In a matter of about a month, they will have the option of paying with credit or e-check through credit card vendor Arista. The system will be implemented at no cost to the city.
There will be a “small courtesy fee” for customers wishing to use the service, explained city utilities general manager Larry Vickery: for each $400 increment on a bill, there will be a $3.50 charge for customers paying with e-check. The bill for the average residential utilities user is typically below $400, Vickery explained; often, smaller commercial establishments also fall below that mark.
There will be a 60-cent charge for credit card transactions.
Often the convenience charge will balance out for those who are used to delivering their payments to the utilities department, Vickery said.
“It’s less than a gallon of gas,” he explained.
Arista offered the lowest price and the best options for the services the city required in order to implement an online bill pay system, he said.
“It’s very progressive; it’s been being studied for the past few months,” he said. “We’ve come of age; we’re on the Web.”
The online payment system will be accessible through www.cityofcalhoun-ga.com. City officials said they expect for customers to be able to use the system by July 1. Look for more information about it in the Calhoun Times as this deadline approaches.