America Online, Inc., (AOL) announced this week the launch of AOL(R) Bill Pay, a new service that helps AOL's community of users save time and money with a streamlined way to track and pay bills online as well as manage their personal finances.
AOL Bill Pay is more than just a bill payment service; it is a life management tool, according to AOL releases, that interacts with AOL emails, alerts and calendar. For example, alerts can be set up to notify members of large transactions on their credit cards, which may be an early indicator of identity theft or fraud.
Or members can use AOL Alerts to set up an alert to be notified when they are about to exceed their cell phone minutes. These alerts join the more than 32 million alerts set up by AOL members as of October 2002. Furthermore, an easy to read expense history area enables members to analyze and review expenses across their registered accounts, helping them keep a close eye on finances, budget better and catch inaccuracies.
Key benefits of AOL Bill Pay include:
- Bill Presentment Capability: The streamlined process lets members receive bill summaries through email and connects them directly to their biller website where they can post payment, saving them time and adding convenience to their daily lives. AOL's authentication process helps ensure that bills delivered via Bill Pay are genuine and not forgeries. Furthermore, the bills are delivered to members via a visually distinctive email, adding an extra layer of security and giving members extra assurance that the bill is authentic.
- Speed and Savings: AOL Bill Pay features one of the largest networks of billers, which accept online payment, allowing members to directly connect to more than 2500 biller websites, most of who accept same day payment. This capability allows members to pay bills later and still avoid late fees.
- Streamlined Sign-in Process: A single word authentication process means members are no longer required to remember multiple biller site IDs and passwords for different biller websites. A simplified process combines all of them under one AOL Bill Pay account security question, which is separate and distinct from their AOL service password.
- Enhanced Alerting Capability: Payment schedules for registered accounts can be integrated into AOL's Alerts & Reminders and AOL Calendar, making it easier to remember due dates and pay bills on time. Additionally, members can keep track of spending and purchases on other accounts between statements. For example, members can set up an alert for large transactions on their credit cards, which may be an early indicator of identity theft or fraud.
- Bill Histories: AOL automatically archives bill statements for up to 12 months and sets up an expense history for all of members' registered accounts, helping them track how much they are spending and on what. The billing history is presented in a simplified pie chart by category (cell phone, credit card, utility) or by biller.
AOL members will be able to sign up for the AOL Bill Pay for no extra charge at AOL Keyword: Bill Pay. They can access their Bill Pay account on the AOL Service or on the web at http://www.aol.com