EBillme has partnerships with more than 800 online merchants, including Sears, Kmart and Buy.com. During the checkout process, shoppers with an account with eBillme can simply select it as a payment option instead of debit/credit. A bill for the item is then sent to users, who can pay it through their bank’s online bill payment program to complete the purchase. (Bills can also be paid at a bank’s walk-in location, though using online bill pay is sometimes a stipulation for receiving certain cash-back offers.)
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Of course, the need to sign into a bank’s website and pay a bill adds a second step to the process, and many shoppers accustomed to one-click shopping will bristle at the reduced convenience. Still, those who don’t mind the extra step are rewarded with cash-back benefits of at least 1%, fraud protection and a best price guarantee, with eBillme paying the difference if you find a better price within 90 days of purchase. And as Forzley points out, eBillme provides security for those wary of handing over credit card numbers to online merchants – all you give the merchant is a name and an e-mail address.
In fact, some shopaholics may even come to appreciate the extra step inserted by eBillme. There’s ample evidence that the use of credit or debit cards increases impulse buying, both by allowing for quick purchases and providing a level of separation from the actual amount being spent. By forcing buyers to take a second look at the amount they’re spending – and see that sum compared with the money they actually have in the bank – eBillme could dissuade impulse buying and help consumers get their spending under control.
—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.