Nov 222014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

TD Bank is known as America’s most convenient bank and it tries to be just that by offering services that make the lives of their customers convenient. One of the problems Americans face is the payment of bills; it is one of the most inconvenient tasks in their lives. TD Bank has made it easy and convenient by offering a 3 step bill pay service.

To pay a bill, a customer just has to select the company or biller to pay the bill to and then enter the billing information before choosing the amount and time of payment. Any company or individual in the US can be paid with this service and this can be done anytime on any day except weekends and national holidays.

TD Bank Bill PayThey also guarantee on time payments, provided it has been scheduled accordingly. The earliest date the biller can receive the payment is displayed, which can be changed to schedule a future payments. E-bills can also be received, which is a move to save paper and do some good to the environment. Billers with a US address can be added at any time, to make payments to them.

It should however be noted that not all TD Bank accounts have this service available. It is available only with checking and money market accounts. Payments are completed either electronically or using paper checks. Electronic payments are completed just the next business day, paper checks typically take 4 business days.

Payments can be scheduled up to 1 year in advance, while the minimum number of days it can be scheduled varies from biller to biller. Typically, it is between 1 and 4 days. Notifications can also be setup to know when a bill is due. Same day payments are currently not supported, but they may offer it in the future.

Like I said above, one has to be a checking account or money market account holder with TD Bank to be able to use this service. Interested individuals can enquire further at 1-800-493-7562.

Oct 182014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Residents of India have many options to pay bills on time. Most of them resort to visiting one-stop bill pay destinations to pay their bills. Here, they again have to wait it queues at wait for their turns. The load is however reduced by the number of clerks processing the bills. Recently, new solutions have been introduced to make bill pay easier and convenient.

Online bill pay has been introduced by banks to enable account holders to pay bills conveniently. We will discuss the best of them which are preferred by Indians. IndusInd Bank is among the leading banks in the country and has tied up with billers in major cities to process their bills for their customers, who happen to be account holders at the bank.

IndusNetUsers can pay most bills including telephone, electricity, mobile phone, television and others. Presently, billers in 23 cities in India are supported. All supported billers, by name, can be accessed here. The service is available for free for IndusNet users, which is the online banking service offered by the bank. For on-time payments, users must schedule them at least 2 days before the due date.

IndusInd Bank is offering this service in association with Bill Desk, about which, we will discuss in the next article. Like any other bill pay service offered by banks, this service also requires that the users be their customers. They just add a feature to their already existing online banking service, to enable customers to pay bills and make their lives easier.

Users can register for an IndusNet Account by using the links here; they can also access the online demo to know more about IndusNet.

Sep 162014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

There are many bill payment services that offer same day service as well, along with the usual bill pay that takes between 2 and 5 days. Same day bill pay is an add-on service offered by the service providers including banks and other organizations. Let’s now talk about an organization that specializes in same day payments.

MUFG Union Bank, a full service bank with branches all over the US offers same day payment service and specializes in it. In fact, the website to access this service is www.samedaypay.com/samedaypay. The service is powered by BankServ, an expert in electronic payments; they offer various solutions that automate payments.

SameDayPayWith this service, payment can be sent to the biller on the same day, provided the payment is initiated by 2:00 PM Pacific Time. Transactions are completed using ACH transfers and not using checks. Most supported billers accept echecks and credit card payments, and echeck payments can be made using any checking or savings account. Credit cards supported include AMEX, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Most billers receive the payment within 24 hours of the initiation of the transaction, and the payer receives a confirmation, but it may take up to 48 hours for their account to be debited. A bill can be scheduled up to 30 days in advance if the user is paying with echecks, and such payments can be cancelled at any time before 4:00 PM Pacific Time of the scheduled payment date.

The service is great because it is designed for payments being made at the last minute on or near the due date. Some billers may charge for the service, but SameDayPay does not charge any fee, except in case of a returned payment. This demo can be accessed to learn more about how the service works. Users can register online to start paying bills and have the payment delivered on the same day.

I could not find information on the supported billers, so the users are advised to register only after having enquired enough about the same.

Sep 152014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In a country like China, which has hundreds or thousands of industries with reach in almost every corner of the world, developments are rapid. But it is still termed a developing economy, because its per capita income is only a fraction of that is developed nations. In addition, over 98 million people remained under poverty line as in 2012; this is the second largest number of poor people in the world after India, as reported by the World Bank.

2011 was a difficult year for Chinese economy, a bank that remained committed to the development of the country was Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The bank offers products and solutions to all their customers and has 4.11 million corporate clients and 282 million individual customers, who benefit from the services through 16648 outlets across China, 239 overseas subsidiaries and a global network of more than 1669 correspondent banks as well as Internet Banking, Telephone Banking and Self-service Banking.

 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China LimitedCorporate Internet Banking customers can also benefit from the bill pay service, which is a result of the cooperation between ICBC and billers across China. This includes both personal and corporate customers. All transactions take place in the real time and money is transferred from the customer’s account to the biller when the payment is approved.

Customers can pay local and national bills, right from their online banking account and can rest assured that the payment will be automatically settled. They can also enquire about the bills, as long as the biller is supported by ICBC.

In order to use the online bill pay service, one must be a customer of the bank with access to internet banking. And they need to pay a fee for using the service, which would be specified at the time of signing up for it or using it. If the customers are interested to know the details, they may contact the bank through the hot line, 95588 or by sending a request online.

Sep 052014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In Australia, most people use a bill payment solution called BPAY via financial institutions across the country. BPAY offers fast, secure and convenient bill payments through over 157 Australian financial institutions including banks and credit unions covering over 90% of the market. They support over 44000 bills for 22000 billers and 22000 sub-billers and process over 30 million bills worth more than $23 billion, each week.

The company is owned fully by Cardlink services Ltd., which is jointly owned by ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corporation. 92% of the transactions are processed online or on mobile phones.

ebppWith BPAY, users can get all their bills delivered right to their online banking account or their mobile banking account. This can be opted in addition to the usual paper bills normally received. It ensures anytime access and on time payments, apart from better control. More than 2.1 million Australians already use BPAY to receive bills and statements online.

Once registered, users can pay bills securely from anywhere they have access to the banking services. To get started, they need to contact their financial institution and get connected. They need to find the biller code and the BPAY logo to continue payment. After this, they can login and make the payment or schedule it for a later date.

With a mobile banking app, users can pay a bill by just scanning a QR code with their mobile phones. This ensures reduced human error as information is auto-populated after successful scan. With BPAY, users can view bills, store them and pay them either immediately or at a later date.

BPAY is not available to use directly. Instead its offered through another company, so the interested users should contact their respective billers to start using the service.

Aug 152014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Utah based, Zions Bank has over 600 branches and 500 ATMs in 10 Western states of the United States. They offer bill pay to their customers who enroll for the service. They are launching a new and improved bill pay service very soon, to simplify online bill payment for account holders and to simplify their finances.

Zions is a full service bank that offers all the products and services a typical bank does. They were launched in 1873 and have been developing since then, to reach over 600 offices in 10 states. They have been service the communities of the west for over 140 years. Because of this heritage and the community-focused mindset, their tagline reads “We Haven’t Forgotten Who Keeps Us in Business”.

Zions BankWith the online bill pay service, customers can pay mortgage, installment loan, credit card, utility and other types of bills. In fact, they can pay anyone in the US and can receive ebills from select billers. The service can be used at any time of the day. The service is free of cost for the first 25 bills paid every month, after which, a fee of $0.50 applicable for every bill. Charges for business bill pay are same as personal bill pay; but the charges on banking accounts maybe applicable depending upon the type of account chosen.

Court ordered payments and payments to Internal Revenue System are not supported by this service. For these payments, the best choice would be Official Payments. Users can enroll for the service by logging into their online banking accounts and completing the enrolment procedure. Zions guarantee payment delivery on time, provided it was requested at least 5 days prior to the due date. In case there is a delay on Zions’ part, they reimburse the late fee up to $50.

They have provided a bill payment demo on their website, but the link is for only the first slide. I have managed to gather the links to other slides as well; so, the users can access the demo from the following links: Slide 1, Slide 2, Slide 3, Slide 4, Slide 5, Slide 6, Slide 7. The new bill payment interface is coming soon, which is expected to be better and with better features. All existing users, along with their payee details and scheduled payments, will be moved to the new system; new users will be able to use it once it is launched. They can however enroll for the current bill pay interface, until the new one is launched.

Jul 272014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Altoona First Bank, a community bank based in Pennsylvania offers online banking with bill pay option to customers. They are present physically in 5 places in Pennsylvania and offer bank accounts to residents of the state. They consider themselves the real community bank, which works for the benefit of the customers and not the stockholders, because they don’t have any stockholders. They have been serving the community of central Pennsylvania since 1927.

Because they don’t have stockholders, the point of focus is needs of the customer; after all, customer is the king in any business, and this is even truer when the business’ primary stakeholder is the customer. They also support small businesses by offering various services including payment processing solutions and business checking accounts.

Altoona BankThe bill pay service is free to use for all internet banking customers and can be used to pay any person, bank or company. The service aims to promote reduced usage of paper, like most online bill pay services. Customers can setup recurring payments and can schedule one time automatic payments in advance. They can also setup due date reminders to avoid missing a deadline and to avoid late fees. All customers also get dedicated support line to ensure easy availability of help, when they need it.

Payments are sent to the billers electronically (to over 70% of the billers) or by paper check. The e-payments are received by the biller in 2-3 business days. Automatic payments should be scheduled accordingly. Same day payments are also available, and for this, payments have to be instructed before 3 PM, Eastern Time and a fee is applicable for this.

Residents of Central Pennsylvania can try the service by accessing the demo and decide whether it is better for them. Presence of so many services can make the decision difficult, but the service offered by Altoona is good enough. The best part of the service is that it can be used to pay anyone and not just a company in Pennsylvania, which is otherwise not possible with most banks that are present in specific states. However, the condition of ‘anyone’ includes anyone currently having an address within continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Having said this, one muse note that this service cannot be used to pay alimony, child support, liens, taxes, or other governmental fees or court ordered payments.

Jul 082014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Chase, a subsidiary of JP Morgan also offers bill payment services to customers. Almost any bill can be paid with this service without any hassle, over the internet. It involves adding a payee and scheduling payments for one time or recurring periods. This takes only a minute and payments happen on secure online gateway.

Bill payment can also be made on the go with Chase Mobile app. Most payments are delivered within two business days. The service is ideal for rent and mortgage, utilities, credit cards and car payments, although most other bills can also be paid. They provide a guarantee that the payments will be delivered on time, provided the customer schedules the payments beforehand and Chase receives the payment before the cutoff time. In case payment is not delivered on time, Chase would cover 100% of the fees resulting from the delay.

Chase MobileHowever, for using bill payment, a customer needs to have a checking account with Chase, an online banking account that allows them to do all banking transactions; this includes bill payment as well. To open an account, customers can follow this link. Customers who already have an account can enroll for the bill pay service or login from here.

In order to pay bills, customers have to login to the online banking account, scroll to the Payments and Transfers tab and add a payee. After confirming, the payee is added to the account. A bill has to be added then, the payment has to be scheduled. In the same way, recurring payments can also be setup.

The bill pay demo can be accessed here in order to experience the service before trying it. The service is user-friendly and easy to use; a good option for customers of Chase, who have an online banking account with them. The drawback, however, is that it is dependent on this fact and is not available for non-account holders. They present various benefits of having a Chase online banking account, but it is upon individuals to evaluate it before choosing to open one.

Jun 292014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Singapore is a rapidly developing country with a lot of multinational companies having offices there. Investments from foreigners are also easy there, which makes the development rate higher. Paying bills is also easy with electronic payment in place. DBS Bank, a Singapore based bank offers bill pay service with their online banking. The bank has its operations in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Indonesia as well. They have over 250 branches in 17 markets.

In Singapore, DBS Bank has partnered with over 150 corporations for enabling customer to pay bills online. All of the billers are supported for payment by internet banking and phone banking and some of them by personal banking. Some of them are also supported for payment by ATM as well. The list of supported billers can be accessed here. If customers don’t find their biller in the list of supported companies, they can request the bank to add these billers to the list.

iBanking DBSCustomers can pay bills for utilities, telecommunication services, taxes and much more, all from their online banking account. Payment can also be made through participating organizations at anytime and anywhere through the on-the-go banking. For promoting this service, DBS Bank is offering 2 Mini Cooper cars and S$30000 in prizes the users of online bill payment could win.

The customer has control over how much has to be paid and when, they can pay at anytime from anywhere. The service is offered free of cost, which is amazing. The service is also available through POS Bank, which was merged with DBS Bank earlier in 1998.

In order to make the payments, one has to have an account with DBS Bank or POS Bank and has to apply for internet banking. Once they have applied and have got an iBanking Account, they can login and click on “Payments”. Then they need to select “Bill Payment: Manage Billing Arrangements”, add a biller and provide the customer reference number to fetch the bill information. At the bank branches, customers need to fill the Bill Payment Arrangement form and submit it over the counter to avail theservice.

Jun 222014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Alabama is a US state which has many counties. There is a bank which serves the people of these counties, called Bank Independent. Started in 1947, the bank works hard for the welfare of the residents of Alabama. Currently, the bank is present has 27 offices in 6 counties across North West Alabama.

Services they offer include personal banking, business banking, and loans & mortgages. As part of personal banking and business banking, Bank Independent also offers bill pay services. For using both, users need to have either savings or checking accounts with the bank.

Bank IndependentRegistration can be done online through online banking in both cases. The service is offered free of cost for personal account holders and has a wide scope, which means that individuals can pay anyone including other individuals they owe money to, just with an email address. Business customers are charged a certain fee for the service.

The service has some good features including historical bill viewing for the past 18 months, scheduling multiple payments at once, viewing list of pending bills and so on. Scheduling can be done for one-time, occasional and recurring bills. Anyone in the US can be paid, as long as they have a US mailing address. Payments to a government agency or court-ordered obligation, and payments to an address outside the US are not allowed with this service.

In order to ensure payments are made on time, the user is advised to specify the due date while adding a bill, so that it is paid on that day. They also offer electronic bill presentment service for delivery on ebills. In addition a limit of $2500 per bill is applicable for online payment. For larger amounts, they send checks to the biller. For getting a predetermined limit over $2500, the interested customers should contact the customer service at Bank Independent.

Payments scheduled through mobile banking are processed immediately. Payment date can not be setup using mobile banking and recurring payments can’t be setup as well. Interested account holders at Bank Independent can make use of this service from the bank’s website.

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