How to Setup and Pay Bills Online from a PC Financial No Fee Chequing Account

After I opened my PC Financial chequing account and deposited a cheque at a CIBC ABM to fund it, I decided to set it up to pay some bills. Since I managed to pay my Bell bill once from our ING THRIVE chequing account, I picked Bell to test first. This time I know about Bell having a strange name for their business and an odd idea that the account number should not be the account number but instead the customer ID number. (Surprisingly confusing? Hey, this is Bell we’re talking about.)  Here’s what I did to pay the bill online.

Arranging to Pay the Bill for a New Company Online for Free from a PC Financial Chequing Account


First, you need to add the company to the list of bills you can pay online from your account. To do that, I followed these steps:

To Sign in to your PC Financial bank accounts

  1. Go to http://www.pcfinancial.ca/
  2. Make sure Online Banking is selected from the drop down list in the top right corner of the screen, then
  3. Click the Go button.
  4. In the Card Number field, type the number on your debit card.
    Do NOT type your account number. (Weird but true.)
  5. Do NOT click to select Save Bank Card. This is a terrible idea. Why give someone half the information to break into your account after they steal your computer?!
  6. In the Password field, type the password. (This is your long password, not the shorter one for telephone banking.)
  7. Click on the Sign In button.
  8. If this is the first time you’ve online banked, you will have to set up three identification questions and answers before you can proceed.

On the Account Summary screen, look for the column marked Funds Available. Do not try to pay a bill that is larger than your Funds Available! New deposits are usually placed on hold for 4 or more business days.

To Set Up a New Company to Get Paid

  1. On the left hand side list, click on Bill Payments.
  2. To set up a new company to pay, click on the Add Bills link.
  3. In the Billing Company’s Name field, type at least the first three letters of the company’s name to bring up a list of possible businesses, then click on the Search button.
    For example, I typed: Bell
  4. Based on what I learned from setting up Bell at ING Direct, I looked for BELL CANADA – ONE BILL. There are many choices for Bell, this may not be the correct choice for you!
    When I found it (the matches included anything with Belleville in the name, etc.!) I clicked to select the radio button beside BELL CANADA – ONE BILL
    then I clicked the Continue button.
  5. In the Account Number of Bill box, type the 14 digit number for online/telebanking from your last paper or online Bell bill.
    (They actually have a nice graphic of a Bell telephone bill to point out that although they want your account number, the number Bell describes as your Account Number is not what BELL wants: they actually want your Customer ID Number. Bell specializes in making things unclear on their statements.)
  6. Click the Continue button.
  7. As requested, very carefully check the number you added for mistakes.
    You don’t really want to pay money to some stranger’s bill while your own goes unpaid!
  8. If you’re sure it’s the correct number, click on the Continue button.

You will receive confirmation that the Company has been added to your Bills list.

You’re ready to pay the bill.

  1. If you are finished banking, in the top right of the screen, click on the Sign Out button.
  2. Click on the OK button.
  3. Close your browser to increase the security of your banking information.

How to Pay a Bill Online for Free from a PC Financial Chequing Account

Please be aware that it can take a long time for a bill to be paid after you enter the bill payment online. This is true of any bank or financial institution. Although it looks like the money left your account and went to the billing company immediately, it doesn’t really happen that way. It can take several business days for the transaction to be completed. Always pay bills online well ahead of the due date. If it doubt, call the company you owe money to and discuss the matter with them.

Be careful not to miss the payment due date!

UPDATE: August 2014
As a recent example of how long it can take to pay a bill, I recently wanted to pay down our credit card to open room for a big purchase.

  • I paid the CIBC credit card bill from our PC Financial account on Saturday August 16.
  • The money was deducted from my bank account immediately.
  • It only was credited to the credit card on the morning of Wednesday August 20!

 

  1. Sign in to your PC Financial accounts.
  2. On the left hand side list, click on Bill Payments.
    NOTE: PC Financial recommends you pay a bill at least 2 days before the due date. They don’t specify it, but I think they mean BUSINESS (Monday-Friday, not holiday) days.
  3. For the company you want to pay, in the Amount $ field for that business, type the amount you want to pay.
    For example, under the heading BELL CANADA – ONE BILL, in the Amount $ field, I typed $17.96.
  4. In the When section
    • From the month drop-down list, select the desired month.
    • If desired, type over the values in the Day and Year fields with the day and year on which you wish to pay the bill.
  5. If you have more than one chequing account, in the From drop-down list, select the account from which you wish to pay the bill.
  6. If the amount and date for the payment are correct, click on the Continue button.
  7. Review the information about which business will be paid what amount of money on which date from which account. If it’s all ok, click on the Pay These Bills button.
  8. Write down or copy  and save or print the Reference Number and other information including the date/time stamp. You might need this to resolve any billing disputes if there is an argument later about the bill payment.

NOTE: You cannot pay bills directly from a PC Financial savings account. You must have a PC Financial chequing account.

NOTE AGAIN: Just for fun, I tried entering a bill payment date of two days ago. Unfortunately the system is too smart for that and tells me I have to enter today’s date or a future date. No cheating allowed I guess.

  1. If you are finished banking, in the top right of the screen, click on the Sign Out button.
  2. Click on the OK button.
  3. Close your browser to increase the security of your banking information.

For businesses like Bell, it’s a good idea to check online a few business days later and make sure the bill is reported as paid.


How to Check Your Transaction History for a PC Financial Chequing Account

  1. Sign in to your PC Financial accounts.
  2. From the list on the left side of the screen, click on the Account Activities link.
  3. Click on the Transaction History link.
  4. Check whether the correct account is listed in the drop-down list, if not select your Chequing Account from the list.
  5. Check the Starting When and Ending When date fields include the dates you’re interested in.
    If not, select the month from the drop-down field and type the day and year you are interested in.
  6. Click on Search for Transactions.
  7. You should see a record of your bill payment, if you chose to pay your bill today.
  8. If you are finished banking, in the top right of the screen, click on the Sign Out button.
  9. Click on the OK button.
  10. Close your browser to increase the security of your banking information.

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Do you pay your bills online? Have you ever had a company claim you paid your bill too late? Please share your experiences with a comment.

3 thoughts on “How to Setup and Pay Bills Online from a PC Financial No Fee Chequing Account

  1. Pingback: Disk Crashes, Daffodils, Password Trappers and Friday #ShoutOuts

  2. How long does it take time to transfer money to visa card or other CC companies when I pay their bill trough PC financial free account ? ( How many days/business days)

    • According to the PC Financial website “Therefore, you should schedule a bill payment to occur several business days in advance of the date on which you wish the payment to be effective to ensure it arrives in time” http://www.banking.pcfinancial.ca/mkt/common/lookingfor/faqdailybanking-en.html
      Personally, I always pay the bills 5 business days ahead of time. From a PC Financial account, that means I have to make the request to pay the bill 6 business days ahead of time because they don’t let me put in today’s date only the next business day’s date.
      I don’t work for PC Financial; I’m just a customer. I wouldn’t trust them, though, to get the payment through very quickly. Give them lots of time–avoid hassles.

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