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City to Add Credit Card Processing Fee to Bills Paid Online and by Phone

Daniel Prince

City recommends automatic bank draft as way to avoid fee

As a reminder to City of Union Utility customers, the city will begin charging a 1.5% processing fee on all credit card transactions over the automated phone system and on the website. The fee was approved by City Council during last year’s budget process. They already had been charging the fee to those who pay by credit or debit card in person at City Hall. This extends the fee to all credit and debit card transactions.

Banks charge processing fees on transactions, and those fees are charged to the city. According to a post on their website, the city is charged over $200,000 per year for those processing fees. They stated the most recent bill from the online processor was over $18,000, an amount representing 3.31% per transaction. Adding the fee will not recoup the entire amount the city is being charged, but it will cut the amount nearly in half. The city will not be making money from the fee. According to the city, 26% of the payments the city received were made online for the month of July. They also remind customers that electric rates have not increased in five years.

There are still options available to customers that don’t involve a processing fee. Setting up an automatic bank draft for your bill is free. The city also provides addressed envelopes, by request, for those wanting to mail in a check. The drive-thru and lobby are open for business, and the night drop box can be used if you can’t make it there during business hours. To set up a bank draft or to request an envelope, call the city at 429-1700 or stop by their office at 101 Sharpe Avenue.

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