Paying Monthly Bills (Part 2 - Security Issues)

Paying with ACH - Credit Card - Debit Card or Check

Are there any security concerns with these different methods?

Is anyone worried about large companies having access to your ACH Bank info?

Anyone ever have problems with this?

Any security concerns with this?

Credit Cards seem simpler to deal with with security issues.

What about debit cards?

No concerns, and in the UK the banks are responsible for their security and have to guarantee them.

Cheques are pretty much phased out over here. I don’t mean that no-one uses them, but that very, very, very few people do.

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What’s ACH?

(Never heard of that)

Automated Clearing House. It’s a generic term for national interbank transfer settlement systems, that for historical reasons is also the popular term for the systems used in the US.


Same here in continental Europe. Many countries even stopped issuing them. For Germany: only 0.1% of financial transactions are with a cheque. 48% through direct withdrawal.

The last cheques I got: one in Pakistan, one in the US.

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The common Eurocheque was already stopped more than 20 years ago. That was when checking more or less stopped for private persons within Germany.

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The only auto-billing I’ll do with ACH is bank-to-bank: namely, my mortgage. I’m very leery of giving anyone my banking info, let alone allowing them to store it on their computers.

Similarly, I don’t use a debit card. Credit cards where I am (in the US) have more protections against fraud and other problems compared with debit cards. Since I pay off my credit cards each month, there’s no reason for me not to use a credit card over a debit card. In fact, for years I resisted getting one because of the security risk. But now, most banks no longer provide ATM-only cards; you have to get a debit card that also works at ATMs.


It’s the security from them that I worry aboutl Large companies are targets.

Credit cards get hacked and changed so frequently that the CC issuers have a well defined way to say nope not my bill and credit yoy,

I never use debit cards, because of they someone gets that number they can drain your account before you realize it.

Oh and I do use checks, local farm that has no other way to pay for veges , the trash service that only accepts real checks, hay, tractor work, etc. Usually amounts to 8-10/month

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ACH - not an issue in EU; banks take care of this and are responsible for security (and liability).
Credit card - more a US item I think, EU most people would do direct automatic bank transfers
Debit card - usually, but same as ACH: banks are responsible for security (and liability).
Check - I’ve not seen or used one in at least 15 years! did not know these even existed anymore? (do they?)

In general in the EU (NL specifically) Banks are responsible for their security and liable for damages, with a deposit guarantee scheme from the government providing assurance for citizens. The banking regulators take this very seriously and test banks on this on a continuous basis.

Also from a privacy perspective this is the same, and with GDPR in force in the EU I have few concerns for my own banking activities.

Appreciate this is very different for the US, and this conversations gives me some very interesting insights in how countries can differ in their approach.
Think it comes down to whether your politicians take the citizens first or companies first approach.
It seems the EU is a bit more citizens first, and US more companies first maybe?

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Can someone explain what info is required for ACH?

(I’m not familiar with the concept)

In the EU you only need to share your bank account’s IBAN number for direct/automatic payments. Does ACH require more? What?

Here is an article about ACH

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@rob, tl;dr we in the United States share our bank’s routing number and our account number to set up a utility company to automatically get paid.

That is not much different, from how it worked in Europe, just a little more complicated, and therefore slower.

Same thing in the European countries that do direct debit. You authorise the company/merchant directly to debit from your bank.

In the EU, banks participating in the SEPA direct debit scheme (basically all, in some countries, most notably in Germany) are required by law to reverse such a consumer transaction: no questions asked within 8 weeks of transaction, much longer if you never authorised the payee.

That is a stronger protection than what credit card issuers and schemes provide.

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This is the isue, as far as I know there is NO such protection for the consumer in the US. Credit cards are far more fraud friendly asin if you report fraud they will reverse the charges with ni hassles.