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BY CATHY CARTER
When you juggle your mortgages, utility bills, and credit card payments every month, using online banking to pay them off makes a lot of sense. It is a service that your bank provides to organize your bills and pay them on-time from your checking account. Some credit unions and online bill-pay services also allow this convenience with a minimum charge.
The biggest advantage of online payments is to get rid of writing and mailing several checks every month to pay your dues. However, nearly 1/3rd of Americans above 65 still do not use this mode of payment. If you are also wary of online payments or banking systems, let’s look at their benefits, functioning, and processes to remove your doubts.
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Why Should You Opt for Online Bill Payments?
With online banking services, you can automate your financial transactions, and bill payments are no exception. If you have bills with the same amount to be paid each month, such as car loans or mortgages, you can set up a recurring payment system using the online bill-pay services of your bank or a credit union. Even for varying bill amounts, you can schedule payments ahead to avoid missed or late payment charges.
The core benefit of online payments is a guaranteed and timely service if you have sufficient funds. Instead of visiting separate websites for each payment or writing manual checks, you can sign in to the bank’s online portal and complete an automated process within minutes.
Most importantly, it adds an extra layer of security to your credit card payments, especially if you have a shortage of funds.
How Does Online Bill Payments Work?
The online bill payment system links back to your checking account for making immediate one-time payments, recurring payments, or future one-time payments. You can easily set up online bill-pay with your bank or a private service provider by logging on to its portal. Link on the bill-pay section on the website and choose the relevant link to add a payee and the recipient service provider’s name.
The process will run smoothly if you gather all your bills with specific account numbers and addresses. Input the information into your bank’s platform and schedule payments when they are due. You can also set reminders to track the due dates for each payment.
And if there is no electric way to make payments, the banks also arrange for printing the checks and mailing them on your behalf to the respective service provider once you consolidate your payments in the system.
How to Use the Bill-Pay Service Safely
When you choose your bank’s bill-pay system, stay cautious, and make the payment safely. Here are a few vital things to keep in mind.
Have Sufficient Funds in Your Account
Though the system of online banking and bill payment is pretty straightforward, it may sometimes make you forget proactive bill management. After setting up a recurring payment, you may forget about keeping your account sufficiently funded to seamlessly let the payments flow. It may result in penalties for late payments or missed bill payments. So, keep sufficient funds in your checking account every month to avoid any difficulties
Adopt Safe Internet Banking Practices
Many people are skeptical about using online financial services due to the scare of hacking, identity theft, and other cyber threats. Sometimes, financial transactions conducted online can expose you to the risks of security breaches. However, it shouldn’t stop you from availing yourself of this convenience.
You can minimize the risk by setting up strong passwords and using secured networks when signing into your bank’s portal. As a general practice, avoid online transactions like bill payments or fund transfers when working on public Wi-Fi networks.
Transparency is Significant
Sometimes, when you set up a manual bill payment system with a service provider, you may notice some discrepancies down the road. It happens when you send a check to the payee through the service provider and get your account debited even without the payee cashing out the check. This will not only affect your bank balance but also result in penalties for late payments.
The best way to avoid such instances is to work with the bank that follows high transparency levels in its services. You can mostly find a reliable bank that provides the date when the check will be cashed and add it to your payment history.
Check the Fee If Any
Avoid last-minute surprises when tallying your account every month by asking about any service charges applicable to the bill-pay service. Some transactions are mostly offered free by your bank, while it may charge a monthly or transaction fee for your account in some cases.
Remember, online bill payments come with several benefits. You need to budget your expenses and pay attention to your account balances to reap these advantages.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery