Alternatives to Using Your Debit Card to Pay Bills Online


July 2, 2021



Debit cards, which are tied to your checking account, let you make purchases, in-person and online, while avoiding the interest charges you might face if you use a credit card.

Even though it may seem like a convenient way to pay bills, a debit card doesn’t as much protection if it is compromised.

Here are the basic protections and consequences of what happens in cases of debit card fraud, from the Federal Trade Commission.

  • You’re responsible for a maximum of $50 of unauthorized transactions if you report the card as lost or stolen within two business days.

  • Didn’t report the fraud within two days? Your maximum burden goes up to $500 if someone uses your physical debit card without your permission — if you report the fraudulent charges within 60 days after your statement is mailed to you.

  • Didn’t make that 60-day window to report fraud? You face potential unlimited damage if someone uses your ATM or debit card without your permission.

Merck Employees FCU offers some alternatives to using your debit to pay bills that offer more protection and security against fraud.

  • Bill Pay. With MEFCU Bill Pay you can securely send payments to any vendor of your choice. Payments may be sent electronically or via paper check, so you can pay even if the biller isn’t online. You can also choose a one-time payment or set it up on a recurring basis. Register via online banking to begin.

  • ACH Payments. Many vendors offer an ACH option. This will allow you to use your routing number and account number to process the payment.

With both options, the funds will be deducted directly from the account of your choice within just a few business days.

Please report any debit card charges you suspect to be erroneous as soon as possible.

To dispute a transaction, call 1-844-269-3354

To report your debit card lost or stolen, please call – 1-800-472-3272


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