Everybody is doing it; most of the country is paying their bills online. And while paying all of your bills in cyberspace might sound like a fantastic method to cut down on your check-writing and reduce the content of your filing cabinet, it might not be everything it’s cracked up to be. If you believe that paying your bills online is the best way to handle your finances, here are a few things to consider:
1. Online security breaches are extremely ordinary and increasingly possible.
Identity theft is a burgeoning problem besetting online users at alarming rates every day. Secured connections might not be so secure. Your account is vulnerable at a variety of access points: your wireless connection, your computer itself and even on the bank’s end of things. This means online bill pay actually increases the risk of your account and personal data falling into the wrong hands. In the event you are hacked, you could lose every cent in your checking account. Is it worth it?
2. You lack a paper trail.
Cyberspace bill pay is undoubtedly convenient, but using it leaves you sans a paper trail. There is something to be said for having receipts and files you are able to produce instantly in the event of a merchant conflict. Even though technology is grand, it still is not foolproof, and not having an adequate paper trail when it comes to your money can leave you with plundered pockets.
3. Your records might go missing.
Even if you keep a meticulous filing cabinet online, that does not mean the bank will not lose your records. If this happens, you are left with no records to fall back on if you have to dispute an account with the credit bureau, or with a merchant later on.
4. Your payment might be late.
Timing is everything when it comes to paying your bills. If bills are late, you run the risk of being charged extra fees – and no one likes that. If you forget a bill, online bill pay might not get your payment there on time. This costs you money in the end.
5. You might forget.
If you set up certain bills to pay on a recurring basis every month using the online bill pay services from your bank, you might forget the payment is due and wind up overspending, costing you overdraft fees or other bank assessments.
Online bill pay is not all bad, but it isn’t perfect yet either. Before subscribing to the newest line of thinking when it comes to your money, make sure to do your homework before you make up your mind, old school style.