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July 20 , 2010

Atlantic Canadians least likely to pay bills online

Survey shows snail mail still preferred

An overwhelming 96% of Atlantic Canadians prefer to receive their bills in the mail, and they are the least likely in Canada to pay bills using online banking (56%). This is according to the TD Canada Trust Everyday Banking Poll.

Fifty-four per cent of people in the region report having missed the due date for their bills. Top reasons for late payments are that they simply forgot to pay on time (76%), forgot to check the due date (59%) and they misplaced the bill (35%). Almost a third of Atlantic Canadians report paying over $20 a year in interest caused by missed or late bill payments.

"Paying interest and late charges on missed bills, even a few times a year, is like throwing money away," says Russell. "One of the easiest ways to save money and protect your credit score, is to pay bills on time and online. Make sure you have the right everyday bank account - it should include features and services that help make it easy for you to pay your bills on time, keep your payments organized and avoid interest and late charges. If not, you should consider making a change."

Many Atlantic Canadians may be overlooking the implications of missed bill payments. A surprising 51% of respondents think that there is no consequence if they miss a bill payment - that they just pay the overdue amount on their next bill.

How do Atlantic Canadians pay their bills?

The most popular method of payment in Atlantic Canada is pre-authorized payment from their chequing accounts (59%). Online banking comes in second at 56%, but Atlantic Canadians are least likely in Canada to use online banking. Nationally, it is the most popular method of paying bills, particularly for Canadians under the age of 50. Seventy-five per cent of those 18-to-29 pay their bills online and 78% of those 30-to-49 pay their bills online. The second most popular form of payment is to pay by a pre-authorized payment from their chequing account (58%).

Other popular payment methods in Atlantic Canada include paying at the branch (44%) and sending a cheque in the mail (21%).

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