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.

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.

Aug 022014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Paying bills on time is something most people are cautious about, due to the late fees applicable if due dates are missed. They carefully save money for due bills in order to avoid running out of budget. What if some money could be saved and in fact, returned to us for using a particular bill payment service? The famous card company, Discover has a bill payment service with 1% cash back offer.

While paying the bills, if some amount can be saved, it is a good option. Supposing the bills paid amount to $2000 in the year, the cash back bonus will be $20. More, Motiva and Open Road card members earn 0.25% cash back Bonus on the first $3000 paid and 1% for amount after $3000.

DiscoverThe cash back bonus can be redeemed for cash as direct deposit into a bank account of choice or as credit in the Discover credit card account. The bonus can also be used to pay online, credited to partner gift cards or discover gift cards or donated to charitable organizations.

Discover supports many billers in many industries including insurance, cable/satellite TV, security, internet and wireless. They also provide contact details for each biller, in case customers need to contact them for any reason. For paying a bill, customers need the paper bill or e-bill and the Discover card. The biller has to be searched for and selected and automatic bill payments registered online or by phone with the billers.

Bills can also be paid manually by logging into the Account Center. Unregistered users should first register for starting to pay bills with Discover. Up to two online payments are allowed using different bank accounts. The maximum number of bank accounts that can be connected with Discover is 9.

The interesting part of Discover is that even if one pays the bill on the due date, before 5 PM Eastern Time, the payment is delivered on the same day. But late fees may be applicable in case the payment was made after the time. For those who do not want to opt for same day payments, scheduling has to be done in advance to avoid missing the due date; this is to avoid delays on part of other parties involved in the process, such as banks.

The bill pay service is free of cost for all Discover card holders. Apart from online payments, customers can opt to pay from Western Union and few other retail outlets, or pay by check by sending the check to Discover. Online transactions with Discover are safe, as the users are protected with the $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.

Jan 302014
 

By Mohammed Waseem

Venturing into bill payment services is one way for money transfer companies to diversify. Most companies are probably forced to keep up with the technology in order to keep their customers feeling that they are ahead of others. Customers are the primary focus for every business because the businesses exists because of them.

Many money transfer companies have introduced bill payment and have launched mobile apps. A few have launched mobile wallets for mobile money transfer, and a few have also introduced prepaid cards of their own.

MoneyGram, which is among the leading money payment services, also has a bill payment service. Like money transfer, they have bill payment service at any agent location or online. Apart from these, payments can also be made with cash at Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, Albertsons and Advance America. The number of retail locations for cash payment is over 35,000.

MoneyGram Bill PayA wide range of bills are accepted for payment by MoneyGram which include auto loans, rent, cable, phone, insurance and credit cards. Their fee starts at $1.49 and they offer same day, next day and 2-3 day services. Of course, they charge higher for same day payments; this can be used in order to avoid penalties for late payments. Notification for payment is received within 10 minutes for same day payments and accordingly for next day and 2-3 day payments.

Payments at an agent location requires that the customer gives the receive code for that biller and their account number. Card swipe facility is also available at select locations.

Bill Payment can also be made online at any time on MoneyGram website. Not all billers are available for online payment. The customer has to visit this link and enter the biller’s receive code and their account number. Payment is done using credit/debit cards. MoneyGram also offers bill payment solutions to businesses, which includes both in-person and online payments.

Just like their money transfer services, their bill payment service is convenient and accurate and their customer service is also quite good. So next time you look for options to pay your bills conveniently, you could consider MoneyGram as one.

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