Credit Union CEO explains how online bill pay systems can thwart fraud, maximize convenience
Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero; EAFocus Communications; email@example.com; 248.260.8466
Wyandotte, Mich. — June 9, 2022 — Michigan Legacy Credit Union (MLCU), with branches in Wyandotte, Warren, Pontiac, Highland and Flat Rock, and a complete menu of 24-hour online banking services, urges consumers to consider using online bill pay services through their financial institution for reasons that range from security to building a good credit score. First and foremost, according to Michigan Legacy Credit Union President and CEO Carma Peters, online bill paying can be a strong deterrent against cybertheft.
“Consumers who pay bills online by going directly to the merchant or service provider website are creating unnecessary vulnerabilities for their financial information because they create multiple accounts and repeatedly provide private information so enticing to cyber criminals,” Peters said. “With online bill pay services through a financial institution, there is only one account, and the consumer can pay almost all their bills through that account.”
Systems like Michigan Legacy’s online billing payment app, Bill Pay, allow users to pay bills safely through its secure portal, from a credit card bill and mortgage payment to a utility, child care services or a doctor bill. Because bills can be paid anytime or scheduled for payment, the option means no missed bills that can ding one’s credit score or temporarily cut off access to important services. This can be especially important for senior citizens who pay their bills by check and are unable to keep up with them should they be hospitalized or in a rehab facility.
Peters adds that the overwhelming majority of fraud occurs at the merchant’s site. That’s why financial institutions like MLCU reserve the right to shut off credit or debit card payments to retailers who are experiencing a high degree of online theft or fraud. Ultimately, it’s the financial institution that pays the price of the fraudulent activity, while consumers risk identity theft and its accompanying hassles.
MLCU has offered online bill pay services for about 15 years, but use of its Bill Pay system has grown significantly in recent years due to the convenience, the pandemic and now – high gas prices. More than 4,000 members utilize Bill Pay services; in May 2022, members completed 4,496 payments through it, totaling $1,547,125. The service has an added attraction to younger members because Bill Pay also allows person-to-person payments without the risks that can accompany competing services such as Zelle or Venmo.
“As a cooperative financial institution, we are committed to the safest banking options for our members,” Peters said. “Offering comprehensive online services that enable our members to limit their personal and financial information exposure outside of our credit union means a better experience for all.”
About Michigan Legacy Credit Union
Michigan Legacy Credit Union (MLCU) is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative serving members who live, work, worship, attend school, or own a business in the state of Michigan. Michigan Legacy Credit Union is committed to providing quality financial services at a competitive price, delivered professionally and efficiently while keeping member/owners and their needs first. For additional information on MLCU, visit: www.michiganlegacycu.org.