Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is a convenience fee?
A: A convenience fee is a fee that is paid to a credit card vendor for processing credit card payments.
Q: Why am I paying a convenience fee to use my credit card to make a payment?
A: The credit card companies, Visa/MasterCard/Discover/American Express, charge per transaction fees to merchants, such as the City, that accept their credit cards. The actual fee charged depends on the card accepted, method of acceptance, etc. The City pays an average of 2.25 % for each credit card payment it currently accepts. The vendor, Point & Pay, is in the business of accepting credit card payments on behalf of merchants such as the City. There is no cost to the City; the cost is charged only to those customers who elect to use their credit card to pay for utility services.
Q: Will I be charged a convenience fee for direct debit payments or any other form of payments through my bank?
A: No, only utility services paid for with a credit card or e-check will be charged a convenience fee.
Q: Why is the City in partnership with Point & Pay?
A: Last fiscal year, the City paid over $75,000 in credit card acceptance fees. As the number of credit card payments from utility customers has grown and continues to grow, the City has elected not to continue to absorb the cost as a part of doing business. Approximately twenty percent (20%) of our utility customers pay by credit card. Of the variety of ways customers can pay for their utility services, credit card acceptance is the most expensive. Rather than pass the credit card acceptance cost on to all our utility customers, City Council recently voted to hire an outside vendor to accept the credit card payment, and have customers electing this payment method, pay the vendor.
Q: Does the City receive a percentage of the fees charged by Point and Pay?
A: No. There is no compensation paid back to the City. The City benefits by not having to pay the credit card acceptance fees as a part of doing business. The eighty percent (80%) of our customers who do not pay by credit card benefit by not having this additional cost passed on to them in the form of increased utility rates or increased service charges.