With the evolution of technology, customers now have an array of payment methods to select from. From the classic and evergreen method of paying in cold, hard cash, to using debit and credit cards, customers can find the method that best meets their needs. But how do you find out which method is the best for your long-term financial planning? Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular payment methods. Read the below and pick the method that best suits your needs. You might even find that you need two or three of these methods in your kitty and use them as needed.
Cash is a great method of paying a bill since it helps prevent overspending. Cash also offers freedom, privacy, and autonomy since it does not leave a paper trail of your purchases and bill payments. But not all, if any, utility services accept cash these days. One way of getting around this is by opting for e-cash to pay your utility bills and insurance premiums. This can be done via ecash payment services such as vanilladirect. All you need to do is present a unique barcode that is sent to you when you register and present it at any one of the tens of thousands of participating merchant stores and shopping chains. The cashier scans the code, and lets you pay the utility bill or purchase in cash. The disadvantage of cash is that it is difficult to carry a lot of cash with you for emergencies. Cash can also be swapped with counterfeit notes.
Debit cards are not only great for paying utility bills, but they also work well when you don’t wish to carry large chunks of cash around. Debit cards are also faster in processing the transaction than a cheque or even cash, since the money is withdrawn directly from your account rather than an intermediary. The downside of using a debit card for making a bill payment is that you can end up losing the debit card and potentially losing all the money in your account if a thief decides to clean it out.
Credit cards are an extremely convenient method of paying bills, especially when you are low on funds and cash but know that your salary will be paid soon. Credit cards also offer rewards over purchases and help you build your credit score. The great downside of using a credit card is if you’re not regular in paying back what you owe, your interest keeps accumulating, and can lead to a large, long-term debt in the long-term. Credit cards can also be lost and then used to rack up a large bill by the person stealing it.
Perhaps the most important benefit of mobile banking might be the ease and convenience it offers. You can pay from anywhere at any time, as long as you have access to the Internet. Mobile banking lets you pay bills, make purchases, and transfer money to various accounts, all without having to log on to a heap of websites. The downside of this method is that not all consumers have access or knowledge of this method, especially the elderly and other vulnerable sections of the population.
Every payment method comes with its own pros and cons. Read the guide above and decide the best one for you.