Electronic bill payment is a feature of online, mobile and telephone banking, similar in its effect to a giro, allowing a customer of a financial institution to transfer money from their transaction or credit card account to a creditor or vendor such as a public utility, department store or an individual to be credited against a specific account.
These payments are typically executed electronically as a direct deposit through a national payment system, operated by the banks or in conjunction with the government. Payment is typically initiated by the payer but can also be set up as a direct debit.
In addition to the bill payment facility, most banks will also offer various features with their electronic bill payment systems. These include the ability to schedule payments in advance to be made on a specified date (convenient for installments such as mortgage and support payments), to save the biller information for reuse at a future time and various options for searching the recent payment history. In many cases the payment data can also be downloaded and posted directly into the customer’s accounting or personal finance software.