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NICOR - Quicken Bill Manager causing payee convenience fee now being charged ?

I have used QBP longer than I can remember. It always paid Nicor with an electronic payment, not a check. Now when I tried to use the new Quicken Bill Manager, it says there will be a $2.95 convenience fee tacked on to the payment.
Why is this happening now? What has changed with the way QBM works that would cause this fee to be added? I have never been charged an additional fee with Bill Pay.

Comments

  • Quicken JulioQuicken Julio Moderator, Employee mod
    Hi @TheWeasel,

    Thanks for taking the time to post to our Community.

    Do you know what specific type of electronic payment Quicken Bill Pay would send to NICOR?

    I ask because on NICOR's site states that you can make a payment "using a credit/debit card or checking/savings account. A $2.95 convenience fee will apply to each transaction."

    Processing this payment with Quick Pay would fall under this type of transaction since it is coming directly out of your checking/savings account.

    The type of electronic payment QBP uses for this specific payee may possibly contribute to the $2.95 fee not being previously applied. Have you already tried contacting QBP to gather some more details about the payment process?
  • TheWeaselTheWeasel Member ✭✭
    Hello, thanks for the reply.
    I really have no idea how Bill Pay processes e-payments. I was under the assumption that QBP made the payment and then took the funds from my account. The status of an earlier payment just says “Payment Type: Electronic” and “Completed. An electronic payment was initiated on 02/18/2020 and it was scheduled for delivery to NICOR GAS on 02/19/2020.”
    I hadn’t tried to contact Bill Pay because it works as expected, like it always did. When I log on to Bill Pay and select Help it takes me to the Quicken site. I’ve already spoken with tech support there. They couldn’t explain what was happening with Bill Manager.
    Almost everything I pay with Bill Pay is an electronic payment and I’ve never had any fees attached. If Bill Manager is going to incur a fee for every e-pay, it’s a non-starter. I can’t afford that.
  • GeoffGGeoffG SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've searched this forum for other reported fees like yours and found none. Not sure if this is an isolated incident or an early warning. Agree that if there are unintended fees associated with Bill Pay that is not acceptable. Have you considered using nicor's auto-payment option?
    user since '92 | Quicken Windows Premier - Subscription | Windows 10 Pro version 1909
  • TheWeaselTheWeasel Member ✭✭
    OK, I just spoke with QBP. They can't help with what's happening because, as I suspected, there is no problem with the way they pay billers. They tell me it's defiantly an issue with the way Bill Manager works and I need to contact them again.
    My suspicion is this (and I admit I have no idea how this all works) – QBP sent the payment to the biller directly and then pulled the funds from my account. The biller doesn’t know, or care, that the money came from me. I believe that QBM is logging on to the biller web site with my credentials and paying the bill. From the biller’s point of view, it’s me logging on and paying and then they tacking on the fee.
    QBP never had any biller login credentials for me. In fact, until I started to try and use QBM, I never even had online accounts with most of the billers.
    Like I said earlier, almost everything I pay with Bill Pay is an electronic payment with no fees. If Bill Manager is going to incur a fee for every e-pay, it’s a non-starter. I can’t afford that.
  • ps56kps56k SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26
    There has been other reports of how QBM is now causing a "fee" to be charged by the receiving payee...   I will look for that posting and try and add it here.

    EDIT - updated topic title to better reflect Q&A

    Quicken 2020 Deluxe - Subscription - Windows 10
  • ps56kps56k SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting...... just went to our Nicor account -
    and walked thru the bill payment screens -



    We happen to pay Nicor via our online Chase account - bill payment feature -
    and it is connected to our Quicken -
    there is no charge.

    Quicken 2020 Deluxe - Subscription - Windows 10
  • TheWeaselTheWeasel Member ✭✭
    > @ps56k said:
    > Interesting...... just went to our Nicor account -
    > and walked thru the bill payment screens -
    >
    > (Image)
    >
    >
    > We happen to pay Nicor via our online Chase account - bill payment feature -
    > and it is connected to our Quicken -
    > there is no charge.

    My checking account is linked to QBM, as it was to QBP. When using QBM it got to the last screen before sending the payment and a noticed popped up saying $2.95 would be added to my payment - biller convenience fee.
  • ps56kps56k SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 26
    Yes... merely confirming your original observation -
    I've been using my Chase acct to pay bills from within Quicken.
    I was using the Chase online website, and their webpage for scheduling and paying all my bills.  I actually stumbled across the concept of using my Quicken to connect with my existing Chase account for bill payments - it was a snap - all works great, all is free, and I can do everything from my Quicken Deluxe -

    As mentioned - take a look at your Quicken banking accounts,
    and see if any are setup as  "Direct Connect" and the bank also offers bill payment.



    Quicken 2020 Deluxe - Subscription - Windows 10
  • TheWeaselTheWeasel Member ✭✭
    > @ps56k said:
    > Yes... merely confirming your original observation -
    > I've been using my Chase acct to pay bills from within Quicken.I
    > was using the Chase online website, and their webpage for scheduling
    > and paying all my bills.  I actually stumbled across the concept of
    > using my Quicken to connect with my existing Chase account for bill
    > payments - it was a snap - all works great, all is free, and I can do
    > everything from my Quicken Deluxe -
    >
    > As mentioned - take a look at your Quicken banking accounts,
    > and see if any are setup as  "Direct Connect" and the bank also offers bill payment.
    > (Image)

    Neither of my payment accounts support Direct Connect, only Express Web.
  • TheWeaselTheWeasel Member ✭✭
    > @ps56k said:
    > Yes... merely confirming your original observation -
    > I've been using my Chase acct to pay bills from within Quicken.I
    > was using the Chase online website, and their webpage for scheduling
    > and paying all my bills.  I actually stumbled across the concept of
    > using my Quicken to connect with my existing Chase account for bill
    > payments - it was a snap - all works great, all is free, and I can do
    > everything from my Quicken Deluxe -
    >
    > As mentioned - take a look at your Quicken banking accounts,
    > and see if any are setup as  "Direct Connect" and the bank also offers bill payment.
    > (Image)

    Also, that looks like QBP (Quicken Bill Pay) correct? That works fine for me, but it's ending and you have to switch to Quicken Bill Manager.
  • ps56kps56k SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    TheWeasel said:
    Also, that looks like QBP (Quicken Bill Pay) correct? That works fine for me, but it's ending and you have to switch to Quicken Bill Manager.
    NOPE - if you go back and look at my screen grabs -
    you will see that one of the screens shows TWO choices -
    - one is your Quicken Bill Pay option -
    - one is the CHASE Payment Service option ..... that is what I am using ---

    Quicken 2020 Deluxe - Subscription - Windows 10
  • TheWeaselTheWeasel Member ✭✭
    > @ps56k said:
    > (Quote)
    > NOPE - if you go back and look at my screen grabs -
    > you will see that one of the screens shows TWO choices -
    > - one is your Quicken Bill Pay option -
    > - one is the CHASE Payment Service option ..... that is what I am using ---

    OK. I was under the impression that Direct Connect and Express Web Connect were just two different ways for Quicken Bill Pay to do it's job.
  • Chris_QPWChris_QPW Member ✭✭✭
    @TheWeasel

    For Quicken to send "bill pay commands" to a financial institution they have to be using Direct Connect which is the OFX protocol. So to use this the financial institution has to support Direct Connect and bill pay through it. So Quicken is basically just providing a GUI to the financial institution's bill paying system. This why you can make changes either in Quicken or at the financial institution's website bill payment system.

    Direct Connect also as its most basic operation supports downloading your transactions.

    Direct Connect is Quicken talking directly to an OFX server at the financial institution.

    For the financial institutions that don't support Direct Connect there is Express Web Connect.

    Express Web Connect is the "attempt" to log in as you on the financial institution's web site, and get your transactions. Never has that been extended to try to use any financial institutions bill payment systems, which would all be different. (It is hard enough just to get the transactions).

    So if your account is using Express Web Connect bill payment isn't available, that is the reason for looking to a third party bill paying system.

    So these third party bill pay systems like Quicken Bill Pay and Quicken Bill Manager must figure a way to take commands from Quicken and then schedule the paying of the bills and get the payments "from the outside" of the financial institution. Quicken Bill Pay uses ACH transfers to get the funds from our account to make the payments. I'm not sure of the details of how Quicken Bill Manager gets the money out of your account, because Quicken Inc hasn't put out any of the details on how it works, but it has to be similar.
    (I'm using the latest Quicken subscription version)
  • TheWeaselTheWeasel Member ✭✭
    I was able to e-pay 3 other vendors with QBM - no additional fees. It seems to be a QBM to Biller issue. There were no fees using QBP.
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