While Canada Post and the Labour Union continue talks in an effort to avoid a postal disruption, it’s in your best interest to be prepared in the event of a full postal strike.
While you might not miss the flyers & junk mail you won’t receive in the event of a Canada Post mail disruption, it will be frustrating if you get charged a late fee for a bill you receive late. Thankfully, there are ways technology can help you prepare for a future lockout.
Switch to Online Billing
Most companies now offer paperless, online billing. Now is the perfect time to schedule some time to set up online accounts for your electricity, gas, and cable. You’ll love getting your bills and/or statements electronically since you won’t have to worry about losing them and they won’t clutter up your desk or kitchen counter. Some companies even offer the option to view through their mobile apps.
Bank Online or Via Mobile
Signing up for mobile or online banking will allow you to keep tabs on your credit cards and to pay other bills online easily. You’ll be shocked at how much more time it saves compared to sending cheques through the mail or going into your branch to make payments. Use that new-found time to read a good book or just relax.
Set Up Pre-Authorized Debits
Setting up pre-authorized payments can make bill-paying as simple as possible. Rather than having to remember each month who you owe money to and when the payments are due, make it happen automatically. Just make sure that you check your credit card or bank account once a month to be sure that you were charged the right amount. With this method, you will never miss a payment—even if you’re on vacation somewhere with no internet access!
Use Direct Deposit
Do you get cheques in the mail? If so, the last thing you need is for that cash to run dry in the event of a strike. Consider setting up direct deposit for government cheques like your CPP, Employment Insurance, or Canada Child Benefits, or other regular cheques you receive. Don’t want to sit on hold waiting to set it up over the phone? Don’t worry – you can easily log into government websites to set up direct deposit by using your banking login information to confirm your identity through the SecureKey sign-in system that many banks offer. It verifies your identity when signing into government sites without sharing your banking details. Your bank account will thank you in the event of a future lockout.
Send Money Electronically
Need to send someone a cheque? Consider sending the money electronically instead. Most banks now offer eTransfer capability. It’s easy to set up and the money is sent instantly – No stamp required!
Send Cards and Gifts Online
Do you always mail your favourite nephew a birthday card and gift through the mail? Instead of buying that pirate card at the drug store, you can send them a pirate e-card with an electronic gift certificate. Not only will they love the dancing and singing pirates in the e-card, but they’ll also be able to pick out their gift themselves. Check out Hallmark.com and Smilebox.com for great e-cards.
This article originally appeared on Discover & Learn on August 15, 2016 and has been updated.
Have more questions about how this postal disruption could impact your banking? Call us at 1-800-769-2511.
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