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Paying Your Bills Gets Easier with Online Banking

Posted on: November 20, 2020

A Service from Your Michigan Bank

Happy young parents with childLife can get hectic. Some days have a to-do list that could fill a turkey platter. As you work to keep up with all your responsibilities at home and work, some activities, like paying bills, can get buried under more urgent tasks. Fortunately, you have a solution at your fingertips, since many banks in Michigan now include online bill pay as part of their digital banking services.

Why Use Online Bill Pay

Paying your bills online offers several significant benefits:

  • You’ll save time.
    • You can manage your payments through a single source, your Michigan bank.
      • You won't need to login to your mobile phone provider’s website to pay monthly charges or use your credit card’s bill pay system. You won't have to write checks, hunt for stamps, and find a post box to mail the envelopes.
    • You can easily organize and automate payments, removing bill-paying from your to-do list.
  • You’ll save money.
    • You’ll avoid late fees because payments arrive on time, and if they don’t, some banks will reimburse you for any charges.
      • Although you may not have experienced delays in mail delivery, mail tracking data through July and August 2020 shows that 31 percent of mail was late. For the year, 27 percent of mail was delayed 1 to 2 days, compared to 23 percent last year.
      • It’s important to know that most merchants can receive electronic payments from your bank. But there may be some instances where a merchant requires your bank to send a check in the mail, which could take several days for your biller to receive. It’s best to schedule your payment a few days ahead of the due date to ensure it arrives on time.
    • Online bill pay is typically a free service included with many checking accounts at banks in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids.
  • Your transactions are safe.
    • Online bill pay managed by your bank will encrypt transactions and personal data, keeping it secure.
    • Most banks have a multi-step security process is in place for login. For example, at Level One Bank we check to see if the computer, phone, or tablet used to log in is associated with your account. If the system doesn’t recognize your device, you must answer a security question to confirm your identity. The system will also verify your geographic location, and if it changes, you may answer another security question.

How to Use Online Bill Pay

Setting up online payments is a straightforward process.

  1. Log in to your bank account from your computer or mobile device.
  2. Click the online bill pay service.
  3. Gather the bills you’d like to pay, including the vendor’s account number and address.
  4. Enter each creditor or merchant’s information into the online bill pay system.
  5. Choose when to send each payment.
  6. Decide whether each payment is recurring or one-time.
  7. Create reminders that will help you track when each bill is due.
  8. Click the “authorize payment” button to give your bank approval to send payments for you.

Closeup of man hand holding boxWith online bill pay as part of your checking account, you can easily track where you spend money, helping you stick to your budget and ensure you have funds to pay your creditors.

Tips for Using Online Bill Pay

While online banking services have multiple security levels, you remain the first line of defense to protect your identity.

  • Remember that banks won’t ask for your personal and financial information using email. Don’t click on any links that appear to be from online bill pay through your financial institution. Instead, go directly to your bank’s website and login to address any follow-ups. Call or visit a local branch if you have questions or concerns.
  • Some online platforms, like Google Chrome, offer to save your username and passwords for accounts. Bypass these suggestions and always enter the information.
  • After using your bank’s online system, including bill pay, be sure to log out of your account.
  • Ensure better protection by investing in firewall and antivirus software for Windows or Mac systems.

If you have questions about online bill pay for your personal or business accounts at Level One Bank, contact our team. We’re here to make banking easier!

The advantage of online banking is that you can pay bills super-fast. Your account is automatically credited or debited for each deposit and payment, making it easier to stay on track.

-Suze Orman

Posted in: Your Money, Your Life, Your Bank

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