Electronic bill payment

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Electronic bill payment is a feature of online, mobile and telephone banking, similar in its effect to a giro, allowing a customer of a financial institution to transfer money from their transaction or credit card account to a creditor or vendor such as a public utility, department store or an individual to be credited against a specific account. These payments are typically executed electronically as a direct deposit through a national payment system, operated by the banks or in conjunction with the government. Payment is typically initiated by the payer but can also be set up as a direct debit.


Online banking, also known as internet banking, is an electronic payment system that enables customers of a bank or other financial institution to conduct a range of financial transactions through the financial institution's website. The online banking system will typically connect to or be part of the core banking system operated by a bank and is in contrast to branch banking which was the traditional way customers accessed banking services.

Mobile banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution that allows its customers to conduct financial transactions remotely using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Unlike the related internet banking it uses software, usually called an app, provided by the financial institution for the purpose. Mobile banking is usually available on a 24-hour basis. Some financial institutions have restrictions on which accounts may be accessed through mobile banking, as well as a limit on the amount that can be transacted. Mobile banking is dependent on the availability of an internet or data connection to the mobile device.

Telephone banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution, that enables customers to perform over the telephone a range of financial transactions which do not involve cash or documents, without the need to visit a bank branch or ATM. Telephone banking times are usually longer than branch opening times, and some financial institutions offer the service on a 24-hour basis. However, some banks impose restrictions on which accounts may be accessed through telephone banking and usually limit the amounts that can be transacted.

Contents

In addition to the bill payment facility, most banks will also offer various features with their electronic bill payment systems. These include the ability to schedule payments in advance to be made on a specified date (convenient for installments such as mortgage and support payments), to save the biller information for reuse at a future time and various options for searching the recent payment history. In many cases the payment data can also be downloaded and posted directly into the customer's accounting or personal finance software.

Accounting software application software that records and processes accounting transactions

Accounting software describes a type of application software that records and processes accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, journal, general ledger, payroll, and trial balance. It functions as an accounting information system. It may be developed in-house by the organization using it, may be purchased from a third party, or may be a combination of a third-party application software package with local modifications. Accounting software may be on-line based, accessed anywhere at any time with any device which is Internet enabled, or may be desktop based. It varies greatly in its complexity and cost.

History

Although this technology was available from the mid 1990s, uptake was initially slow until internet access by households increased. By 2000, adoption of electronic bill payment systems started to dramatically increase.

Impact

From the consumer's point of view, electronic payment of bills is cheaper, faster, and more convenient than writing, posting and reconciling cheques. In addition, though limitations exist, a wider range of bank accounts or credit cards can be used for the electronic payment of bills.

Using electronic bill presentment and payment enables businesses to fast-track customer payments and get access to funds faster, which in turn results in cash flow improvement. [1]

For banks the advantages of electronic bill payments are a reduction in processing costs minimizing paperwork and an increase in customer loyalty. In a 2003 study, the banks said that "customers who pay online show more loyalty and are more receptive to other offers". [2]

See also

An e-commerce payment system facilitates the acceptance of electronic payment for online transactions. Also known as a sample of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), e-commerce payment systems have become increasingly popular due to the widespread use of the internet-based shopping and banking.

Electronic billing or electronic bill payment and presentment, is when a seller such as company, organization, or group sends its bills or invoices over the internet, and customers pay the bills electronically. This replaces the traditional method where invoices were sent in paper form and payments were done by manual means such as sending cheques.

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Electronic funds transfer at point of sale is an electronic payment system involving electronic funds transfers based on the use of payment cards, such as debit or credit cards, at payment terminals located at points of sale. EFTPOS technology originated in the United States in 1981 and was adopted by other countries. In Australia and New Zealand, it is also the brand name of a specific system used for such payments; these systems are mainly country specific and do not interconnect.

Mobile payment generally refer to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Instead of paying with cash, cheque, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile to pay for a wide range of services and digital or hard goods. Although the concept of using non-coin-based currency systems has a long history, it is only recently that the technology to support such systems has become widely available.

In banking, a direct deposit is a deposit of money by a payer directly into a payee's bank account. Direct deposits are most commonly made by businesses in the payment of salaries and wages and for the payment of suppliers' accounts, but the facility can be used for payments for any purpose, such as payment of bills, taxes, and other government charges. Direct deposits are most commonly made by means of electronic funds transfers effected using online, mobile, and telephone banking systems but can also be effected by the physical deposit of money into the payee's bank account.

A transaction account, also called a checking account, chequing account, current account, demand deposit account, or share draft account at credit unions, is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution. It is available to the account owner "on demand" and is available for frequent and immediate access by the account owner or to others as the account owner may direct. Access may be in a variety of ways, such as cash withdrawals, use of debit cards, cheques (checks) and electronic transfer. In economic terms, the funds held in a transaction account are regarded as liquid funds. In accounting terms they are considered as cash.

A giro, or giro transfer, is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and initiated by the payer, not the payee. The debit card has a similar model. Giros are primarily a European phenomenon; although electronic payment systems such as the Automated Clearing House exist in the United States and Canada, it is not possible to perform third party transfers with them. In the European Union, there is the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) which allows electronic giro or debit card payment to be executed to any bank in the area.

Cheque method of payment

A cheque, or check, is a document that orders a bank to pay a specific amount of money from a person's account to the person in whose name the cheque has been issued. The person writing the cheque, known as the drawer, has a transaction banking account where their money is held. The drawer writes the various details including the monetary amount, date, and a payee on the cheque, and signs it, ordering their bank, known as the drawee, to pay that person or company the amount of money stated.

Payment card card that can be used to make a payment

Payment cards are part of a payment system issued by financial institutions, such as a bank, to a customer that enables its owner to access the funds in the customer's designated bank accounts, or through a credit account and make payments by electronic funds transfer and access automated teller machines (ATMs). Such cards are known by a variety of names including bank cards, ATM cards, MAC, client cards, key cards or cash cards.

Merchant services is a broad category of financial services intended for use by businesses. In its most specific use, it usually refers to merchant processing services that enables a business to accept a transaction payment through a secure (encrypted) channel using the customer's credit card or debit card or NFC/RFID enabled device. More generally, the term may include:

Remote deposit is the ability of a bank customer in the United States and Canada to deposit a check into a bank account from a remote location, such as an office or home, without having to physically deliver the check to the bank. This is typically accomplished by scanning a digital image of a check into a computer, then transmitting that image to the bank. The practice became legal in the United States in 2004 when the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act took effect, though not all banks have implemented the system.

SMS banking

SMS banking is a form of mobile banking. It is a facility used by some banks or other financial institutions to send messages to customers' mobile phones using SMS messaging, or a service provided by them which enables customers to perform some financial transactions using SMS.

Payment and settlement systems in India are payment and settlement systems in India for financial transactions. They are covered by the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, legislated in December 2007 and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and the Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems.

Bank financial institution

A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.

Alternative payments refers to payment methods that are used as an alternative to credit card payments. Most alternative payment methods address a domestic economy or have been specifically developed for electronic commerce and the payment systems are generally supported and operated by local banks. Each alternative payment method has its own unique application and settlement process, language and currency support, and is subject to domestic rules and regulations.

BPAY is an electronic bill payment system in Australia which enables payments to be made through a financial institution's online, mobile or telephone banking facility to organisations which are registered BPAY billers.

Mobile payments is a mode of payment using mobile phones. Instead of using methods like cash, cheque, and credit card, a customer can use a mobile phone to transfer money or to pay for goods and services. A customer can transfer money or pay for goods and services by sending an SMS, using a Java application over GPRS, a WAP service, over IVR or other mobile communication technologies. In India, this service is bank-led. Customers wishing to avail themselves of this service will have to register with banks which provide this service. Currently, this service is being offered by several major banks and is expected to grow further. Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI) is the umbrella organisation which is responsible for deploying mobile payments in India.

Mobile Transactions Zambia Ltd (MT) is an enterprise launched in 2009 which aims to give its customers access to various financial services using mobile technology and a country-wide network of agents.

FreedomPay was founded in 2000 and is currently located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In early 2000, FreedomPay launched mobile payment "proof of concepts" with enterprises such as McDonald's, Bank of America and Visa. Later in 2004, FreedomPay delivered a closed loop payment system for stored value and voucher systems to the markets in the food service industry.

Yandex.Money electronic payment system that implements the idea of electronic money

Yandex.Money is Russia’s largest electronic payment service according to a 2016 survey by TNS. It is an online payment service that works with two types of clients — individual users and merchants.

References

  1. "eBPP workshop at CeBIT Future of Payments 2012". Archived from the original (PDF) on December 11, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  2. Bayot, Jennifer (April 21, 2003). "Banks Offer Sweeteners To Paying Bills Online". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-02-13.