Online banking in Madison has a lot to offer and if you ever had to pay bills without it, you know exactly what I am referring to. Receiving monthly paper bills, writing checks by hand, keeping a supply of stamps on hand and mailing in time to be postmarked by the due date. Not terribly complicated at the time but we were happy to improve upon it. With online banking, life was instantly better as we saved time, money and trees.
Depending on whether you use billpay or automatic payment withdrawals, paying bills can become slightly complicated again.
eBills gives you control
With an online bill pay service, such as Dane County Credit Union’s eBills or PopMoney mobile app, you maintain control of payments. You can set up and schedule payments to be paid now, set up monthly recurring payments, or set up a bill to be automatically paid at a later date. So you have the flexibility of scheduling them ahead of time at your convenience. The payments will not be processed until the time you specify.
Automatic payment withdrawals
The other way to go is via automatic payment withdrawals. In this case you are sharing your account information with businesses and vendors you use regularly. You are giving them permission to withdrawal the payment directly from your bank account on a specific date. This may be anything from monthly gym membership to car payment to streaming subscription service.
The potential challenge with automatic payments is once set up to draft for the immediate future, any number of things can happen. Maybe your paycheck isn’t deposited on time, or maybe introductory cable rate expires and suddenly jumps up $25 or $50 a month. Or maybe that biannual car insurance payment came in and forgot to include on your monthly budget. Since it’s already approved to withdraw, these payments will happen automatically even if you don’t have the funds to cover them. This is a common way people incur overdraft fees. And as so often happens with overdraft fees, it’s usually not just the one.
eBills is the way to go
By scheduling all your payments through eBills or PopMoney, you select the exact amount coming out of your checking account and when.
Of course with DCCU’s eBanking you have the option of setting up alerts to keep you informed of account balances. You also have the option to sign up for Overdraft Privilege, transfers from your savings account or DCCU’s Kwik Cash line of credit, making it easier to avoid snowballing fees.
While online banking in Madison continues to improve and offer more options, it’s a personal finance management tool and requires some attention. Take a moment or two each month to review your statements and make sure there are no surprises.
You’ll be happy you did.