How does Online Bill Payment work?
In a recent survey released by Fiserv, one of the largest Bill Payment processors in the nation, one of the largest deterrents to online bill payment usage is “understanding how it works”. So, I’ll answer that concern for Finance Center FCU members.
Setting-up BillPayer involves just a few simple steps:
- Entering a payee list
- Scheduling payments
- Maintaining payment schedules or amounts
First, a member adds payees to their Bill Payer list, by entering the details from the bill they receive (Payee Name, Address used to pay the bill, Payee Phone number, and Payee Account Number). These details are used to match the member’s bill with the most efficient means of payment for that payee. Payment means include: Same-Day payment, electronic payment, and Paper check payment.
Payment Scheduling can take multiple forms depending on how the member configures the payment schedules. Each form meets a variety of member needs.
- One-time payments
- Recurring payments
- Biller directed payments (coming to Financial Center in September)
One Time Payments - In this form, members set the amount and date of the payment each time it needs to be made. This is necessary for bills where the amount varies with each bill, or when the member wants to control the date the bill is paid. This method provides the member with the most control, but also requires the member to interact with BillPayer the most.
Recurring Payments – This method is great for bills where the amount and due date only change once or twice a year. Utility bills with “budget” payments, insurance premiums, or other fixed payment bills fit well in this method. The member sets the amount of the bill and the due date. The system then pays the bill this amount by the due date with the frequency the member assigns (Monthly, Quarterly, Annually, etc.). This method requires occasional member interaction such as when the billing amount changes.
Bill Directed (coming to Financial Center in September) - This can be either One-time or Recurring. This is the next advancement in Bill Payment services. This service enhancement allows billers (payees) to present their bill through the Bill Payment service (e-Bills). The due date, amount due, and payment method are all part of the presentation of the bill. The member can review the bill and then direct the Bill Payment service to pay the bill. In some cases this Method will allow the BillPayer service to use the Biller presented information to manage the entire payment process. So, if the amount varies on the bill the amount paid would automatically vary without the member interacting with BillPayer at all. This method is great for reducing the amount of US Mail and for bills with variable amounts such as telephone or cell phone bills.