Buggs McBuggs
Contributor
I am very disappointed with USAA'S bill pay option. Last weekend, I requested a large payment be made to a bank where I have an RV loan. I make monthly payments to this bank so they are setup on my app. I requested a large principle reduction payment be made by the 21st. The App warned me that there was not enough time to make that payment by the 21st, pick another date. So I tried the 22nd. The app accepted that date, so I went about my business. On the 22nd, I checked and the bank had not received the payment. I began back tracking and discovered that USAA did not send the payment until the 22nd, and then sent a check instead of electronically. I contacted customer support but Amanda could not determine the reason for the foul-up other than some lame "probabilities" this after leaving me on hold for long periods while she "checked" for me. She even called me by a wrong name and rank when returning to me one of the times. I really did not feel as though I was a valued customer after this call at all. This is very un-typical for my dealings with USAA.

9 REPLIES

Hello Buggs, I would like the opportunity to review your concern. Are you able to speak by phone, if so what is the best time to reach you? ~ Lori

I had a similar situation. I used Bill Pay to send a fairly large amount to my credit card company – to be sent on the due date (12/21). On the 22nd I got an email from the credit card company stating that they had not received payment. Following occurred on 12/23/16

  • checked USAA on line and it indicated that the transaction was completed on the 21st.
  • Called the credit card company – they still had not received payment
  • Checked USAA on line again to see the details of the transaction – it showed that a paper check was sent via mail.
  • Called USAA to find out why. After long hold I was told that it was USAA policy to send it by mail unless the receiving company confirmed that they would accept wire transfer. I was told I should contact the credit card company to get them to confirm they would take wire transfers. I explained that this had to be the most asinine policy ever and I wanted to speak with whomever was responsible for something so dumb. I was told I should expect a call within 72 hours. Further, I could not get an explanation as to why I was not informed of this while setting up the payment.
  • Called the credit card company – as expected they never heard of anything so outlandish. One of their reps said since the amount was so high I may have exceeded some limit on wire transfers set by USAA. But providing actual customer service I was told that a note would be put in my file and that the late fee and interest would be waived.
  • Called USAA again. Asked about any limits on bill pay wire transfers – told there were none. So I asked this rep why mail instead of wire transfer. Was told that the rep did not know but USAA used a third party to perform the transfers. Never was an offer made that USAA would check further with the third party to find out what was going on. I asked for the FISERVE contact information. I was also told that the check was actually cut (and sent?) on the 19th,
  • Called FISERVE. After giving my name and callback number was asked what financial institution I worked for. I explained that I was a USAA member not an employee. The FISERVE rep almost laughed and said ‘let me guess – you had a problem and rather than solving it USAA said to call us'. He went on to explain that they had received a number of calls from USAA members over the past week or so. He also explained that their policy – and USAA’s is that they cannot give info to ‘consumers’. It must come from USAA.

 

It appears that there is a systemic problem causing payments to be sent (without any warning) by mail instead of the expected electronic transfer. It also appears that the customer service folks are unaware of the problem or have no clue on how to resolve it. As it stands a check has been wandering around in the USPS system since the 19th and as of the 24th has still not been cashed – or maybe not as yet delivered.

 

In over 50 years of membership have always been impressed with USAA service. I hope this latest is not indicative of a trend.

 

Good Afternoon AIFL, I'm sorry to hear this was your experience. When using a banks online billing service, there is no guarantee which payment method will be used for the payment to be sent, since this depends on the merchant.

Many merchants will accept electronic payments up to a certain dollar amount. If the payment is over their maximum limit set for electronic payments, the online bill payment service is prompted to send via paper draft check.

Regardless of the payment method, our goal is to deliver the payment to the merchant on the due date selected. When a draft paper check is requested, we allow up to 4 days for mail delivery. In the event the merchant did not receive the payment on the date you requested, due to any delays via USPS, etc. you may view the details in your payment history and provide as proof of payment to the payee. This will show that you initiated the payment prior to the due date with every effort to pay on time.

I hope this helps clarify how the online bill payment process works. Should you have any additional questions in regards to electronic payments for larger amounts, please contact your payee for their limits. We value your membership and appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. ~ Lori

@Lori - not everything you say about electronic payments is true - I too have experienced problems with BillPay and was told the exact same thing that you wrote in your response.   This was my latest experience - after my Target bill had been paid electronically for many months (years), FiServ (USAA) decides to mail a check for a bill that was a little over $750.  It arrived late (mailed 3 days -not 4 - before it was due even though payment was set up 10 days in advance).   The next month, my Target bill was over $875 and guess what, it was paid electronically.  So I do not know what the real criteria is on whether "electronic" or "paper" checks are issued.  Target told me that they had no limit on an electronic payment.  Nationstar also told me that had no limit on electronic payments and actually told me that USAA was the one that was having checks issued because it was cheaper for USAA.  (Nationstar payments are done electronically now - maybe too many complaints).

 

Also please explain how looking at our details in our payment history helps us prove anything to a merchant especially with a check.  Many merchants do not care whether you have initiated the process, they only care if the process was completed.  Merchants are not interested in our problems with the post office and they are not interested in the internal issues between the members, USAA, and FiServ.

 

Every vendor I have spoken to would rather have an electronic payment and not one vendor has ever given me a limit that differentiates between an electronic payment or a paper check.  Again, USAA/Fiserv is asking members to obtain information from vendors that it seems USAA or Fiserv already "knows".  So why doesn't USAA /Fiserv share this information or more importantly, make the website more user friendly by having a popup box that says "a paper check will need to be issued for this particular payment - do you wish to make any changes, such as different due date".  This would actually allow a member several options, such as moving up the due date because the USPS is now involved or perhaps making two smaller payments on two separate (consecutive) days that fall below the paper check threshold or perhaps actually walking into a Target store and paying with a handwritten check. 

We appreciate you sharing your concerns with us concerning your Web Bill Pay. We will certainly share the feedback you've provided to our Member Feedback Department. If you would like additional details as to why your payments for a specific merchant are going from electronic to check and vice versa, please contact CheckFree(Fiserv) directly Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., CT at 1-800-848-1337. Thank you! - Darrell

I have just spoken with Chase Credit Card – as I expected they will accept any amount by wire transfer. They have NO limit. In the past I have used both large and small local banks' bill pay services to pay equally large amounts to Chase and others. In every case the bill was processed electronically and arrived on the date promised. The various “explanations” I have received from USAA on this matter all indicate that no actual research has gone into them – rather guesswork based on a “not our fault” presumption is the basis of the responses. I suggest that someone from USAA contact FiServe about the specific cases to determine what is really going on. Dealing with non-specific generalities and providing “what may have happened” explanations just does not cut it. It appears that there is a systemic problem that will not get fixed until you recognize it and then address it.

 

Further, none of the responses addresses why members are not informed/provided an opportunity to select another method to pay their bills when you/FiServe determine that a paper check is the way to proceed. Your assertion that 4 days is allowed does not jibe with the facts – Due on the 21st and mailed on the 19th. If the 4- day window was not available that should have triggered some action to alert me.

AIFL,

 

Thank you for providing additional feedback regarding your concerns with Web BillPay. I've confirmed  this matter is being researched for you and you will be contacted by a member of our team as soon as possible. - Rhonda

I had the very same issue with a long standing automatic payment to my credit card company. USAA inexplicably didn't transfer the payment but had a paper check cut , that was subsequently never received, much less by the payment date.
I have since changed which party initiates the payment so that my credit card is pulling the money from my account instead of my USAA bill pay paying. I don't know who this third party is or if it is a recent change but the system does not work.
To top it off when I called and asked for the check to be stopped since I didn't initiate it to begin with they wanted to charge me $29 for a payment fee.. thankfully the customer service representative realized that that was stupid and fixed it. I know the folks that answer the phones do their best by us but whoever is running logistics does not.

@SuzK, Thank you for reaching out and making us aware of this situation. I am forwarding your feedback. Thank you  ~Tom