Step By Step: How To Spot A Bill Paying Center

I have been searching the city for Bill Pay centers capable of what Walmart does. You can read more about my favorite and least favorite place (it’s actually the same place).

Here’s my step by step guide of spotting one from my observations, so it’s a bit generalized:

  • “Industrialized” areas will have bill pay locations
  • Working class areas will have bill pay locations
  • Underbanked areas will have bill pay locations

There’s plenty of Moneygram and Western Union locations, but if you go inside and ask about bill pay or money orders, oftentimes, the mom and pop’s do not have a PIN terminal. There are a few gems out there, so you must be persistent and persevere and ask around.  If it’s an area you are active in, you should watch the customers and see what type of transactions they do. For instance, there are plenty of pharmacies (not your big box like CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade, et al) that are Western Union agents, but not a single one have a PIN terminal set up to the Western Union machines because these pharmacies are serving immigrant customers who are underbanked and transact cash only. For instance, KMart by my job has a PIN terminal hooked up to their Western Union machine, but as fraud prevention they transact cash only.

Sorry, if your expectations or your normal “step by step” guide of spoonfeeding, you need to put the legwork in. Good luck out there!



7 comments… add one
  • I’ve been doing a similar search and keep discovering places that use an ATM to assist their transaction. They use their behind the counter ATM to withdraw from your debit, charging a $2-3 fee to use their ATM and your debit charges their fee, then use the cash to do the bill pay. What racket! I really feel for the unfortunate people who are forced by whatever their personal issues are to use this kind of ‘service’ .
    So my hunt continues to find additional places as I prefer to use WM as a last resort, plus the hunt is kinda fun. Good luck on your search!

    • You’re absolutely right! I forgot about that – one of the places that I went into had a ATM that was either $1.50 or $2 fee for $200 or $300 max withdrawal. Good luck as well

  • generally, do you approach the counter and ask if they offer bill pay / money order services and the terms?

    • Yup, I stroll into the store pretend I’m looking around to buy something as I scope out their WU or MG terminals. If I have any questions I ask the clerks if debit cards are possible to use their services.

  • Why not just use evolve to bill pay w debit? Or are u just looking to pay your cc bill?

    • I like to diversify paying bills back, I mostly look for direct bill payments to credit card

    • Evolve sucks. It doesnt take pmts for anything I cant already pay by CC. And their new limit of 4 transactions makes a subpar program useless.


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