AutoPay Your Bills

Information verified correct on September 23rd, 2016
autopay credit card bills

Here’s how to not be a part of the great banking fee grab

Australian banks and lenders have scored billions of dollars from their customers in penalties and late fees. One simple way to avoid this happening on your credit card is to set up automatic payments with ‘AutoPay’ and you will never be late for a payment again.

Setting up AutoPay can help you pay all of your bills on time, so you can have the peace of mind of knowing you won’t see any unexpected unpaid bills.

What is AutoPay?

Autopay is very similar to direct debit, your funds automatically come from your savings or transaction account and is used to pay your off your credit card. You can set a minimum credit card payment each month, the total balance outstanding or set a certain amount each month.

Advantages of AutoPay

  • Saves time. Since we only have a limited number of hours in the day, having an automatic payment is more convenient and reduces your workload.
  • Saves money. You can avoid the possibility of late payment fees and postage costs of mailing your payments.
  • Improves credit. Building a history of on-time payments improve your credit history. This will be very helpful when you’re applying for a personal loan.
  • More security. Fund are taken directly out of your account and are paid straight into your bills electronically. Your money is handled electronically and is only handled by the parties that are involved.

Disadvantages of AutoPay

  • Sufficient funds in account. If you have more than one bill to pay off, you need to make sure that you have enough money in your account. Sometimes you won’t know how much our next bill is, so it’s better to have extra funds in the account.
  • Wrong debits incurred. If there were changes on your agreement and those changes have not been implemented before the due date of the bill, then this service could fail because of administrative problems. Sometimes, some bills may be left unpaid which could hold you responsible.

How can I set it up?

  1. Fill in an ‘Card AutoPay Request’ form supplied by your bank, or if your bank has online facilities, you can also apply through there.
  2. After you’ve completed the form, hand it into your local branch. If the form is completed online, then submit it to your lender.
  3. Your bank will inform you when the AutoPay arrangement will commence. Application usually takes up to 6 weeks to be processed. In the meantime, you still need to make manual payments.

What can I expect in the application form?

AutoPay Form 1
AutoPay Form 2

Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t have sufficient funds?

If you don’t have sufficient funds in the nominated account when payments are about to be made, then your transactions will be rejected and you may be charged a dishonour fee. How much the fee is depends on your lender. The interest will also be charged towards your outstanding balance on your credit card – your bank will treat the situation as if you never paid.

What if I need to make changes to my AutoPay?

Make sure you let your bank know as soon as possible if you need to make changes to your AutoPay. Generally, you need to give at least 7 days notice to your bank if you want the changes made.

What if I have been charged incorrectly?

If you’ve noticed that there has been an error with your AutoPay, make sure you contact your bank immediately so they can address the issue. The best way to handle this situation would be to call your bank directly.

Shirley Liu

Shirley is a personal finance journalist for finder.com.au. She is passionate about educating readers about home loans and helping users navigate the area to find the best deal for their financial situation.

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