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About Paying Bills Online

Updated: 5/23/2012 | Article ID: GEN82327

Online payment is the fastest, easiest way to pay your bills, and available for use with any U.S. financial institution where you have an account with check-writing privileges. You can use your checking account in conjunction with Quicken Bill Pay even if your financial institution doesn't offer online financial services of it's own. Use online payment to:

  • Create and send instructions for one time or repeating payments.
  • Inquire about an online payment instruction by sending an e-mail message, update the status of a payment, or cancel an online payment instruction if the need arises.

Setting up online payees

To send an online payment, you need to first provide information to Quicken about the company or individual to whom the payment is being made. Quicken then stores this information in the Online Payee List to use for future online payments. You can set up all your online payees in advance, or add them on an as-needed basis.

From time to time, it's good idea to check the address information on your bill to make sure that your payments are being sent to the right location.

Managing and reporting on online payees

Once a payee has been added, you can make changes to the payee's information as necessary. You can also create reports that include information about your online payees and the payments you've made to them, including date, account, check number, status, category, amount, and more.

Note that you cannot edit or delete payee information if there are pending payments for that payee. You must either wait until the payment has cleared or cancel the payment. Also, renaming rules will not affect online payee names stored in the Online Payee List or used to create payment instructions.

Creating online payments

When setting up an online payment, you can do either of the following:

  • Create online payment instructions for one or more future payments, and then send all your instructions to your financial institution in one Internet session.
  • Create a repeating online payment series to make the same payment, at the same interval, for as long as you like. You never need to write another check or send another instruction to make that car payment, eliminating worries about missing a due date.

Finding out if online payments have been made

You can rely on your financial institution and its processor to make payments as you've instructed. Payment status, available from the Payments tab in the Online Center, includes information such as whether the payment is being sent electronically or via postal check, when the payment is scheduled to be sent or has already been sent, and so on (the exact information displayed depends on what is supported by your online payment service). This status information is current as of the last time you downloaded transactions and payment information for this financial institution. If there appears to be a problem, you can make an inquiry about a specific payment.

Canceling online payment instructions

You can  cancel any single online payment instruction up to its processing date (which is the delivery date minus the lead time). You can also cancel one payment in a series of repeating online payments or all pending and future payments for a repeating online payment instruction.

Loan payments: If you cancel a single repeating online payment that you've designated as a loan payment, Quicken adjusts your loan calculations to show that you didn't make the payment.

Editing payment instructions that have already been sent

Depending on your financial institution, you may be able to change the amount and number of payments remaining for a repeating payment series. If you change the amount or duration after an instruction has been sent to your financial institution, you must send the changed instruction to replace the original one. If you want to change other information, or if your financial institution does not allow you to change these items, you need to delete the repeating online payment instruction, set up a new one, and resend it.

For one-time payments, note that you cannot change the amount. You first need to delete the existing payment instruction, then create a new one, and resend it.

Determining the lead time for payments

Lead time is the number of business days it takes from processing the online payment instruction to when the payee receives payment. Lead time varies by payee and is stored in the Online Payee List. See the frequently asked questions below for a complete discussion of lead times, withdrawal of funds, and delivery dates.

Using Quicken Bill Pay

Quicken Bill Pay is an online payment service that is easy to set up and available for use with any U.S. checking account. Quicken Bill Pay stores your payee information for you, so whenever you make a new payment, account numbers and payee information appear automatically. You just fill in the correct amount to pay. Paying bills has never been so fast.

With Quicken Bill Pay, you also gain control and enjoy convenience:

  • Schedule payments in advance for a date that you specify-avoid the worries of missed payments and late fees.
  • Set up recurring bills such as your monthly mortgage or car loan to be paid automatically.
  • Make your payments from multiple accounts at no extra cost.
  • Send your online payments anytime-day or night.
  • You don't have to sign any checks, stuff any envelopes, or take any trips to the post office.

When your account is up and running, all you have to do is set up your online payees, create your online payments (easier than writing checks!), and then connect to the Internet to send the payment instructions.

You can try Quicken Bill Pay free for 30 days. Choose Online menu > Quicken Bill Pay > Learn about Quicken Bill Pay to learn more or sign up for your free trial.

When is the money withdrawn from your account?

Your financial institution uses a payment processor to receive your online payment instructions and process the electronic funds transfer (EFT) or mail the paper check. Depending on the payment processor used, the money to cover your online payment could be withdrawn from your account at any of the following times:

  • The day the payment is processed for delivery (this may be several days before the delivery date)
  • The day the payment is delivered
  • The day the paper check or EFT clears your account

The Payment Status window in Quicken indicates when funds are withdrawn for a specific online payment. For additional information, contact your financial institution.

When will the payee receive your payment?

When you create an online payment instruction, Quicken calculates the earliest possible delivery date based on the lead time required for the type of online payment that the payee is set up to receive. The lead time is the number of business days it takes from processing the online payment instruction to when the payee receives payment.

  • When you create an online payment instruction, enter either the processing date or delivery date. Depending on the payment model used by your financial institution, Quicken may calculate the other date for you, based on the lead time for that payee.
  • If the payee is set up to receive an electronic funds transfer (EFT), the financial institution's processor transfers the money directly from your account to your payee. This type of payment usually has a lead time of one or two business days.
  • If the payee cannot receive EFTs, the processor prints a check that includes the account number by which that payee identifies you. The processor then sends the check to the payee via U.S. mail. This type of payment usually has a lead time of four business days (but it could take more time or less time, depending on the speed of the U.S. mail service in the payee's delivery area).
  • Occasionally, payee lead times may change. This can happen if your financial institution changes processors, or if a payee gets set up to receive EFTs. When you connect online, Quicken downloads any new lead information. It's a good idea to check the lead times in the Online Payee List now and then to make sure your payments won't be made too late.

For example, say the due date for the payment is October 18:

  • You send your payment instructions on October 11, four business days before the delivery date, because four days is the lead time for this payee.
  • The payee receives payment from the payment processor on or before the delivery date, October 17, allowing this payee one business day before the due date to credit your account.

If a payment is due on or soon after a holiday (such as October 21 in this example), make sure you allow at least four business days between the day you send the instructions and the delivery date.

Notes

Avoid late payment charges! Depending on your payment processing, you can change the delivery or processing date to any later date within the next 12 months. Enter a delivery date that is three or four days before the due date printed on your bill. This allows time for the payee to process your payment by the due date so that you avoid any late charges.

How often can you download transactions and update payment information?

Some financial institutions limit the number of times you can download transactions each month without additional charges. If you have recently downloaded transactions, you may want to clear the instruction to download when you connect to send transfer or payment instructions.

However, you can update payment information as often as you like (at no extra charge). These updates include information about payments, transfers, and e-mail. To update payment information, be sure to send the Bring my payment information up to date instruction each time you connect.

 
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