Do you want to become a statistic? Read and decide if you are already a statistic…
Almost 5 pieces of mail are delivered everyday to more than 146 million addresses.
is the fastest growing robbery crime and the number one identity theft crime.
Monthly cost of postage to pay bills by mail in an average American household. This does not include the price of gasoline to drive to the post office for said stamps.
Number of hours spent monthly to open bills, write checks, record balances, stuff envelopes, secure (or purchase) postage, deliver to mailbox, post office or creditor.
Are you already a statistic?
Online bill pay has a plethora of advantages over the lick and stick method. (Lick the envelope and stick it in the mailbox.)
Safety: Typical levels of security for online bill pay portals include:
- Password protection set by user and inaccessible by customer service agents
- 128-bit encryption of information
- More than one level of authentication
- 100% protection against fraud
The mailbox has no such protection or guarantees.
Saving Money: $6 and a few gallons of gasoline are not a terrific incentive to pay online, but it is only a drop in the bucket.
1. Reducing the amount of outgoing mail from your creditors keeps overhead lower for them, savings which is reflected in your bills, transaction fees and interest rates.
2. Online monitoring of accounts reduces loss (saving money and time) in the event of identity theft by quickly identifying fraudulent activity.
3. Many companies, especially automobile insurers, offer a discount for customers who use automatic draft or online bill pay. Some as high as 5%.
4. Checks are expensive. Checks can be as high as $14.95 per box.
Eco-friendly: Viewing and paying bills online would save 18.5 million trees per year.
Speed: Bills paid online are credited immediately or the following business day. Electronic funds transfers (EFT) mean no waiting for the creditor to process your payment, no waiting for the check to clear the bank, no waiting for your account to be in good standing or restored. No checks getting lost in the mail means your payments will be on time every time. No late fees.
If you think you will have a hard time remembering to check your email for the bills, set them to draft from your account automatically.
Convenience: One of the clichés, but very true, of the Internet is being able to operate it in your pajamas. Paying bills takes only a few clicks. No driving. No make up. No clean shirt. No check writing or checkbook balancing. Did you know many bills download to your money management software?
When you bank and bill pay online, you can get your account balance via Internet from anywhere…day or night. No more customer service hours or inputting your 16-digit credit card number, and CCV, and expiration date, and PIN…Are you adding up what you are saving in terms of carpal tunnel?
You have better control of your accounts and expenses because you can access them all the time.
This all translates to less stress!
Make A Difference
Stop throwing away money, time and hair. Take the steps.
1. Go to your bank’s website.
2. Click on Online Banking. Set up your account and click on Online Bill Pay. Follow the instructions to pay your bills.
3. Register for E-Banking. Stop receiving paper statements. You can access them for up to seven years (with select financial institutions) and print them as needed. You can now:
- View statements.
- Monitor pending transactions.
- Check balances.
- Transfer funds.
- Pay bills.
- Apply for loans.
- Research and/or buy other financial instruments.
You do not have to wait for a branch to be open on your day off. No waiting in line for a banker. No waiting for a teller. You are in complete control of the transactions.
4. If your creditor does not work with your bank, repeat these steps at the creditor’s website. You can do this for your insurer, credit card company, utility providers and more. Stop them from sending bills through the mail.
5. If you are not able to set it up online, call the customer service number for your creditor. Set up automatic drafts on the telephone.
You do MAD!
Make your mark on the planet by saving money, gasoline, trees, time and stress. Sign up for online banking and online bill pay. You DO Make A Difference!
Are you a statistic? Do you do your banking and bill paying online? Do you still write checks for bills? Are you enrolled in e-billing? Would you start today?
Want to use your savings to help you build an emergency fund?
(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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