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Old 05-08-2008, 12:50 PM   #1
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Online Bill Pay - Safe?

So, the question is how many of you feel comfortable with paying for your bills online? Is it safe?

I was definitely a skeptic for the longest time. I'm more old-fashioned, I guess just because if the system isn't broke it shouldn't be fixed. But we all know how big of a pain paying bills is.

Well, a few months ago my nephew showed me how to pay my bills through my bank (I have PNC). I assume most banks now offer this for free now. WOW! This is so much easier. I haven't wrote a damn check since then. I haven't ran into any "scam" situations yet with my personal info (fingers crossed).

Down to the point of my original question; I'm pretty handy around the house for most fix-ups. Although, recently I needed a roof put on my house - not a DIYer if you know what I mean. I found a contractor through a website called Contract Spot. Pretty cool site. Anyway, my contractor just told me to pay him directly through the site. It's not so much him that I am concerned with, but rather going through a site other than my bank to pay online. He sent me an invoice directly through the site, seems nice.

Has anyone else heard of the site? Any advice?




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Old 05-08-2008, 02:55 PM   #2
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Contract Spot requires that you set up an account to pay them.

Contract Spot seems primarily an easy method for contractors to accept credit cards. Like all credit card processing companies they charge the contractor a surcharge (they charge $0.40 + 3%). IMO that means the contractor charges you $0.40 + 3% extra (at least) to cover their costs. If you want to pay with plastic - it is probably safe (verisign secured).

You can also use the site to make payments by check, essentially an electronic wire transfer. Contract Spot warrants in their User Agreement that they do not "store" "credit card, debit card, and/or deposit account (" Payment Instrument ") information". So, theoretically (I don't have an account, just feeling too lazy to work on one of my projects) you enter your bank account info, they debit your account, pay the contractor and your bank info is deleted. FYI: they charge the same fees for ACH payments.

ACH (electronic fund transfers) are great when it is a hassle/impossible to give someone a check (like buying something online from across country).

But with your contractor..why not just write a check once the work is completed? Probably, Contract Spot is safe, but unless you're using a credit card, I wouldn't bother.


If I could only remember to THINK about what I was doing before I did it.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for taking the time to give your educated insight. Guess I'll ponder a bit more on this before making my final decision. Sounds good from a secure standpoint I guess - just depends what I want to do. His quote and succeeding invoice was comparable to others I got, so even with the 3% it is a moot point I suppose.
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