Janesville city staff want to add credit card function

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Marcia Nelesen
May 9, 2014

JANESVILLE--Janesville city staff will ask Janesville City Council members Monday for $40,000 for improvements that would allow residents to use their credit cards to pay for some services in person and online.

The city has spent more than $1 million in four phases since 2006 to replace computer applications, said Jay Winzenz, director of administrative services.

The improvements included the city's computerized mass appraisal system, building permits, utility building and payroll and accounts payable.

One of the goals was to allow people to receive services and information via the Internet.

Staff had always meant to add the credit card aspect, and the city has part of the system needed.

But the money has run out, Winzenz said.

The $40,000 would pay for computer hardware, software and related consulting services.

Credit cards would “enhance our customer service at the counter, but more importantly provide additional remote payment options via the Internet,” Winzenz said.

Residents can use credit cards for those services they pay for at the clerk/treasurer's office, such as pet licenses and utility bills. The recreation department is the only city department where residents can now use credit cards.

The city would use an external credit card processing vendor so no credit card information is retained in the city's database.

Staff does not believe accepting credit cards would mean additional direct costs for the city, Winzenz said.

The processor will likely charge the customer a fee for the convenience, and that amount would be clearly stated before the customer completes the transaction.                    

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