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If anyone has a problem with the fee for the city's online bill pay option, I would suggest that they switch to USBank, and then use their system to pay their bills online at no charge from their checking account. The City of Lawrence is listed as a suggested vendor to be paid, and it is necessary to fill in your water bill account number online with USBank. The same is necessary for all of the bills that you want to pay online at no charge. It's called "Free Bill Pay". (I doubt very much that this is unique to USBank!)
A week to ten days before the bill is due (before your paper bill arrives, actually), you will get an email alert that your bill is going to be due, or you can delete that option if you want. Then, when you know the amount and want to pay it, a few keyclicks are needed after you are on your bank statement page. You fill in the amount to be paid, and select the date that you want it paid. You have a couple opportunities to review the information you have filled in, and then click "pay". But even after that, it is possible to cancel the payment, or change the amount or payment date.
If the monthly date and the amount of a bill is always the same, that can be accommodated also. Then, no attention at all from you is required.
I think almost all of the larger banks offer free bill pay, but the only one I know about for sure is USBank, since that's the bank that I use.
From the editorial: "So here’s hoping that one of the biggest changes affecting utilities for the city will be a move to a new, improved means of online bill-paying that’s free, immediate and truly convenient."
Well, USBank has had a "new, improved means of online bill-paying that’s free, immediate and truly convenient" for its customers for years now. Perhaps the city should urge the customers to check to see if they can pay through their bank, instead of simply charging a fee for the exact same thing.
And, the State of Kansas used to charge a fee to use a credit card (and perhaps debit cards also) for car registration and driver's license renewal. But, that fee was eliminated within the last year or so. Maybe the City of Lawrence should follow suit.
As of August 1, State of Kansas will reinstate processing fees for online vehicle registration renewals. Just got my renewal with that info.
KU Credit Union offers free online bill pay too (and I use it for everything). The difference between this option and what the editorial describes is that the free bill pay essentially triggers a check to be cut directly from the bank. Paying electronically through the City website results in an electronic transfer.
Wow and Westar both charge for electronic payments, but the payments show up immediately on my online banking account. I don't understand why any of this should be free as all of these businesses do have to hire people to keep track of all this. They don't run themselves.
I pay both WoW & Westar online & have never been charged a service fee for doing so.
The "Paymentus" vendor that the city uses is ridiculous - you have to enter info seriously like eight times before you get to the actual paying part...there's also a cap of $200, so if you have a $224 bill, you have to call back, enter all that info again, and pay a second fee. It's insane.
Its Lawrence isn't it
Finally, an editorial that I can get behind! It is ridiculous to pay a fee to pay a bill! It is certainly not convenient. The Big bank bill pays aren't very convenient either, the transactions take too long. The only bills I pay with US Bank are the ones that don't offer a free option like Lawrence Utility Billing. If we can afford that stupid rec center, we can afford to not get gouged on top of the sewer bill!
Well, one could always pay by check, either in person or by mailing it.
Sometimes the old fashioned ways work well enough for most of us.
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