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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Online Bill Pay

Online Bill Pay Cost


How Much Does Online Bill Pay Cost?

 
low costLow: Freeaverage costFees: Up to $10 Per Month
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Online bill pay services permit customers to use their computer and the internet to pay anyone, from the lawn maintenance crew to a cable company. Online billing set up through a customer's bank is often free, although the checking account needed to provide funds for payments may require a minimum a balance or assess fees.

Typical costs:

  • Online bill pay services range from free to $9.95 per month. At Virginia-based Presidential Bank[1] , online bill pay is free for customers with interest-bearing checking accounts with at least a $500 balance. Another checking account requires a $100 minimum balance, but does not accrue interest and charges $5.95 per month for the first 10 bill payments plus 40 cents for each additional one.
  • Bank of America's online bill pay service is free for checking customers and includes unlimited payments. The company's checking accounts[2] vary, but generally cost from $8.95 to $25 per month, with fees waived if minimum balances ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 are maintained or if monthly direct deposits are made. The bank's web-only checking is also free as long as customers receive statements online and conduct deposits and withdrawals at bank-owned ATMs. Otherwise, there's an $8.95 monthly charge.
  • Nebraska-based online bank FNBO Direct[3] allows customers to pay bills through email or with an internet-enabled mobile phone using web-based personal financial management service Mint.com[4] . FNBO makes payments over the internet or-- if the merchant does not accept internet payments--using traditional paper checks sent through the mail.
  • At New York's Ballston Spa National Bank[5] , unlimited bill pay costs $4.95 a month with a basic checking account that's free with a $500 minimum balance.
  • Fiserv[6] is a company that handles online bill pay functions for a fee; $5.95 a month for the first 15 transactions, plus 50 cents for each additional payment. Another non-bank based bill pay service, PayTrust.com[7] , also lets users pay bills electronically. The company charges $9.95 per month for 25 transactions plus 65 cents per additional transaction. One downside of the service--receiving a bill and paying a bill are considered two separate transactions, boosting the cost, according to The New York Times Co.'s ConsumerSearch.com[8] .
Related articles: Online Banking, Line of Credit, Financial Planner

What should be included:
  • Look for a bill pay service that offers customer support 24 hours a day 7 days a week to resolve time-critical financial payment needs. Most larger banks and private bill pay companies offer such assistance.
  • Find which creditors can be serviced by online bill pay; Wells Fargo[9] and others with bill pay services list e-billers prominently on their website.
  • Find out whether the bill pay service will send conventional paper checks to companies that do not accept online payments, as Fiserv does.
  • U.S. Bank[10] permits customers to set up email payment reminders.
Additional costs:
  • Making payments or checking balances on a cell phone or mobile device may result in mobile fees that vary according to the consumer's carrier, according to Bank of America[11] .
  • With smaller banks or some private bill pay services, extra fees are charged if customers exceed a set number of transactions. MSN Bill Pay[12] charges $5.95 monthly for 15 payments, and then $2.95 for 5 more payments or 50 cents for a single extra payment. However, larger companies including Bank of America permit an unlimited number of transactions per month.
Discounts:
  • Wells Fargo permits customers with bank accounts that are not eligible for free bill pay service to try it free[13] for two months. After that, the cost is $6.95 per month.
Shopping for online bill pay:
  • Leading consumer website CreditCards.com[14] gives tips about the pros and cons of paying bills online.ConsumerSearch.com[15] weighs advantages to consumers who sign up for online bill pay through their existing bank rather than another firm. U.S.Bank[16] gives safety tips for people using online bill pay services.
  • Top-rated online bill pay services for 2011 are ranked by consumer site TopTenREVIEWS[17] . ConsumerSearch.com also ranks[18] several independent online bill pay companies.
  • Complaints involving national banks are handled by the Comptroller of the Currency Administrator of National Banks[19] . Complaints involving bill pay services offered by credit unions are handled by the National Credit Union Administration.
  • The FDIC has detailed information[20] on online banking regulation and where to file complaints.
  • Not all domestic banks or those chartered outside the U.S. are insured by the FDIC, and customers may not be reimbursed by regulators should the bank fail. Check a bank's status using the FDIC's Bank Find[21] tool.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.presidential.com/InternetACs.htm
  2.  /www.bankofamerica.com/
  3.  /www.fnbodirect.com/01d/html/en/learn_more/products/online_billpay.html
  4.  /www.mint.com/
  5.  /www.bsnb.com/site/billpay_fees_charges.asp
  6.  www.checkfreecorp.fiserv.com/cda/corp/L3.jsp?layoutId=326
  7.  paytrust.intuit.com/paytrust-online-bill-pay-faqs.jsp
  8.  www.consumersearch.com/computers-and-internet
  9.  //www.wellsfargo.com/wfonline/bill_pay/ebills/list
  10.  /www.usbank.com/online-banking/faqs.html
  11.  /www.bankofamerica.com//onlinebanking/index.cfm?template=what_you_can_do
  12.  billpay.msn.com
  13.  /www.wellsfargo.com/wfonline/bill_pay
  14.  www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/12-tips-for-auto-bill-pay-1267.php
  15.  www.consumersearch.com/computers-and-internet
  16.  /www.usbank.com/online-banking/faqs.html#IS5
  17.  bill-paying-services-review.toptenreviews.com
  18.  www.consumersearch.com/computers-and-internet
  19.  www.helpwithmybank.gov/national-banks/national-banks.html
  20.  www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/online/help.html
  21.  www2.fdic.gov/idasp/main_bankfind.asp
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