Give account info to credit card companies and utilities, or only pay using "pushes" from bank billpay?

On a totally different account, I just got hit with paper check fraud… it’s an account that is literally one month old, and I’ve written two checks from it. Someone got my check info, and printed a low-quality version and took $495 from me. The fake account check number is bogus, I still have that one in my possession.

Fidelity clawed my $495 back! Good job!

I called two of my credit unions that i use for bill-pay. They said that my personal accnt # is not on paper checks they send and there’s no personal id info on electronic payments.

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I looked at checks sent by my billpay, and the account number on the checks is not my account number. I use a credit union.

Ally Bank and my local credit union DO NOT expose my account number on paper billpay checks. Schwab Bank does! I told them… maybe they’ll do something about that someday if enough people complain.

I set-up billpay at Fidelity, Schwab and my local CU for all of my payees, then I sent them all a flurry of $1 test payments.

After having that skell almost stole $495 from me 9 days ago, I’m seeing the widsom of push-only billpay, and the 3rd party does not have my banking information.

The odd thing is that my local CU’s billpay has to send a paper check to Citibank. They don’t get along.

I wonder how long it will take banks to decide to charge for bill-pay services. So far all of mine are free.

Chase used to charge, and eventually dropped the fee.

The large money center banks do charge for billpay - by paying you virtually no interest in your deposits!

If everyone who used billpay stopped using it, the banks’ costs would go UP… handling paper checks is more costly for them than BP.

Most did charge twenty years ago. I suspect most of those that didn’t drop the fees have gone out of business.

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I think as banks adopt the FedNow service…electronic bill payments are going to be more available to smaller vendors and thus eliminate the need for checks altogether. Its a very outdated product with extreme security risks…

I’ve had utilities, credit cards and loans pull automatically for 15 years or more without a single issue. I prefer it as it is set and forget. I will use my bank’s bill pay for companies or individuals that aren’t able to automate. I haven’t written a check in over a decade. If something requires a written check, I will do a money order or cashiers check. But as I said – I haven’t had to write a check in over a decade.

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I rarely write checks. But when I do I walk into the PO and put it in the slot inside. The thieves have the special key for the outside blue box.

I just found out I can pay my property taxes with e-checks. My HOA only takes a check. DMV charges too much for credit card, maybe at renewal I’ll see if they can do an e-check cheaply. I might be down to 1 check a year. But I’ll write it from a “throwaway” account which usually has $1 in it.

Concerning Automatic Bill Pay: How It Works and How To Do It Safely

Written by Staff | February 19th, 2024

I have always advocated that You should NEVER let any company do automatic withdrawals from your bank. The creditor should NEVER have control of “your” Money… I have been using my Banks (Credit Union) web bill pay service for many years, even before Clark acknowledged the use of Automatic withdraws. Note that I pay slightly higher than my average monthly bill, hence I always have a “credit” on my account I will eventually be paying that account anyway so no harm and no late fees. When I first set up my Banks web-bill-pay I paid a two month payment. That effectively means I “always” carry a credit with that creditor, especially for my House/home Utilities. I have had issues years ago when I was traveling so much I would miss the mailed bill and my water (x2) got shut off (Note there’s a fee to get it turned back on…). By always having credit on the account I can monitor the amounts due, make adjustments and never worry about missing a payment. That was a bit painful at first as I had to use money I didn’t necessarily have to make the “double” payment. However over the last 10-12 years I have never had my water/Gas/Electric cut off… This also works with credit cards. I have been able to maintain a reasonably well Credit rating by always making a Payment. Note that if you happen to overpay a bill (Lets say Macys as an example) after 3 months they send the money back to me (in a check) and I have a “windfall” that I stick in a savings account. Granted I have not earned Possible interest on that Money but again I didn’t loose any either.

BTW The article mentioned T-Mobile, I happen to have T-Mobile, I am signed up for their automatic billing and I get the discount, But since I always send them a Check (via the web-bill-pay) each month before my due date I am always carrying a credit on the account. Still get the discount…

Why do you slightly overpay? Why not just pay down to the penny? Is this a way to make it more automatic while still keeping control? It’s an interesting idea. I’m not sure how it would work in my case, but I like it.

I used to pay all my utilities with a cash-back credit card. I would overpay to more than cover the CC “convenience fee” and still make a few bucks.

When my CC company stopped paying cash-back for utility bills I started using bill-pay check pushes.