Danville’s utility credit card fee cut by more than half

Published 6:35 am Friday, March 11, 2022

The city of Danville decreased the fee to process credit card transactions for utility bill payments from $4.50 to $1.95 per transaction.

The city uses ACI Worldwide, Inc., based in Auburn, Alabama, for credit card transactions. When Utilities Director Marshall Carrier started his position in early 2021, the high credit card fee stuck out to him.

Believing the fee to be a cost burden for customers, and hearing complaints from Danville citizens, Carrier spent the last few months of 2021 negotiating with ACI to lower their transaction fee.

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“You go through the impacts of Covid, cost of living increases, cost of groceries go up, cost of fuel goes up, and any little bit can help anybody,” Carrier said. “Anything we can do to help reduce costs is really our ultimate goal.”

Carrier said about 20% of utility customers pay with a credit card. He believes more people will use the credit card option with the lower fee. It was implemented in March and is available for anyone’s March bill.

The credit card option allows people to pay their bill online, and the option of paying by check does not have a fee. But a different option with no fee is direct debit automatic withdrawal. Customers can bring a voided check to city hall, and the city will automatically withdraw each bill amount from that bank account, eliminating the possibility of forgetting to pay.

Carrier said they are working on updating their billing software, and providing more information on bills they send in the mail, like customers’ account information. They also plan to start utilizing a cell phone app for customers to pay their bills.