What Billpay services have Immeadiate Funds Funds Removal from your Checking Account?
August 7, 2006 11:34 AM   Subscribe

What Billpay services will immediately deduct the amount of checks you send from your account?

Wachovia used to immeadiately take money out of your account on the date the payment was scheduled. While annoying the first month, after years of this method, I've adapted to it, as you don't need to balence your checkbook.

I'm looking for another bank/billpay service that works the way Wachovia used to (they've changed as of 7/31/06). The service needs to do ebill and standard check printing/mailing
posted by gte910h to Work & Money (13 answers total)
 
commerce.

www.yesbank.com
posted by Izzmeister at 11:39 AM on August 7, 2006


You should state your state- Commerce is NE USA and Florida only.
posted by Izzmeister at 11:40 AM on August 7, 2006


I can't tell you one that does, but I can say that Bank of America doesn't.
posted by jedicus at 11:41 AM on August 7, 2006


For the most part, it has to do with which version of which billpay software is being used by any particular bank, and from there, which billers have agreements with the billpay provider to do same day/next day payments.

After that, it has to do with the bank's agreement with the billpay provider - how the bank actually pays the provider for the bills that are paid via all the customer accounts. In some cases, the banks have to settle "up front" for bill payments, which would account for the "comes out of my account right away", or the bank may have negotiated a slightly pricier (for the bank) "good faith" sort of arrangement, where things clear like regular checks and regularly timed ACH.

There are very few medium-sized and up banks that have built their own bill pay systems, and it's the "home grown" method that is most likely to move money same day (or same night). Citibank is the biggie that springs to mind in the home grown world, so maybe check them out. BofA, Wachovia and SunTrust (among manymany others) use CheckFree, I think Commerce Bank uses Princeton eComm.
posted by ersatzkat at 12:15 PM on August 7, 2006


Bank of America does take funds out the date the payment is scheduled vs. the date the check is cashed.

A few months ago, I sent a friend a check via BofA's online bill pay (as an experiment because she was interested in using the service and I was really curious as to what the issued checks look like, what kind of envelope, etc... stupid I know, these things I feel compelled to learn) so we set up a test payment with the intention of her not cashing the check.

The funds from the test payment were withdrawn from my account on the date BofA issued the check (which was a day after I made the request--I don't recall but I might have authorized the payment after business hours). My friend brought over the uncashed check (ledger sized, blue security, embossed data check in a plain-ish white security envelope with a window, BTW).

I called BofA CS to ask how to get my money back into my account and they said to cancel the check (and incur a fee, heh).

She ended up cashing the check after all and just giving me the money back.

That float is what's paying the postage on the outbound checks, among other things (such as envelopes, printing, handling, profit...)
posted by jamaro at 12:18 PM on August 7, 2006


Oops, sorry: to clarify, I was using Bank of America's online bill pay service which is accessed from their website, not through a 3rd party product (didn't realize there was one called "Billpay")
posted by jamaro at 12:20 PM on August 7, 2006


Keep in mind that BofA is not really a single bank but an agglomeration of smaller banks that got acquired over time. Some parts of BofA deduct the funds on the day the payment is sent, others not until it's completed.

In fact I bet the reason Wachovia switched over to the latter convention is because BofA did the same thing a few months back in its home (NC) market.
posted by kindall at 12:55 PM on August 7, 2006


Citibank has been doing this with their online bill-payment system, well, I think as long as they've offered online bill payment. Some years ago, I used it to pay a bill that took a long time to be cashed; in the interim, I noticed the funds were not available and called support. The operator explained "all online bill payments are paid with guaranteed funds."

I'd actually be surprised to find a bank that did otherwise now.
posted by adamrice at 1:04 PM on August 7, 2006


The float can work for you if you use your credit card's billpay and always pay everything off. I do this all the time, including for my mortgage.
posted by NortonDC at 1:45 PM on August 7, 2006


Keep in mind that BofA is not really a single bank but an agglomeration of smaller banks that got acquired over time.

True.

Some parts of BofA deduct the funds on the day the payment is sent, others not until it's completed.

Not true. Online Banking is consistent franchise-wide (with the possible exception of CA/WA/ID, but I doubt even that). Funds are deducted on the Deliver By date you set in Bill Pay. This is the day the recipient recieves the money, either electronically or in check form. The frustrating thing for me, is that for that day, the funds are still in your account, but there is no longer a notation under "Scheduled Payments" for that money.

Jamaro, this behavior changed in April, I think, so your little experiment may have been done pre-change (and yes it was due to a change from the company that manages Bill Pay for Bank of America).
posted by Rock Steady at 2:54 PM on August 7, 2006


You can use CheckFree without opening a bank account with another bank. I think they will do it the "old way" rather than the "new way," which is annoying to me as well, btw. I have not used their free-standing site, so I can't be 100% sure, though. PayTrust is another one that I've seen recommended, but I have not used them myself.

Wachovia has just changed their policy recently - they now do not deduct the funds when they are sent, but when they are collected (that is, the check is cashed or the ACH transaction completes). I think that Wachovia uses CheckFree for this service, but I'm not 100% sure -- I AM sure they used to use a different service but there were some issues with that service's checks being forged ~2 years ago.

What's driving this is that people were getting pissy that their funds were neither in their hands nor in the hands of the payee for a certain period of time. So, the customer wasn't earning interest, for example, on his or her interest bearing checking account, and apparently enough people made enough noise that enough banks pressured CF to make this change. I know that the "new way" is coming to the bank I use because I used to work for them, and I am preparing to be completely annoyed. The only good thing I can see about it is that apparently my mother finds it simpler to determine whether or not a bill has actually made it to a payee.
posted by Medieval Maven at 4:34 PM on August 7, 2006


Online Banking is consistent franchise-wide (with the possible exception of CA/WA/ID, but I doubt even that). Funds are deducted on the Deliver By date you set in Bill Pay.

Nope, they have not yet rolled out this feature everywhere.

I know because I live in Washington and have Bank of America. I have to schedule my payments 5 days ahead of when I want them to arrive, and the money comes out on the day the payment is sent.

My guess is that they inherited some sort of contract with a lame payment processor when they bought Seafirst and they can't change us over.

BofA in WA also doesn't have the feature where they will actually go out and get your bills, payment amounts, and balances from other sites, which I understand is available elsewhere.
posted by kindall at 10:10 PM on August 7, 2006


kindall: Ah. California, Washington and Idaho are wierd beasts in the Bank of America menagerie, but I didn't realize it extended to Online Banking.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:35 PM on August 8, 2006


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