Online bill pay

Quick answer: Online bill pay is a fast and convenient way to pay your bills online instead of writing and mailing paper checks. It allows you to pay virtually any company or person in the U.S. — your credit card company, electricity bill, cable bill, or dentist. You can even use online bill pay to send money to friends and family.

Stay on top of your finances

With online bill pay, you can pay all your bills in one place – without leaving your home. By using online bill pay to keep track of your payment history, you can monitor how much and when you paid each of your bills.

Many financial institutions let you schedule one-time or recurring payments from eligible checking accounts, so you’re in control. You may also be able to set up email bill reminders and alerts when a payment is due or to confirm it has been sent.

How online bill pay works

Once you’re signed up for online banking with your financial institution, here are typical steps to get started paying bills online. Some providers may require you to enroll in bill pay before getting started.

Set up your payee

To set up a payee, you’ll need your bill to find the company name, payment address, phone number and your account number. Once you’ve set up a payee, the information may be saved so you don’t have to re-enter it next time.

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Schedule your payment

Enter the amount you want to pay, and when you want the money to be taken out of your checking account. Depending on your financial institution and the payee, it may take up to five business days for the payment to get there. Be sure to allow extra time before your due date when scheduling your payment.

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Your payment is sent

The money is deducted from your account and sent to the payee, just as you instructed. Consider signing up to receive an email confirming that the payment has been sent.

Choose to set up automatic payments

Setting up automatic payments can help you keep on top of your bills. Check to see if your financial institution has automatic payments. Typically, if your bill is the same amount each month, you can enter the payment amount and frequency, and your financial institution will pay your bill each month. You may even be able to make automatic payments when the amount due varies each month.