How Safe is Online Bill Payment?


How Safe is Online Bill Payment?


Online shoppers always look for convenience for shopping and payment options. However, security is on top of their mind when they shop online. Of course, who would want to be a victim of online fraud? Now, with advanced and readily available electronic payment solutions, consumers can take their pick of payment solutions. Withe regards to eCheck (ACH)  , consumers no longer need to sort through paper bills, balance a checkbook, and mail paper checks. It is easier than ever to make paperless payments, track debits in real-time, and transfer funds to make online bill payments. According to the Federal Reserve System, online payments make a major chunk of the non-cash payments, exceeding almost two-thirds of total cashless payments.

Unfortunately, with this convenience comes some risk – the risk of security, identity theft, and privacy infractions. The risk amplifies if you store personal information in a public computer or access your personal device to a public Wi-Fi network. You are exposing your sensitive details to fraudulent minds that are always looking to pounce on such consumer mistakes. You must be always be wary of where and with whom (or which company) your personal information is shared.

Related: ACH, Paper Checks, eChecks, Electronic Payments! Confused Yet?


Good Browsers Help Security

Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox are the primary browsers that have introduced security measures for safe browsing. These measures include encrypted connections. Modern and updated browsers will query their malware site database and let you know if a site you are going to is potentially harmful. The browser sends out a warning when a site appears unsafe and suggests not to proceed. So, it is important to update your browser regularly to keep current with the latest safety measures.

  • Make your online bill payments safe by constantly changing your personal online bank account passwords every month or so and keep up-to-date anti-virus and anti-malware scanning software.
  • Don’t use passwords like your birth or anniversary date, or your phone number or anything really simple like that. Use a password like “VX#87TdX67Qg” as that is very difficult to guess by humans and bots.
  • Avoid clicking on links sent via e-mail to protect yourself from phishing attacks; rather, type the URL in the browser bar. Such links may be shared by hackers and lead you to fake sites. When you visit such sites, your user identity and passwords are stolen and used.


Before proceeding with online bill payments, make sure you clearly understand the entire process. Presentment and Payment are two methods of making payment of bills electronically. Bill Payment is the act of making an electronic transfer of money to the recipient’s account. Bill Presentment is the online receipt of a bill or statement. When making payments online, you may often come across the term EBPP, which is Electronic Bill Payment and Presentment.

Related: A Brief Introduction to Electronic Payment Systems.


Minimizing Risks of Online Payment

When you choose to make a bill payment online, double check the website credentials to ensure it is secure. Such URLs (web address) should begin with “httpss” which tells you that it is a secure site with a secure connection. Any data that you share from your computer to the providers server will be encrypted and cannot easily be stolen.

Also make sure that their security certificate is valid. The padlock icon in the browser window helps you with that. You can check the site’s security certificate by clicking on the lock. Again, using a modern, updated browser will help notify you if a connection if not secure or if the security certificate is not valid.

Related: Online and Moblie Security Tips


Measure the True Cost

Making payments by check, or money order could raise the overall cost. Factor in the cost of envelops along with checks and money orders, and you will be surprised to see the final figure. Contrarily, making online bill payments may potentially save money in late fees. Additionally, there is no fear of delayed online payments, unlike traditional paper payments. Timely payments are almost certain to reflect well on your credit report.

When it comes to making payments online, using a credit card is a safer alternative to a debit card, since you can dispute fraudulent payments with the card issuer. The payment can then be legally withheld. If you are disciplined enough to pay off bills on time, a credit card is a great payment alternative. Otherwise you may have too much outstanding against your name by the end of the month.

With worries of online fraud taking over the minds of most consumers, they may prevent some from making payments online. For some cases, it may help to consider a disposable credt card or virtual credit card number. Many credit card companies and banks allow their customers to generate one time use temporary numbers make an electronic transaction. Once used, the number is destroyed and cannot be used again. That makes it very safe for online payments.

  • Or you may want to check another alternative payment service, such as eBillMe or Bill Me Later. It is easy to activate your eBillMe account with your email. You can peruse over 800 linked online stores and select eBillMe for checkout. Then log on to your bank account and make the payment.
  • Online payment wallets like Apple Pay, PayPal, Android Pay, and Google Checkout are other online payment alternatives that do not require your personal account details for transferring money. Easy to set up and user friendly, both have safeguards built in.

Related: The 3 Biggest Payment Methods in the World.


No doubt, online fraud is a harsh reality, but with a few precautions, you can make online bill payments secure and keep personal finances on track. Online bill payment is safe as long as you follow security guidelines and remain vigilant when making online payments.


Contact Us for more information on Credit Card Processing, or eChecks and ACH Transactions. Or take us up on our FREE Merchant Account Analysis offer. We’ll analyze your merchant account rates and let you know how to Save! If you are ready, you may be able to Switch and Save!


Share This