Guide to Paying Bills Online
Last Updated: October 6, 2008
Online banking and online bill pay services are a far easier and much more efficient method of personal finance management than the traditional 'through the mail' bill payment system. With a wide spectrum of services and products at your disposal, bill payment online has never been a more finely tuned instrument. Consider the cost of a single booklet of personal checks and how that money might find better use in online bill payment, personal finance software or, better yet, securely in your pocket.
When you pay bills online, two major options become available: receiving your bills in the mail and then paying them online, or having your paper bills forwarded to a third party finance company that offers you both electronic bill presentation and online payment options. Both are very effective online bill payment methods and will cover most foreseeable facets of your personal finances. The trick is to decide which online bill pay service is ideal for you and through what system you will find the most advantages.
Your bank will have most of the online bill payment options available for your personal finance accounts. Ideal for receiving paper bills through the mail and then quickly and easily paying them electronically, bill payment online through your bank should be your first choice in online bill pay services. These services very between banking institutions, but for the most part banks offer your billers the options of forwarding their bills electronically to the bank which then can then be managed online either by you or automatically by the bank itself. The process is as simple as setting a billing account to 'automatic payment' on a bank's online bill pay service website, and you'll need do little more than manage the quotes thereafter. Credit card bills managed electronically through online bill pay services can even be considered ideal for its 'automatic' bill payment system. By keeping those little mail-typical idiosyncrasies from turning into blemishes on your credit score, credit card bill payment online comes highly recommended.
While the simple ease of online bill pay services through your bank may be ideal for some, you my have multiple accounts with many different banks and would need a third party personal finance management system to organize them as a whole. Perhaps you need considerably more control over your finances and would be willing to pay for the records necessary for responsible personal finance management. If your bank's online bill pay service does not include these options, you may wish to consider some of the many personal finance companies that offer both online management and personal finance software.
Online Bill Pay Service Websites
Checkfree.com and Paytrust.com are both reputable and efficient online bill pay service websites. Checkfree.com has free service and offers users a wide range of online bill pay services, record keeping, and other features. Paytrust.com can be considered a more in-depth online bill pay service website, but will have a few minute fees fore those services. Both Checkfree.com and Paytrust.com come highly recommended and are well worth the consideration.
Personal Finance Management Software
Quicken online bill pay services is the most highly recommended personal finance management software on the market today. By taking control of multiple accounts and bill payment options online, Quicken simplifies complicated finances that may normally require professional assistance. Quicken acts simultaneously as your own private banker and accountant, simplifying your accounts so that your personal finances can be managed easily on your home computer. While still having monthly fees, Quicken should be your first consideration in personal finance software. The wide array of features makes Quicken's online bill pay services well worth the capital normally invested in traditional bill payment postage.
In a modern era where more and more transactions are defined by electronic rather than hard currency payments, online banking and online bill payment services are simply the next step in personal finance management. Whether it's paying your utility bills, your credit card bills, or keeping your mortgage payments nice and punctual, online bill payment services are there to instantly snap your accounts into action. Online banking is quite literally personal finance management at its finest.