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updated: 2/26/2013 11:59 AM

Village of Buffalo Grove considers accepting credit cards

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Buffalo Grove residents may have the option of paying bills from the village using a credit card.

This week, the village board, in a committee of the whole meeting, discussed that possibility.

One of the issues debated was whether the residents should absorb the fees the village would incur for offering the service. According to a memo to village Manager Dane Bragg from Finance Director Scott Anderson, the first online credit card option available would be for utility payments. Anderson anticipated the convenience fee will be about 2 percent.

The memo said the fees associated with accepting credit payments if 5 percent of the customers migrated to that option would be $11,250. If one-fifth of the customers used it, that would climb to $45,000.

Anderson told the board at Monday's meeting that there also is a total of $2.7 million in other types of transactions that could be processed by credit card. According to the memo, this could include business, animal and liquor licenses, as well as fees for elevator inspections.

For these transactions, using 3 percent as the target fee, if 5 percent of the customers shifted to credit cards, the village would incur fees of approximately $4,095.

Board members appeared to be in favor of charging customers for the convenience fee.

"It's a convenience that we're offering to the customer," said Trustee Jeffrey Berman, "and we're incurring a charge. There is no reason not to pass it on."

Trustee Lester Ottenheimer III wondered whether there should be a setup for recurring payments.

Anderson said, "My recommendation is to not set up any type of recurring payment. One, because you can't charge a convenience fee if it is recurring. And two, we want to give people the ability to use credit cards, but we're really not trying to get it to a point where it becomes the payment of first choice."

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