Credit card payment plans approved

Webster City residents will be able to pay for fees and bills in several departments with credit cards online following the implementation of a system approved at Monday’s City Council meeting.

City Manager Ed Sadler said his intent is to make online credit or debit card payments available by February or March of 2014. He said the first step toward the implementation of the plan was the recent launch of the new Webster City website.

Following initial talks in August, Sadler said he turned over the task of recommending a company for the online system to the departments that would utilize it. That includes the city’s utility, financial and parks and recreation departments.

Currently, the city accepts credit card payments for transactions in those departments. However, those payments are only accepted in-person. The city also absorbs the cost of the fees associated with those credit card transactions. According to a memo from Kirby Winter, the city’s Information Technology Director, those transactions cost the city about $600 per month.

Of a couple companies that offer an online payment service that will work with the city’s current accounting software, Caselle, the council chose to approve a plan with Express Bill Pay. The company charges 2.65 percent of each bill, slightly less than 2.75 percent offered by Payment Service Network.

Sadler said Express Bill Pay also offers a computer terminal service where payments can be made. With a setup cost and computer terminal cost totalling $3,500, Sadler said it will be a convenient option for payment that will likely be placed at Fuller Hall. Councilmember Doug Getter noted that this new plan for online credit card payments was just an option.

“This is another option available to residents. There’s nothing mandatory in it. If you want to use a credit card or a debit card, it becomes an option for your consideration,” Getter said.

The council also held a public meeting for and approved a resolution to commit funds for the submittal of a Community Development Block Grant Application.