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Bill Pay Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Account Confirmation Questions

Payee Questions

E-Bill Questions


GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is Bill Pay Service?
First American Bank is providing bill pay service as a convenience to our customers who are looking for an easy, time-saving way to pay bills. First American’s Bill Pay Service (“Bill Pay”) and First American Small Business Bill Pay (“Business Bill Pay”) allow you to schedule and make payments as well as receive and pay bills online.

  • Subscribers can pay anyone, anytime, anywhere in the United States, from mortgage lenders to suppliers, to newspaper carriers.
  • Subscribers can also set up recurring payments, such as a car payment, rent, etc.
  • Single payments can be scheduled up to a year in advance.
  • The only payments that cannot be made through bill pay service are court-ordered payments and state and federal tax payments.

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How does the Bill Pay Service work?
Easy! Just a few simple steps to get started:

  1. You must be an authorized signer on a First American Bank checking or savings account.
  2. Be sure you are registered for First American Bank online banking. Click on www.entrustbankcard.com to set up your merchant account bankcard log in if you’re not already registered. If you have difficulty, contact your personal banker.
  3. You will actually “click through” the First American website, and enter the website of the partner we have chosen to provide this service, CheckFree Electronic Billing and Payment Service.
  4. On the CheckFree website, set up your payees and schedule your payments. That’s it!

Items to note:

  • When you first begin using the service, set up your payee list by adding the payees to whom you want to make payments. Some payees can also send you electronic bills (e-bills). You need only add each payee once. All of your payees will then be listed on the Quick Pay page, where you can quickly schedule payments.
  • When you make a payment, you specify the date that you want the payee to receive the payment. We recommend that you schedule your payment date four business days before the actual bill due date to allow time for electronic processing or for mailing if a paper check is sent. The service will determine whether a payment is sent electronically or by check, based on whether the payee accepts electronic payments and other guidelines.
  • After a payment is scheduled, it appears as “Scheduled” in Payment History. After the payment is processed, the status changes to “Processed”. The payee receives your payment on the payment date you specified and credits your account. Sometimes, however, the payee may take a few days to apply the payment to your account.

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How secure is my bill payment and personal information?
We use several methods to ensure that your information is secure.

  • User Name and Password: Your user name and password are unique identifiers that only you know. As long as you don't share your user name and password with anyone, no one can sign in to your bill pay service except you.
  • SSL: Bill Pay uses SSL (secure sockets layer) which ensures that your connection and information are secure from outside inspection.
  • Encryption: We use 40-bit or 128-bit encryption (whichever your browser supports) to make your information unreadable as it passes over the Internet.
  • Automatic Sign Out: In addition, Bill Pay automatically signs you out of a session if you are inactive longer than ten minutes. It is best if you sign out immediately after you are finished scheduling and making payments.

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What is the cost for Bill Pay, and how do I pay the charge?
Bill Pay Service is $6.00 each month.

Compare this with the cost of buying stamps to mail your bills, and the time spent writing checks. The savings add up quickly, and the convenience is invaluable!

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What if there are insufficient funds in my account when the bills are processed for payment?
If your account doesn’t have the required funds, First American will charge the usual NSF fee of $25 per item returned. In addition, the partner First American has chosen to provide the best bill payments service, CheckFree Electronic Bill Payment Service, will charge an additional $20 for added processing required.

If you qualify for First American Bank’s Overdraft Privilege Service, or any other overdraft protection service, First American will pay the returned item, up to $500. You’ll still be assessed the standard $25 NSF fee, but payment of the item will allow you to avoid any additional charges imposed by the payee.

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Who do I contact if I have questions about my Bill Pay Service?
Contact Bill Pay Customer Service at 1.800.268.5652.

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How do I cancel my bill payment service?
Canceling is not difficult, but there are steps to take to ensure your bills are paid on time once the service is canceled.

Go to the My Profile page and click Service Setup at the top. On the My Profile - Service Setup page, click Cancel Your Service. Before you cancel your service, keep in mind the following:

  • Scheduled payments, including repeating payments, are not paid once you cancel.
  • Payments in process are paid.
  • You no longer have access to your payment history and you can no longer send payment inquiries. It’s best to wait until all of your scheduled payments are processed before you cancel your service. If you let your scheduled payments process, then you won't have any outstanding payments that you can't view or inquire about after you cancel your service.
  • Your payees are notified to stop sending e-bills. However, it can sometimes take a few days for the payee to process the request. Therefore, until you begin receiving paper bills again you should contact the payee directly about your payment amount and payment due date. Because you can't send your payment using Bill Pay after you cancel your service, make your payment to the payee by some other means, such as a check.
  • If you decide to use Bill Pay Service again, you will have to re-enroll and set up your payee list.

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ACCOUNT CONFIRMATION QUESTIONS

How do I confirm my account?
Go to My Accounts and select the Unconfirmed link next to the account you want to confirm. On the Confirm Account page, type the deposit amounts in the appropriate boxes. If the deposit amounts you type match the deposit amounts in our records, your account is confirmed.

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Why do I have to confirm my account?
Confirming your account enables you to use all the features of First American Bill Pay. Unconfirmed accounts have the following limitations:

  • First American Bank sets a limit on the total amount of all bills you can pay from an unconfirmed account.
  • First American Bank also sets a limit (usually 45 days) on the total number of days you can make a payment from an unconfirmed account.
  • You cannot set up automatic payments with an unconfirmed account.
  • You cannot move payments to an unconfirmed account.

These limitations protect you in case someone attempts to use your account without your authorization. When you confirm your account using information that only you or someone you authorize to use your account can know, we re-evaluate your First American Bill Pay account and remove most of the restrictions. The only limitation for a confirmed account is the payment limit set by First American Bank.

Account confirmation provides an extra level of assurance that the account you added through First American Bill Pay is actually your account or an account that you are authorized to use.

Note: The information you need to confirm your account is available on an account statement from your financial institution. Account confirmation transactions have ACCTCONFRM or similar wording in the description.

You can have three unconfirmed accounts in a 12-month period, which includes any account that you delete. If you reach this limit, you must confirm one of your accounts before adding another.

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How does account confirmation work?
Whenever you add an account to First American Bill Pay, we make two small deposits and one withdrawal in your account. (The withdrawal is the sum of the two deposits.) The deposits and withdrawal appear on your monthly statement from your financial institution (either online or mailed to you) with ACCTCONFRM or similar wording in the description. Find this information on your statement and use it to confirm your account.

Note: If you wait longer than the limit (usually 45 days) set by First American Bank to confirm your account, you won't be able to pay your bills from it until you confirm it. If you exceed the number of attempts you have to confirm your account or there is a problem when we try to send money to your financial institution to confirm your account, a message informs you to print and mail us a form.

You can have three unconfirmed accounts in a 12-month period, which includes any account that you delete. If you reach this limit, you must confirm one of your accounts before adding another.

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Why do I have limits for unconfirmed accounts?
Limits are for your protection in case someone attempts to use your account without your authorization. When you confirm your account using information that only you or someone you authorize to use your account can know, we re-evaluate your First American Bill Pay account and remove most of the restrictions. The only limitation for a confirmed account is the payment limit set by First American Bank.

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Where can I find my deposit amounts?
To find the amounts we deposited into your account, you can:

  • Look at the statement from your financial institution, either online or one that is mailed to you.
  • Call your financial institution and ask for the confirmation deposit amounts.

Note: The deposit amounts are identified with ACCTCONFRM or similar wording in the description. The description of the deposits may vary slightly, but should contain some indicator that the deposits are for an account confirmation.

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What should I do if I don't have any confirmation amounts on my monthly statement?
Keep in mind that it can take up to a month for the account confirmation deposits and withdrawal to appear on your monthly statement. The account confirmation deposits and withdrawal are identified with ACCTCONFRM or similar wording in the description. The description of the deposits may vary slightly, but should contain some indicator that the deposits are for an account confirmation.

Some other ways that you can get this information are to check your account statement online or to call your financial institution and ask for the confirmation deposit amounts.

If your financial institution has no record of the confirmation deposits and withdrawal, check your account information on the Manage Account Options page. If the account information is incorrect, you must add a new account with the correct account information.

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PAYEE QUESTIONS

What is a payee?
A payee is any company, service, or individual you make payments to. Payees can be anyone who bills you, such as your phone company or credit card, or individuals, such as your landlord or newspaper carrier.

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Who can I pay using my bill payment service?
You can pay anyone in the United States that you would normally pay by check or automated debit, with the following exceptions:

  • State and federal tax payments
  • Court-ordered payments

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What if a payee I want to make a payment to isn't on the list of payees I have to choose from?
You can make payments to anyone you would normally write a check to. If you do not find the payee in the provided list, you can still add the payee by entering payee information such as your payee account number and the payee's address and phone number. Once you enter the payee information, you can make payments to the payee at any time.

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Do I need to contact the payees I decide to pay with the Bill Pay Service?
No, you do not need to contact your payees if you use this service. We send each of your payments with your payee account number and payee information, so the payees are able to credit your account appropriately.

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Can I add the same payee to my payee list more than once?
Yes, you can add the same payee to your payee list more than once. You can add multiple payee accounts for the same payee as long as you have different payee account numbers. For example, if your phone company provides your home phone service and your cellular phone service, you can add the company as a payee twice by entering a different account number each time

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E-BILL QUESTIONS

What is an e-bill?
An e-bill (electronic bill) is an electronic version of a paper bill that you can view online through CheckFree Electronic Billing and Payment Service.

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How does electronic billing work with CheckFree Electronic Billing and Payment Service?
The service lets you make payments and receive and pay bills online through CheckFree Electronic Billing and Payment Service. You can make payments to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the United States, from your mortgage lender to your newspaper carrier.

The only payments you cannot make through your bill payment service are court-ordered payments and state and federal tax payments.

Electronic billing lets you receive electronic bills (e-bills) online through CheckFree Electronic Billing and Payment Service. Some payees are able to send e-bills to their customers. If you add a payee that is e-bill-capable, you have the opportunity to request e-bills from the payee.
Once your request has been authorized, you'll receive an e-bill from the payee within a month or so, depending on the payee's billing cycle. You can pay the e-bill directly, and you can also continue to make single payments to the payee whenever you need to.

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Is an e-bill the same as a mailed bill statement or invoice?
An e-bill is a statement or invoice in an electronic format. E-bills typically contain the same information as your mailed bills.

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How do I receive e-bills?
You can receive e-bills from payees that are e-bill-capable. Once you request e-bills from a payee and the request is processed, you should receive a message in Messages stating that your e-bill service has been activated. E-bill service requests are usually processed within two weeks. New e-bills appear on the E-Bills page.

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How long does it take to receive e-bills from a payee?
It may take up to two weeks for the payee to process your request for e-bills. Once your request has been accepted, it may take a month or more, depending on the payee's billing cycle, before you begin receiving bills electronically.

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How do I know when I receive a new e-bill?
The Unpaid E-bills page lists your new e-bills. A notice also appears on the Welcome page to let you know when new e-bills arrive.

If you are waiting for an e-bill service request to be processed, check Messages periodically for a message stating that your e-bill service has been activated for the payee. When you receive the first e-bill depends on the payee's billing cycle.

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Will I still receive a paper copy of the bill through U.S. mail?
It depends on the payee. Some payees stop sending a paper bill and only send an e-bill to your Bill Pay account. Other payees continue to send paper bills through U.S. mail in addition to an e-bill to your Bill Pay account.

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Can I store or view paid e-bills?
You can view paid e-bills by going to E-Bills and then clicking Paid E-bills. You can always use your browser's print feature to print the bill if you want to keep long-term records.
You can also view an e-bill for which you have a scheduled or canceled payment. However, you cannot view deleted e-bills.

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How do I pay e-bills?
You can pay one or more e-bills from the Unpaid E-bills page. For more information on paying e-bills, go to the help from the E-Bills page. As with all Bill Pay payments, you control the payment amount and payment date.

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