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Online vs Offline – which is the best way to pay bills each month

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Paying bills is something we all have to do every month. However, many Americans struggle to pay their bills on time due to money worries or getting confused.

An easy way to manage your bills and keep track of your money is to check if you’re using the best payment method. Switching to online payments or improving the way you manage money offline can make a big difference.

Discover the best way to pay your bills each month with our guide to the advantages and disadvantages of offline vs online payments.

Pros of online bill payments

With more and more services entering the digital age, it may be worth setting up an online biller to move your bills into one convenient place.

Here’s just a few advantages of going digital:

  • Increase security – paying a bill online is often safer, as you can track the payment and have a virtual record of any outgoings.
  • Easy and convenient – setting up your bills online will save you time rather than manually processing them each month, reducing the risk of missing a payment too.
  • Improved organization – using online methods allows you to choose what date each bill leaves your account and keeps your records in one easily accessible location.
  • Money savings – online can be cheaper than offline, as you won’t need to pay for postage. You can sometimes benefit from credit card reward schemes too.

Cons of online bill payments

Many Americans are still hesitant about moving their bills online. Here’s a few disadvantages to online payments:

  • Costly expenses – depending on your bank, you may have to pay a fee for every bill you pay out.
  • Lack of control – letting the system manage your bills each month means its easy to lose track of your money.
  • Lengthy processes – if you want to cancel a bill or change a payment, the process can take several days.
  • Privacy – sharing your information online does hold risks if the site is hacked or the company shares your personal data externally.

Pros of offline bill payments

Paying your bills instore, at a post office or at your local bank has been the popular choice for years, but that doesn’t mean it’s outdated. Here’s some of the advantages to staying offline:

  • You’re in control – paying your bills manually means you decide every month when it gets paid and how.
  • Saves you money – often, convenience stores will offer lower fees than your bank to process your monthly bills.
  • Quick and convenient – by paying your bills instore, you can do your grocery shopping too. Also, many payments are made the same day, reducing the risk of late fees.
  • Reliable – relying on a store associate rather than a computer can take the stress out of paying your bills. Most billers will provide proof of payment for peace of mind.

Cons of offline bill payments

Just like online payments, offline methods can have their downfalls. Here’s a few disadvantages to managing your payments manually:

  • Time consuming rent, electricity, cellphone, credit cards, we face several bills every month and processing them all one by one takes time and patience.
  • Security risk – sending your bills through the post can be risky and make it difficult to track if your payments go missing.
  • Missed payments – with so many bills and letters to manage, it’s easy to let one slip and face a late payment fee.
  • Costs – paying for postage can add up, not to mention the admin fees instore or at a bank.

Which is best?

Figuring out the best way to pay your bills each month comes down to two considerations – convenience or control.

Online billing is quicker and easier, as you can set up recurring payments and keep all your documentation and records in one place. However, it’s also easy to lose track of your outgoings, which could mean going into your overdraft. Plus, stopping a payment can take time, unlike manual billing.

The best method for paying your bills depends on your own preference, as well as your financial situation.

Pay bills with Money Services and Western Union

At Money Services, we offer both online and offline bill payments, so you can easily choose the one right for you. Set up your biller with us and benefit from:

  • Safe – our friendly store associates will manage your money securely, with many of our billers providing a confirmation number as proof of payment.
  • Quick – we know how stressful paying your bills can be. We’ll do our best to make your payment the same day.
  • Easy – as we’re located in your local Kroger Family of Stores, help is never far away. Plus, you can pick up your groceries at the same time.

Find Money Services near you

Find out more about paying your bills with Money Services.

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