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paying bills

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is the top news story throughout the world. If placed under a two-week quarantine, you may face numerous concerns with one being how to pay bills and manage financial accounts.

Several options are available for taking care of financial matters from home. These include online banking and phone and online payments. Some may be uncomfortable using these options, but there are several things you can do to make sure that these processes are secure.

Online Banking

Many financial institutions now offer the option of online banking. This option gives you the opportunity to manage your money online. For instance, through online banking you can often make electronic deposits and transfers without having to make a trip to your local bank. This helps you better manage your finances should you be quarantined. Also, many banks have an app for customer online banking. Contact your bank to see if this option is available. The ease of this type of banking can minimize concerns in a stressful situation.

Online Payments

If Internet access is available, consider paying bills online through the online services provided by the companies with whom you are conducting business. However, before using these online systems, take precautions to prevent identity theft. Go directly to the company’s website to be sure that the site is secure. A secure website means that the traffic is encrypted so that the data can’t be easily read by third parties. If a site is secure, the web address will start with https:// rather than http:// and the web address field in your browser will display a locked padlock.

An example of a secure website.

Phone Payments

If Internet access is not available, calling and making payments over the phone is always an option. Before doing this, make sure to call the company at the number it provides. You can usually find this number on the bill statement. As an extra precaution, do not give payment and personal information if someone from the company calls you. Tell them that you will return their call with the payment.

What if online and phone payments are not an option?

Some businesses do not accept online or over-the-phone payments. These may include water authorities, local businesses, and landlords. If this is the case, contact these businesses directly and explain your situation. They may offer other options. Letting these businesses know your situation is always better than simply not paying the bills.

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