SARANAC LAKE - Village residents will soon be able to pay their tax bills using credit and debit cards, for a fee. Village Treasurer Paul Ellis said the village has been working with the same vendor it uses at Mount Pisgah Ski Center - Nationwide Payment Solutions of Maine - to install a credit and debit card payment system in the village offices.
He said the installation should take about a week, and he expects the village will begin to take credit and debit card payments by May 1.
"It's not limited to just taxes," Ellis said. "Water and sewer bills, building permit fees - any item that we take over the counter will be able to be done via credit card."
Under General Municipal Law, Ellis said villages aren't allowed to absorb the cost of transaction fees for credit and debit cards, so there will be a fee for village residents using those forms of payment. The fee will be 2.45 percent of the payment or a minimum of $3.
"The customer will receive advance notice of what the fee is and can opt out or choose an alternate method," Ellis said. "It's not like we're trying to do this to the customer, but we're prohibited from absorbing those fees."
Ellis said he expects more people will use credit and debit cards to pay their water and sewer bills than to pay their taxes. While the new system will only allow for over-the-counter credit and debit card payments at the village offices, Ellis said the village has looked into the option of online payments. It's complicated by the fact that the village has to be able to pass a data file back and forth between the online system and the village's accounting system, he said.
"I was, a couple years ago, working with one of these vendors, but they weren't returning phone calls because they were so busy with larger municipalities, they didn't want to spend time with somebody our size," Ellis explained. "But if you go with a lower-end vendor, they might be here today and gone tomorrow. I want to make sure that if they're holding village funds, let's say during tax collection time, and they went under, I want to find a reputable vendor that can post a bond and I can get that money back."
MuniciPAY is excited to announce that Visa has modified their regulations regarding Service/Convenience Fees! A Service Fee may now be assessed for all over the counter transactions, including Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Effective January 2nd, 2013:
Please note that Convenience Fees will now be referred to as Service Fees. Don't hesitate to contact our support staff with any questions at 877.564.5656 option 1, option 6 or at email@example.com.
XENIA — The City of Xenia is changing payment processors to reduce fees charged to taxpayers making payments via the Internet. The city has contracted with MuniciPAY to process Internet payments for City of Xenia Income Taxes via Visa, Mastercard or Discover credit or debit cards. Taxpayers can use the MuniciPAY link available on the Tax Division’s “Pay Your Taxes” page on the City of Xenia website (www.ci.xenia.oh.us).
Transaction fees with MuniciPAY are 2.45-percent of the transaction or $1.50 (whichever is greater). Individuals and businesses can make final return payments, estimated payments, payment plan payments or employer withholding payments via MuniciPAY. Taxpayers should enter their City of Xenia Income Tax account number or Social Security Number/Federal ID in the Reference Number field to ensure proper application of their payment.
Lake Ozark, Mo. — The city of Osage Beach has made it easier for residents to pay all of its city fees.
The city now accepts credit and debit cards for all fees including water and sewer bills. The service is available through MuniciPAY, a third party processor.
Acceptable cards are MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express. A convenience fee of 2.45 percent, or $1.50 minimum, will apply to cardholders who pay via credit or debit card.
Payments can be made at City Hall or through the city’s website at www.osagebeach.org. Online, click on the E-Service link in the left hand column and follow the instructions. Court fines may be paid with credit/debit cards at city hall only.
Upper Gwynedd township residents will soon be able to pay for municipal services online. Last month, the Board of Commissioners voted to approve an agreement with MuniciPAY and National Payment Solutions allowing both to accept and process credit card payments and check-by-web payments, according to commissioners’ President Ken Kroberger.
Implementation could occur within a couple of months, according to township Manager Len Perrone. “There’s a little bit of work to be completed,” he said.
According to Perrone, the service will include an online function so people can use a credit card to pay for park and recreation services, building permits and make sewer payments.
“It’s just another option for residents,” Kroberger said Tuesday morning.
The decision to allow credit cards as a means of payment is intended to improve customer service and convenience, increase certainty of collection, accelerate payment and availability of funds, improve the audit trail, reduce cashiering costs and reduce the returned check processing costs, according to a May 15 news release.
According to township Finance Director Dave Brill, the new system will permit residents to pay the police department for alarms, accident reports and parking tickets; pay the park and recreation department for tickets, trips, program activities, rentals and events; pay for code and zoning issues such as permits, plumber registrations, zoning hearing fees, code book/map sales; pay for rebillable expenses such as land development and the sewer utility.
Township officials are working to implement the equipment and computer interfacing, according to Perrone. Kroberger said Brill is working hard to set up the operation. “We’re taking baby steps to get everything in place,” the commissioner said. “That way, when this gets started, there won’t be any controversy.”
Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., -- Nationwide Payment Solutions (NPS), a leading registered Merchant Services Provider (MSP), and Global eTelecom, Inc. (GETI), a premiere electronic check processor and gift/loyalty card provider, have partnered to enhance MuniciPAY, an exclusive product of NPS. MuniciPAY now utilizes the GETI Consumer Convenience Fee option to allow the acceptance of electronic check and ACH payments.
MuniciPAY allows government entities to accept credit and debit card payments by phone, ecommerce, and over the counter at no cost to the municipality. This unique solution for municipal offices and utility companies allows the acceptance of multiple payment channels, while maximizing revenue by eliminating processing costs for the organization.
"By eliminating the processing costs for the municipal office through the use of GETI's convenience fee option, MuniciPAY is an attractive payment solution," said Chris Smith, business development manager at GETI. "The ability for municipalities to accept electronic checks and ACH payments in addition to credit and debit cards will enhance the value of the MuniciPAY gateway and ensure they remain processing with NPS for years to come"
"MuniciPAY is an ideal solution for municipal offices that are looking to reduce late payments, increase cash flow, improve operational efficiency and streamline multi-department payment reconciliation," said Jamie Nonni, CEO of Nationwide Payment Solutions. "We are excited about our partnership with GETI and what the future holds for both companies in the government acceptance channel."