A Guide to Electronic Bill Payment3 min read
Bills are among the most boring and painful responsibilities ever. Alas, being a grown up has its price and we have to pay our bills, like it or not. Even worse, we need to know everything about them so as to not lose our money: payment options, their advantages, pitfalls, etc. According to ACI Worldwide, nowadays about 8,2 billion of bills in the US (56%) are paid online. Since more than half of Americans prefer electronic payments, we’d like to emphasize more on this type. The KeepSolid VPN Unlimited team undertook an extensive research and this is what we got.
Considering the advantages of such payments and in order to provide you with some useful tips, first we should figure out what an online bill pay is. In simple terms, it is a service which allows you to set up an online account and manage your bills. It could be anything – from your regular car loan payments to power bills. There are three ways to do this online: eBanking, via the biller’s site, or with third-party service. The first of the options is usually perceived to be the safest, as according to American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research, 57% of Americans keep their savings in banks and associate this with safety (you can check out the research here).
Also, you may see an EBPP acronym while making payments online. It stands for Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment and is a process of creation and delivery of your bills. This consists of two stages: 1) reviewing your bills and 2) transferring money. Definitely no rocket science, which is one of the reasons for the popularity of the system.
Benefits and risks of electronic bill payments
Advantages of internet transactions become more and more appealing for users. As CreditCards puts it, paying bills is the most popular type of payment on mobile phones (54%). And, of course, we all know electronic bills’ benefits. They’re convenient, since most websites accept payments by credit cards. They’re swift, cause even if you recall about your payments in the last minute, you can still make it right in time. Finally, they’re organized. Whichever online method of electronic payment you choose, you’ll be able to manage its history and sort it the way you need.
Another benefit is security, however this one is somewhat disputable. Сomparing online payment to transactions which we take for granted, like paying with a credit card in shops, people are likely to think that a proper electronic payment system provides them with more protection. These services, especially banking, certainly make promises about the high level of security and encryption. However, their protection is extended only to their website, not your computer. They can’t protect you from phishing, shoulder surfers, and other online and offline risks. Unfortunately, even the best protection on websites is rendered meaningless if your device gets hacked. So, additional measures are definitely required when it comes to the security of your banking data.
Tips for safe use of electronic bill pay
Cyber criminals have quite a number of methods and tricks on how to hack your computer, so your private data can be in danger. That’s why taking precautionary measures becomes essential, since your online payments are in the crosshairs of cyber criminals. Therefore, security of your online transactions is definitely what you shouldn’t forget about.The era of bill thefts from mailbox is over, time for identities stolen from emailbox. #onlinebillpay #vpn #vpnunlimited Click To Tweet
How can you secure your bill payment process?
- Don’t send anything about your bill payments by email to untrusted services and don’t pay anything through links which they may send you. Stay sharp.
- Use a virtual private network, like KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, which will encipher your internet traffic including details of your payments. For instance, our app features highly secure AES-128 and AES-256 encryptions (check out more on encryption topic on this page), keeping malefactors from decoding your online bill payment data.
- Obviously, don’t enter your personal information on public computers or connect to public WiFi without VPN software turned on.
- Log out of all your payment accounts after you’re finished. Even on your personal devices.
We hope our article will help you defend yourself against online bill payments’ risks. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below, we’ll be happy to discuss them with you.