New Online Payments Option
Thursday, June 04, 2015
From Monday (8 June) the South Taranaki District Council is offering a new online payment service for credit card users via its website www.southtaranaki.com
However, there is a trade off – credit card payments for rates and water rates will only be accepted online and a convenience fee will be charged by the bank for the service.
Group Manager of Corporate Services, Phillippa Wilson, says customers with credit cards will be able to make online payments for a whole range of Council services from rates to building consents, parking fines, to re-registering your dog.
“The new service has several advantages. Residents now have an additional option and can pay for a range of services from the convenience of their home,” says MrsWilson.
The move will also save ratepayers around $50,000 in costs.
“Previously, when accepting credit card payments over the counter for rates and water rates, the Council (i.e. all ratepayers) had been absorbing the service fee applied by the bank to these transactions. With the transition to online payments, the convenience fee will now fall on the user, not the general ratepayer,” she says.
Mrs Wilson says the bank is only allowed to charge an online convenience fee for rates and water payments because they are deemed a tax.
“As a result it does mean there will be a charge for some customers.”
Rates and Water rates paid by credit card will only be able to be done online and won’t be accepted over the counter or the phone. These transactions will incur a convenience fee charged by the bank (at a minimum $3.50 or 2.1% of the transaction value). However, all other credit card payments can be paid either online or over the counter and won’t incur a convenience fee.
Mrs Wilson says there are many different payment options for customers who don’t wish to pay the convenience fee.
“Internet and phone banking is an efficient and cost effective method of payment,” says Mrs Wilson. “We also have direct debit, eftpos, automatic payments and of course payments can be made with good old fashioned cheques or cash,” she says.
For advice on the best payment option for you, call the Council toll free on 0800 111 323