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MyCheckFree.com Bill Pay

If you have used MyCheckFree.com, please share your comments with others in our MyCheckFree.com user review section.

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Company

In December 2007, Fiserv acquired CheckFree, which was a major provider of online billing and payment services and products. CheckFree was founded in 1981 and they were acquired, about 25 million consumers initiated online payments through services managed by CheckFree.  Currently, many of the major banks in the U.S. outsource their bill payment service to Fiserv.

Service Name

MyCheckFree.com

Overview of MyCheckFree

MyCheckFree.com allows you to pay participating billers, and is an e-bill focused service. It is not a "pay-anyone service", which means that if a biller you want to pay does not appear on their list of participating billers, you cannot use this service to make bill payments to that biller.

Their current list of billers includes several hundred companies across various industries, such as utilities, cable, credit card, insurance, and telecommunications.  At MyCheckFree.com, you can pay many nationally known billers such as AT&T, American Express, and Time Warner.

Click here for a comprehensive list of billers that you can pay at MyCheckFree.com

Bill payments are made from the checking account that you provide to MyCheckFree.com during sign up. Multiple checking accounts can be enabled within the service, and you can instruct the service to pay a bill using any of your enabled bank accounts.

MyCheckFree is primarily an ACH based system, where you fund payments from a checking account, but a small number of billers will accept credit card payments, although many (if not all) will charge some kind of convenience fee for credit card payments.

Cost for using MyCheckFree

MyCheckFree.com is free to consumers, and is funded by participating billers. Charges to the consumer can apply in rare cases where the consumer is attempting to make an emergency last minute bill payment to a biller who accepts credit cards for payment.

Enrollment at MyCheckFree

Enrollment in the service is simple, but unlike bank based bill pay systems where you often don’t have to take any action to enroll, it is not seamless. To get started, you are asked for an email address, password, and zip code. The email address will be used in subsequent sessions as your login id. In addition, you provide a secret question and answer to allow you to retrieve forgotten usernames and/or passwords in case you forget them. You’ll also need to agree to the usual terms and conditions.

Once you have provided this information, you will be taken to a screen that shows up to 21 “probable” billers based upon your geographic zip code area. Out of my list of 20 billers that MyCheckFree.com presented to me, 7 of them were billers that I do pay on a monthly basis.

From this screen, you will also be able to search for and add any of the several hundred participating billers to your personal biller list.

After you have added billers and are ready to make a bill payment to one of them, MyCheckFree.com will prompt you for additional information, such as name, address, and telephone number. You will also need to provide a checking account number that will be used for funding your bill payments.

Adding Payees at MyCheckFree  

The process of adding a new biller begins with enrollment, but can be revisited at any time. A list of participating billers is presented, and you can select any from the list that you wish to enable. For each biller that you add, you will also need to present the biller account number from your paper bill, and the service address that is related to the bill (in case it is different from your home address). In addition, the biller may also ask you a question that is specific to their bill to assist them in identifying you within their own billing system. This information might be something like your telephone number, or your date of birth, or some specific code that you can locate on the paper bill that they send you currently.

After you add a biller, it may be 30 days or so before the biller begins sending e-bills to your account. In the meantime, you can still use the service to make a bill payment at any time for any billers that you have added to your profile.

MyCheckFree.com is able to validate that the account number that you enter for the payee is consistent with the typical account number format for the biller. That’s good for eliminating keying errors and problems.

Making a Payment at MyCheckFree

Each billing cycle (usually monthly), the biller will notify MyCheckFree.com that they have a new bill for you. MyCheckFree.com will then send you an email informing you that a new bill has arrived.

When you login to your MyCheckFree.com account, you will be able to view the bill details and pay the biller. You can also elect to have MyCheckFree.com automatically pay the bill on your behalf when it arrives, thus saving you from having to take specific action to pay. This capability is an optional feature and can be turned on or off on a biller by biller basis.

Bill payments can be for any amount, and can be scheduled up to one year in advance. Scheduled bill payments are able to be cancelled up until the time that they begin processing, which is usually about 24 hours before the assigned bill payment due date.

Payment History at MyCheckFree

MyCheckFree.com has a transaction history page that includes all of your bill payment transactions. This page can be filtered to return only bill pay transactions that match search criteria that you enter. Bill payment history is stored for 180 days (6 months) in the past. You can also view information for scheduled bill payments up to one year in the future.

There are links on the history screen that let you view the associated e-bill, and from this screen you can also drill down on the bill payment status to see when the bill payment was delivered to the biller.

For any future dated bill payments that have not yet been processed, you can cancel the scheduled bill payment from the history screen.

Transaction history can be downloaded and imported into Quicken or Microsoft Money.

Other Features at MyCheckFree

Customer care is email and chat based. Chat assistance is available during core business hours every day of the week. If telephone support is offered, it is a well hidden option and not easy to locate a number to call.

There is an ability to add bank accounts from different financial institutions. This is a feature you won't find with bill payment on banking sites.

Because this service is independent of any particular financial institution, you cannot see real time balance information for the checking accounts that you are using to fund bill payments. For those that live close to the edge, you'll have to keep tabs on your checking account balance to ensure that you don't bounce bill payments.

Because MyCheckFree.com is not a pay-anyone service means that you’ll have to have another way to pay billers that you owe money to who are not on the MyCheckFree.com network. That’s a bit of a nuisance.

Summary Results for MyCheckFree

MyCheckFree.com is a useful service from a major, trusted provider in the industry. CheckFree processes more bill payments than any service provider in the U.S., and they have a long track record of security and dependability. My preference would be to use a pay-anyone bill pay service that offers ebill capabilities rather than a site like this one. While this is a well crafted site, I’d prefer to find a single place to pay my bills, and this one by its nature can’t be it.

If you have used MyCheckFree.com, please share your comments with others in our MyCheckFree.com user review section.

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