Some of us pay monthly bills online or over the phone. Some even pay by check! Yes, it is 2018 and most retailers and merchants will still accept checks. Others will set up monthly payments with merchants that come out of their account automatically. This is a recurring payment where consumers give permission for payments to be deducted from their credit card or bank account each month, avoiding the worry of any late fees.
These recurring payments can be a huge benefit for those who tend to forget their due date each month. You won’t have to worry about any of your accounts going delinquent or talking with an automated phone system that continues to ignore your request to “Speak with a representative!”
This seems easy enough, but you’ll want to be sure that you’re checking your statement each month to verify the charges coming out automatically. There are also some other factors you’ll want to consider before setting up recurring payments like: What type of payments are accepted? Is the payment platform secure? Are you comfortable sharing your bank account information?
Be sure the recurring payment platform protects your information
Check to see if these recurring payments have a built-in fraud protection feature and that they comply with standard practices for payment security. We all know by now, that cyber criminals are widespread and it’s important to do your due diligence.
Does the recurring payment service accept other forms of payment?
Some recurring payment services only accept a credit card or your checking account information. Whichever way you’re most comfortable making a payment, make sure the service gives you that option.
Are you ok sharing your bank account information online?
It can be unnerving to type in your checking and routing numbers over the web. If this is something you’re comfortable with, be sure that the service’s Terms and Conditions are compliant. It’s long and daunting for a reason, but read over how they handle your personal information.
Check your statements each month!
The best thing to do if you have recurring payments set up is to check your monthly statements, as in your itemized statements. Check to make sure there are no fees you’re unaware of. Are there any charges you’re paying for that you never signed up for? You may realize your cable bill all the sudden has an additional 500 channels and a landline charge that you haven’t paid for since 1999. Double check!
If you sign up for recurring payments with the intention to set it and forget it, you’ll still want to check the statements! You could go months paying for something that you never signed up for.
Check in with us next month where we will blog about vacation budgets and traveling tips!
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