "bill pay" feature that's offered on line through my bank. I've never had a problem with the bank I currently have and it's free. Saves me the time and trouble of paying for stamps and going to the post office.

You can print out the receipt online and you get a confirmation number. As long as you enter in all of the information correctly for the payor, there shouldn't be an issue.

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