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Posted: April 8, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Oxford residents can charge it

Oxford residents should soon be able to pay their utility bills and court funds with most major credit cards.

The Oxford city council took heed of requests and approved the recommendation to move forward with implementing credit card devices and processing at its April 7 regular meeting. The payment option is anticipated to be ready for use on May 1.

Lauran Willis, Oxford city clerk, said now that the implementation has been approved, the city has to wait until the devices are delivered and installed by the merchant, Govolution.

Once live, residents will be able to make utility and court payments with most cards, except Visa, over the phone or in person. Willis said the city budget does not have room for incorporating online payments this year, but a software vendor upgrade by 2015 should allow for a pay portal on the city website.

“Most everywhere you go,” Willis said, “you have the capability to pay by credit card, so it’s just something we felt would be an enhanced service to our customers.”

She said the council initially brought the option to the table two years ago but had to research vendors and test out details before narrowing it down to Govolution.

Even though the city will pay $385 annually for the devices, Willis said they decided not to charge a convenience fee, so no profit will be given to Oxford. A fee to the merchant, calculated to 2.75 percent of the payment, will be added to the total cost, but Willis said she hopes that doesn’t make people hesitant to use their card because this process is easier for many than paying by cash, check or money order.

“We felt like it would be a disadvantage to impose an additional fee,” Willis said.

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