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.

Nov 192014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In India, online bill pay still has a long way to go; not many people use the service, they either visit the service provider directly or visit a place where they can pay all bills. In few cities in India, there are citizen service centers, which accept all utility bills and few other bills as well. For example, in Bangalore, there is Bangalore One, a one-stop bill pay location for all household bills.

There are few similar organizations that enable bill payments at their premises, but online payment is very rare in the Indian society. Perhaps they will take time to adopt the electronic payment option or they haven’t managed to trust the electronic security.

OxigenAmong a very few online bill pay services is Oxicash (Oxigen Bill Pay), that is trying to revolutionize payments in India. They have an e-wallet product that enables money transfer as well. With Oxicash, users can pay many bills online. They use BillDesk’s framework to make this happen; they have a page of their own on BillDesk’s domain.

Bill payments include utility bills, fixed line and mobile bills, subscriptions and donations. The bill pay page can be accessed here. Donations are accepted for major NGOs including CRY, SAVE, PETA, Childline, WISE and Cancer Patients’ Association. Subscription payments are available for Reader’s Digest and India Today, while Insurance Premiums are accepted for ICICI PruLife and PNB Metlife.

Utility payments include electricity, gas and telephone bills and has very limited list of billers including Reliance Energy, BSES (Delhi), Mahanagar Gas (Mumbai), Airtel, MTNL, etc.

This facility is available, however, only to Oxigen Wallet users; a new wallet account can be opened from here. Immediate bill payments or same day payments are not supported; time taken is between 3 and 4 business days, so the payment should be scheduled accordingly.

Oct 182014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

In my last post about bill pay service offered by IndusInd Bank of India, I had mentioned that they have partnered with BillDesk to offer bill pay service through online banking system. They offer solutions for businesses to offer a comprehensive bill presentment, payment and management solutions. But that is only one of the solutions they offer.

They offer bill pay solutions to individuals as well. Anyone in India can register for the service and they can start using it. This is the link to begin the registration process. Their website is a simple one, but is secure and convenient to use. They support many billers in 23 major Indian cities. They define billers as those companies that issue ebills and accept payments online.

BillDeskApart from these, there are payees, which are defined by them as those companies that do not issue ebills, but accept payments through BillDesk. An example for the latter is insurance premium payment. The biller list and the payee list can be referred to, to find out which of the companies are supported and which of the companies issue bills online.

To use the service, one has to login and add the required billers to pay the bills to. Once billers and payees have been added, payment instructions have to be provided, after which the bill is processed and the payer receives a confirmation. To try the service and know better, how things work, readers are advised to access this demo.

The benefits that BillDesk promises to offer include convenience, flexibility, effective tracking and savings in terms of time and money. Interestingly, the service is available free of cost for individuals. They make money from bill presentment and bill management solutions offered to businesses.

Sep 212014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Among the various types of organizations that offer bill pay, prepaid card providers is one. Most of these work in the country of origin, unlike some international bill pay solutions. Many prepaid solutions are offered only to people with a good credit score, but how about a service that is available for everyone? All users would have access to bill pay using this service.

The prepaid card service in question is AccountNow and it is meant for the residents of the United States. 100% approval of application is guaranteed, subject to identity verification. The users can use the card to withdraw money or make purchases anywhere in the world, where Visa Debit and MasterCard Debit cards are accepted.

AccountNowAccountNow allows users to pay bills within the United States, and this includes payments to service providers and even individuals. They guarantee speed, safety, ease, convenience and on time delivery. The bill pay service can be used to make one time payments or even setup recurring payments. Bills can also be paid over the phone, apart from paying them online.

This service is free of charge, which means no additional charges would apply for paying bills. However, using the prepaid card would attract a fee. To start paying bills, users of AccountNow prepaid cards should add payees to their account and schedule payments. All payments are completed using EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), but if a particular payee does not accept electronic transfers, AccountNow sends them a check drawn on the user’s account. This check is mailed to the payee at no extra charge towards stamps and envelopes.

Users can also request for email confirmation notifying when the payment is sent. The report is however accessible online after the user has logged into their account. Users who already have an AccountNow card or are planning to go for a prepaid card that also allows them to pay their bills, AccountNow’s bill pay is a very good option. This link can be user to sign up for an account with them.

Sep 182014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

When people travel overseas to work and make money in order to support their families, they are often unaware of bills their families bear. Bill payment is usually a local issue and most solutions are designed to let users pay their bills locally or in many cases, nationally as well. International bill pay is a rare service which not all service providers offer.

Money Move IT is a New Zealand based company that offers just that. Along with international money transfer services, they also offer bill payment service to the senders based in many countries, not just New Zealand. I wrote about their money transfer service, now let us have a look at their bill pay service in this post.

Money Move ITIf the sender knows the bank details of the biller in home country, they can pay the bills just like making a regular transfer. But in case the details are not known, then the biller needs to be pre-registered with Money Move IT to receive international funds towards local services. Senders just need to search for the company name and select an appropriate one, before providing the customer account number and sending enough money to cover the bills.

Currently, companies that pre-register with Money Move IT include utilities and schools, but they will be expanding this network soon. The senders can also request the company to sign up to receive the payments by directly contacting them using the ’Tell a Friend’ form or by providing their details to Money Move IT using the contact us form.

With this, senders can support their families better by paying their bills electronically and freeing them from the task of having their bills paid. In addition, automatic payments can also be setup for such bill payment. To use this service, one has to sign up for an account with Money Move IT, which enables them to send and receive money.

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 092014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

American Express has this product called Bluebird, which has many features including bill pay. It is a complete solution for personal financial management. Just like any other bill pay service, Bluebird makes it easy to have all bills paid. In fact, users can pay any individual apart from paying bills. This saves them the time to visit a bank or biller’s premises and costs of stamps, envelopes and other related services.

Users can pay bills online or using the Bluebird mobile app. To pay a bill, one has to be a registered user and has to login to the Bluebird account. Among the many features, ‘Pay Bills’ has to be chosen. After having done that, a payee has to be added from the existing list or a new payee has to be added.

BluebirdOnce a payee has been added, payment method has to be chosen and the amount has to be keyed in. In order to submit the payment, a PIN has to be entered, which is usually set in advance. Once submitted, confirmation is displayed and recorded in the Bluebird account. Following every payment, a confirmation email is sent to the user.

There is a monthly limit of $10000 for payments to payees listed in the Bluebird Bill Pay System and $5000 for non-registered payees. It takes between 4 and 7 working days to complete the payment, so the user has to schedule the payment well in advance to avoid late fees.

By using this service, users can also earn points that can be redeemed later. Any bill from rent to a car payment can be paid with no additional fees. Taxes can also be paid with this service.

In order to register for the service, one has to fill in this form and start using Bluebird to manage all personal finances including bills payable.

Aug 202014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

GreenPost, Your Digital Postman; how does the name sound? It is easy to guess that the phrase is for a company that works on paperless mail management, and in our context, paperless bill management. Such services are mostly found restricted to the US, because they were started there and the owners of the company wait for it to be established before it can be taken outside. So how long would it take to reach Asia in such a way? Very long!

Instead of waiting for that to happen, Asian citizens can use this service from Green Post to manage their bills online and pay them. The company focuses on paperless life and kn saving trees from being cut. The service is available in about 10 Asian countries including India, Singapore, Malaysia, the UAE and even Australia. The company has won several awards for their solutions and works hard to improve further.

GreenPostGreenPost automatically retrieves the bills and stores them in the free account created by the user, so that they can start setting alerts and making payments. Like other bill management services, this service, too helps the users track bills and avoid missing a due date, thus avoiding extra fees on delayed payments. They say that they store all bills in the archives, so no more forgetting, losing a bill or misplacing it. All solutions offered by the company can be accessed with a single login.

Green Post currently supports top billers in all of the supported countries. The list can be accessed here. All transactions happen on a secure network, so the users don’t have to worry about security of their data.

GreenPost mobile apps are available for iOS and Android phones for easy access from anywhere and at any time. They can be downloaded from the respective app stores.

The service is free for users while companies or billers are charged a small fee for presenting their bills and getting paid through GreenPost. This does not make much difference to them on cost, because the money used for printing bills can be used to avail this service. Due to its innovative and nature-friendly feature, it is like to be adopted by the people, if they get convinced about the security.

The service is available for payment processors as well. They can use GreenPost to offer bill pay solutions through their payment gateways.

 

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.

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