Credit Cards Eyed for Lockport Bill Payments

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

At a time when some retailers are concerned about card acceptance costs (and may be encouraging cash payments in some cases) municipal governments are still coming up the adoption curve for card based electronic payments. As this particular example in Lockport, N.Y. illustrates, interest is driven by customer convenience, as well as the fact that many consumers simply carry less cash.

The Common Council’s financial task force, headed by Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick, discussed the matter Wednesday and discovered that it wouldn’t cost much to make credit card payment options available.

Not a moment too soon, said City Clerk Richard P. Mullaney.

“Dinosaurs are dying,” he said. “Kids come to the window for a marriage license. It’s $40. We have to send them over to Wilson Farms [to use an automatic teller machine]. They don’t carry money. They just carry their card.”

This case focuses primarily on smaller ticket size payments. Some municipalities wishing to accept cards for payments of larger bills (e.g. taxes) may run afoul of surcharging restrictions/ interchange costs.

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