Direct debit versus BPAY View

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01.BPAY View

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Which method is best for paying your bills - BPAY View or direct debit?

BPAY View is an extension of the popular electronic payment system BPAY. It lets account holders have the final say as to how and when their bills are paid, and the merchant usually absorbs the fee if you’re paying bills from your debit account. Here’s how it works:

  • Electronic bills are sent to you and stored in your online or mobile banking service.
  • When a bill is due you’re notified by the biller via SMS, email or a message from your online banking system.
  • You log in to your online banking and choose the BPAY View option, where you’ll see a summary of your bills.
  • Click a bill to review it in detail and then click again to pay the bill immediately or schedule a future payment.

Where do I start?

  • Go to bpay.com.au to find out how to register for BPAY View.
  • If your biller doesn’t provide the option of paying with BPAY View, use the contact form on BPAY’s site so BPAY can let them know it’s time to sign up.

Direct Debits

The bad bits:

  • Direct debits hand control of your account over to the service provider - so if you happen to be under-funded on payment day, you may be slugged with dishonour fees. 
  • Sometimes they get it wrong, and fixing the problem can mean entering a labyrinth of corporate chaos.
  • Only four of the 16 banks we contacted in our CHOICE shadow shop complied with the direct debit cancellation protocol laid out in the Code of Banking Practice. This stipulates that banks cancel direct debits at the customer’s request.
The good bits:

  • Some billers offer discounts for paying by direct debit.
  • You don’t have to phone or log in to each biller’s website to make a payment.
  • Unlike with a credit or debit card, the transactions usually show up on the same day the money has come out of your account.

CHOICE Verdict

Telcos, gyms and energy providers love the direct debit system. The bill payment comes out of your account on the designated day. No mess, no fuss – the provider gets control of your account and their money on time. 

But what about you in this equation? What works best for your wallet? Maybe it's time to tell your provider to give you the option to pay with BPAY View and pay when it suits you.

 
 

 

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