What is a utility bill? The bills such as electricity bill, telephone bills, mobile phone bills, etc. are referred to as utility bills. Usually these bills have to be paid in their respective offices on or before the due date. Standing for hours in a queue to pay an electricity bill or telephone bill is now history. These utility bills can be paid online these days. Though still in its growing stage, it is implemented little by little into more and more bill payments.
Online payments remove the difficulty of standing in queue to pay bills on the last date of payment. Thus online payments provide a convenient, easy, safe and secure way of paying your bills.
Online payment can be done in two ways, on an ad hoc basis or as a standing instruction.
In the first type of payment, payment is done only when directions are given to the bank to transfer your payment from your account or credit card. For example if a person misses out to pay the electricity bill till the last date of payment and suddenly recalls it on the last day, he can make the payment on the last day online thus escaping from the late fee which would have been there otherwise. This payment is done only once when instructions are given.
The second is standing instruction for payment. In this case, the payment will be regularly done from your account or card on a specified date. These payments can be arranged to be informed with intimation about the pending payment and payment is done only when the authorization is done after looking into the actual amount of the bill. One can also ask for a confirmation of the payment done.
Payments of periodic payments like mutual funds, insurance premium, can also be done online nowadays.
Online payment is currently available in the following areas:
|Credit Card||Mobile Phone|
|Insurance Payments||Internet Service Providers|
Online payment of utilities is currently available in SBI, Union Bank, Syndicate Bank, ICICI, HDFC, HSBC, Axis Bank, Bank of India, Citi Bank, Corporation Bank etc. Though these institutions offer online payment facility, there are limitations to these payments. There are some billers listed by each of them in specific areas, to only whom the payment can be done. The basic limitation of such online payments is the list of billers and places. The organizations offering the facility are also limited now (they are picking up steadily). The other concern is the safety and security of such transactions.
The details of the biller and the bill have to be provided to the bank to have the payment done to the company. Any incorrect details will lead to wrong payments to the utility company. In such a case, verifications have to be done directly with the company to which the payment is done.
In case the payment is done by mobile transactions or online transaction from the account generally there are no charges involved. But in case the payments have to be done as a DD there may be charges involved.
Other than the banks which are officially authorized to do such payments, these days there are agencies which offer the same services for the common man.
For example some of the online payment facilities offered by SBI bank are listed below category wise:
National Association for the Blind , PETA INDIA , CRY – Child Relief and You , WISE , SAVE , CPAA , PRIDE India , CHILDLINE , Help Age India , Give India
MPSEB Bhopal , Thane Municipal Corp , BSES Yamuna , APTRANSCO , Reliance Energy Limited , NDPL, CESC , BESCOM , MSEB Mumbai , BSES Rajdhani , Torrent Power AEC Ltd , TATA POWER , Torrent Power Surat, BEST Mumbai
Customs Imports, Customs Exports
OM Kotak Mahindra ,SBI Life Insurance ,ICICIPRU , BirlaSunLife, LIC , Tata AIG Life Insurance , Metlife, Reliance Life , Aviva Life , Bharti AXA Life Insurance , Max New York Life
India Today, Readers Digest
Airtel, Tata Indicom, Tata Docomo, Vodafone, etc. in few selected regions.
Vodafone Kerala, Fidelity MF SIP, ICICI Prudential MF SIP, Birla Sun Mutual Fund, HDFC Mutual Fund
HMWSSB, MCGM, Chennai Water, Corporation of Chennai
Tata Indicom and BSNL in selected regions
This is the list for only one bank. With so many banks now entering this domain you can use your valuable time elsewhere rather than standing in a queue. E-bill payments should soon become a part of the syllabus of every time management trainer!