Never miss a bill payment ever again

Woman on the Telephone
Woman on the Telephone

Have you ever forgotten or been unable to pay a bill? If the answer is yes, you are not alone.

More than a quarter of Britons have missed a regular payment at some point, according to new research from VocaLink, the international payment systems provider.

Its survey of 2,000 UK consumers also reveals that many of those who have missed payments have faced big charges as a result.

Almost half (47%) of those who had missed a payment said they had been forced to pay penalties of up to £50 in the past 12 months.

Of these, 24% paid late fees or an unauthorised overdraft fee, and another 11% were hit with additional interest payments.

Why payments are missed

In many cases, people fail to make payments on time due to financial difficulties.

VocaLink's research shows that 53% of those who have missed payments in the past did so due to insufficient funds or irregular pay.

In lots of other cases, however, payments are missed simply because people forget they are due. This was the case for about a third of those who admitted missing payments in the past.

How to avoid missing payments

You should soon be able to avoid missing payment dates - and facing penalties as a result - by signing up for VocaLink's new flexible payment method: Request to Pay.

The system, which is expected to be available in the UK very soon, warns consumers about upcoming payments, giving them time to prepare for a payment by arranging it to be taken at a date of their choosing (within a set period of time), and allowing them to pay bills when their cash flow allows.

Chris Dunne at VocaLink said: "The increase in small businesses and part-time employment has led to a decline in people receiving regular salaries or incomes, and there is a pressing case for the payments systems to adapt to address these changes.

"The 'Request to Pay' system could revolutionise payments for consumers, and help those on multiple and variable incomes to manage their cash flow and support people with any payments challenges they face."

The Choice - Facing Your Finances
The Choice - Facing Your Finances