Pay bills online

Question: What do Canadian Tire, Speedy Muffler, the City of Toronto and Prince Edward Island’s tax department have in common?

Answer: They all use EPOST as one method to bill customers and take in payments. EPOST is the electronic branch of Canada Post. The service is the world’s first electronic post office.

The City of Toronto became the first municipal government in Canada to offer e-billing. The city delivers water bills electronically through EPOST to Toronto residents who register for e-bills. The mayor officially launched the service last summer, when he received his water bill on-line.

“This is the first step in the city of Toronto’s electronic service delivery strategy,” said Mayor Mel Lastman. “This water e-bill puts us on the cutting-edge of Internet technology.”

So far, three to four thousand households have registered for water e-bills, according to Lana Viinamae. She’s the director of information and technology for Toronto.

“It takes a while for people to be comfortable with it-but for cost savings, and convenience-this is really significant. We’re looking at savings from less paper handling, forms or postage, fewer errors, more efficiency,” she says.

And for the consumer-Viinamae sees definite advantages: “It’s the ease of access. No one has to wait for the payment counter to open, or rely on a paper bill. You can receive and pay online, seven (days a week) 24 (hours a day). Hopefully, this also saves a few trees.”

Banking, billing online
More and more Canadians are doing banking and bill payment online. A recent Angus Reid study found that 59 per cent of Canadians have Internet access. Of those with Internet access, 47 per cent say they’re interested in paying their bills on-line.

It’s predicted this will result in a huge growth in electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) and on-line mail delivery. Currently, 18 government branches and companies are connected to the EPOST’s online billing service.

  • Prince Edward Island residents can register for their tax notices
  • Farmers can register their farm stabilization accounts with Agriculture Canada.

    EPOST says Alberta’s Treasury branches and Manitoba Hydro are other government services going online soon. Major retaillers like The Bay, Sears and Zellers will also offer online billing and payment in the near future.   

    Online security
    EPOST works for all these diverse clients by providing a delivery channel and secure platform. Users get the benefit of the most advanced encryption technology available for protecting online mail privacy. And the digital postmark affiliation with Canada Post means government postal regulations also apply to the online mail branch.

  • EPOST was launched in the fall of 1999 as a joint venture by Canada Post and Cebra Inc, the e-com web based service of the Bank of Montreal. It’s attempting to revolutionize the way Canadians communicate.

    It looks like paying bills via the internet is part of the revolution.