Business makes paying off-base bills ‘E-Z’
CAMP FOSTER – U.S. military personnel and Department of Defense employees living off base are faced with the sometimes frustrating and time-consuming task of having to pay their bills in the local community.
It is the individual’s responsibility to pay their bills either at the required office location or a convenience store. But sorting through what gets paid where can be a task in itself. And then there’s the language barrier, hectic work schedules and TDY that complicate finding the time to get to these locations.
But there is an option Americans living off base can turn to: E-Z Pay.
E-Z Pay, which opened its doors July 2010, is a U.S.-licensed company that is affiliated with the Japanese company Free Flow, according to Julie Bertrand, the office manager.
E-Z Pay, which adheres to all anti-money laundering provisions set by the U.S. government, will do the legwork for paying customers’ bills and doesn’t charge a monthly rate, although they plan to sometime next year, Bertrand said.
While the company builds up its customer base, Bertrand said it will rely on profits on the doller-yen exchange rate to make ends meet.
As for the process of E-Z Pay paying bills, Bertrand said her bilingual staff will help customers fill out a short form that includes their banking information and the bills they need paid. The staff will then work through Citibank for a pre-note verification with the customer’s bank.
Once the banking information is verified, E-Z Pay will contact the customer’s housing office and have all bills redirected to E-Z Pay. When the company receives a bill, the staff will go through a dedicated secure server at Citibank and transfer money from the customer’s account to an E-Z Pay account.
The staff then goes to the bank or convenience store to pay the bills. Bertrand stressed that the company never pulls money from an account without a bill in hand, and that all transactions go through a double-verification process.
Bertrand said customers can be notified by email the amount and date of each transaction. E-Z Pay can also pull from multiple checking accounts up to twice a month at the customer’s request, she said.
When a customer is ready to leave Okinawa, they can simply stop by the E-Z Pay office and fill out a short cancellation form.
E-Z Pay is owned by a former U.S. service member who knows how hectic the military lifestyle can get and wants you to enjoy your time on Okinawa, according to Bertrand.
“Just stop by our office and ask us whatever questions you may have and find out how ‘E-Z’ it can be to have all of your bills paid for you effortlessly,” Bertrand said.
How to get there
When leaving Kadena Gate 1, take a left and then a right at the first light between U.S. Auto and Family Mart. Drive straight as if heading to Sunabe Sea Wall and take a right at the first light. Head straight for about 3 blocks and you will see Waterfront Manor Apartments on your left. Turn into the parking lot and E-Z Pay is located conveniently between Waterfront Manor 1 and Waterfront Manor 2 Apartment buildings.
For more information, go to www.go2ezpay.com or call 098-989-5974.