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#2158724 - 12/29/17 09:40 AM Online billpay - Does your staff use it?
soundbank Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 44
I took a poll of our staff (small community bank) to see who uses our online bill pay product and the results were abysmal.

The push back I get is that it is too slow, and it's faster to go straight to the website and the money comes out faster.
Also, personally I like to pay bills with a points paying credit card, then use a statement credit with the points which effectively makes the bill cheaper.

I started using billpay since I feel like we should be knowledgeable about it.

Does anyone else have this problem at their bank? Why is billpay a good product in the first place?

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#2158728 - 12/29/17 10:24 AM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
burkemi Offline
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Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 173
I can't answer how many employees (besides myself) use our online bill pay system, but what I can do is answer the push back you've received so you can kind of compare notes. I can also say we have many many many customers that use the system and have received very little (comparatively) negative feedback from our customer-base. Our bank here is 81 branches, $4.1b.

Our system takes 2 days to debit the funds from the account. Pay on Wed, money comes out on Fri. Tues payments are debited on Thurs. If day 2 falls on a weekend or holiday, the money is debited on the next business day. So that Thurs and Fri payments are debited on Monday.

Why is bill pay a good product? - Convenience. You can pay all your bills from one site as long as you have the name, account number, and address. You only have one username/password to remember. And most customers are going to check their online account at least 1 time each day...since you're already there, bill payments are just a click away (I'm including mobile banking in this). Also saves money on postage, envelopes, and those obsolete pieces of paper we call checks.


Edited by burkemi (12/29/17 10:27 AM)
Edit Reason: clarification
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#2158734 - 12/29/17 10:58 AM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
rlcarey Online
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Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 66902
Loc: Galveston, TX
From a consumer standpoint with the increased automation by the various vendors, it is not really that necessary anymore from my perspective, especially if you charge for the service. I have every bill that I pay set up on auto-debit and write zero checks per month already without using any bill pay services that my bank offers.
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#2158748 - 12/29/17 11:56 AM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
burkemi Offline
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Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 173
That's a fair point.

Our bill pay service is free and is offered on all checking accounts, even those without a monthly fee. The only added advantage I can use to argue against you is control. I'm not a fan of auto-debit. This way I still maintain control of when the bills are paid, at least to some extent. I can set up my bill pay service to automatically pay my bills on specific days of the month as well (personally, I don't, but the option is there). I have my bills set up to send me reminders 10 days before the due date.

I guess what it all boils down to is that I like to initiate the payment each time a payment is made, rather than having the payment initiated elsewhere.
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#2158749 - 12/29/17 11:59 AM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
Richard Insley Offline
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Registered: 10/26/00
Posts: 9146
Loc: Toano, VA
Originally Posted By soundbank
Why is billpay a good product in the first place?
As you're discovering, billpay is far more attractive to banks than their depositors. Randy's explanation probably matches what your employees told you.

Banks want to make it difficult for customers to move their accounts elsewhere and a web of billpay instructions is very sticky.
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#2158758 - 12/29/17 12:41 PM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
soundbank Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 44
Thanks for the answers. I agree on all points. I have never used it much myself but I recently came into a role where I need to push our products. Wanted to see if there was something I was missing.

I do think our frontline folks should use it so they can be knowledgeable when customers have questions.

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#2158768 - 12/29/17 01:52 PM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
ocbeach Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 47
Loc: Maryland
Using your bank's bill payment service means you don't have to put your account/card info on the payment site for your car payment, electric payment, phone payment, credit card payment, etc...... Less exposure for a breach. I put the payee information in our online banking bill payment service once and I'm done. I can set up regular payments to be made monthly until I pay off an account. I've been using ours for about ten years. Noticed the other day that the physical checks I have were ordered five years ago! Use them very seldom.

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#2158769 - 12/29/17 01:56 PM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
Timeline Offline
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Registered: 12/21/11
Posts: 103
I use both Bill Pay and the Billers website. I don't have anything on automatic payment. I like to have control and determine when to make the payment and if I will make it for more than the required amount. So for bills, I will use their website. Yes, I do have to sign into multiple sites, but that doesn't bother me. I use Bill Pay for those who would get a check; my dentist, contributions, etc.

I also take care of finances for a family member and use Bill Pay for their bills. It's easier for me to do them through Bill Pay because it is mostly magazine subscriptions, monthly book purchases, and payments to charities. Saves the time of writing out all the checks and makes balancing the checkbook easier. My family member can go online and see what was paid without having to see the checkbook.

If the billers website is down, I can always make an expedited payment through Bill Pay. Yes there is a fee, but cheaper than a late payment.

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#2158783 - 12/29/17 02:42 PM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
Christy Goza Offline
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Registered: 06/01/10
Posts: 103
Loc: Cleveland, TN
I struggle constantly with staff not using currently technology, which includes remote deposit, etc. The staff's lack of knowledge about our technical products sucks to put it mildly. I actually issued all our CSRs a check and told them the only way they could get their money was via remote deposit on their smart phone.
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#2158928 - 01/02/18 03:15 PM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
one deer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 48
Loc: Any where but work
The only reason I used bill pay was so I could field questions about bill pay and it has come in handy to know how our bill pay system works. Yes we still actually answer the phone ourselves here at our bank. I use bill pay for bills I cannot pay on internet websites, believe it or not here in the southwest you still need this option for things like doctor/dental/medical bills, rural trash pickup, rent; just to name a few. I don't have any statistics to prove usage, but we recently made changes to the bill pay system and that prompted quite a few calls with questions about the updates.

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#2160372 - 01/12/18 02:32 PM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
Andy Z Offline


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Registered: 10/27/00
Posts: 26447
Loc: On the Net
Like Timeline, I don't want anyone debiting my account on their schedule, or based on what they say I owe or saving my bank account info where it isn't needed.

I guess I'm the cheap guy. I didn't like going to the post office and buying stamps and some envelopes if needed. With bill pay it's covered and adjustments can be made all in one place. I make a large purchase on my credit card, I can go to bill pay and knock it out right away or half and half or whatever suits me.
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#2161057 - 01/19/18 12:27 PM Re: Online billpay - Does your staff use it? [Re: soundbank]
NW Banker Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/13/16
Posts: 37
The new bill pay software we're (hopefully) switching to very soon has e-bill receipt functionality. Lets customers have their e-statements for variable bills like electric, etc. be read by the software every month and the correct dollar amount paid automatically by the due date. Hoping this will increase engagement, allows the customer to keep control over payments within their own bank while eliminating their need to sign in and make a payment every month.

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