Friday, August 24, 2007

Online Bill Pay

Why does online bill pay take so long? I'm frustrated because banks say to have a date to deliver by but it never happens. For every single bill I pay using Bank of America I have to make sure it occurs immediately because there is always problems.

Apparently they still mail actual checks to companies. What sort of companies? Like CC, utilities, cell phones, anything. I can't believe they mail out an physical check 5-6 days before the delivery date.

This really confuses me as to why this happens? Why isn't everything electronic? Why aren't the banks just zapping the money over immediately and it appears that day? A money transfer between two banks (ING and BofA) takes 2-3 days? Do you ever wonder how and why? Or when you roll money from one investment account to another? It takes 10 business days to allow things to happen.

Do you use online banking? Do you find it is convient or inconvient? I find it convient in that I don't have to write checks, but that waiting for the company to actually cut a check is sometimes more frustrating. It feels like for all progress we have made in technology we still haven't done anything in the banking industry.


Anonymous said...

People aren't aware that online payments means that a person on the other end is actually writing a paper check and mailing it out! Duh? I can do that myself, so I do. No online for me.

Living Almost Large said...

I just don't get how it hasn't changed over yet. I realized it so I always pay my bills when they come in to give online bill pay enough time to get there and make a mistake.

But it's still so frustrating. We're supposed to be an electronic era, but what's going on? Are we really so advanced or is it just superficial?

Velvet Jones said...

Two days is still faster than mailing a paper check. Also, I'm guessing that not every company and every bank runs on the same system to send/accept electronic payments. I also have to believe that once said payment gets to where it's going, it still has to go through the destination's posting protocols. I bank with Chase. When I pay a bill, it gives me a list of all my payees and how the payment is sent and a timing estimate. For example, my credit card, also with Chase, gets sent the same day. Most times, it posts to my account the following day. With bills like my internet access and cell phone provider, Chase tells me the payment is made electronically with a timing of two days. For others, like when I write a check to my mom, or the doctor's office, Chase tells me the payment will be made by paper check and it will take 5 days. Chances are the paper check is sent because the receiver doesn't have a way to accept electronic payment.

I'm sure there is more detail to answer your question on exactly why it takes two days or so for electronic payments to be delivered. Why not just call your bank and ask?

Catherine said...

There are EFTs (Electronic Fund Transfers) and "Bill Pays."

EFTs are direct electronic withdrawals from your account to another account. This service is generally only available to large businesses/companies.

Bill Paying services actually write the checks and mail to the payee for you. I have a tenant who pays her rent with Bill Pay and the rent is often late because of mailing time.

I only use EFTs which can be used for most utility and credit card companies. Everything I purchase I put on my credit card and pay in full via EFT when the statement is due. I rarely write checks now.