With the proliferation of debit cards, online billing and email money transfers, post-dated personal cheques are becoming a way of the past, even in the Silver City.
Trail City Hall will no longer accept post-dated cheques or post-dated credit card payments as a means for citizens to settle up property taxes, utility levies or monthly parking rentals.
City council agreed with its finance department during Monday’s governance meeting that transitioning to a pre-authorized payment program is preferable over the time consuming and dated practise of the post-dated system.
According to Rino Merlo, Trail’s deputy director of finance, the city’s current methods not only weigh on administrative duties, but are prone to errors and place the onus on city staff to calculate payment amounts and update credit card information such as expiry dates.
Merlo said payments on expired credit cards are tedious for staff to reconcile, add cost to the city, and require manual updating that taxes administrative duties.
Keeping cardholder’s hard information on file violates the payment card industry’s (PCI) security standards, he explained, adding that holding a person’s credit card data negates compliance.
He maintains that the city’s easy to use and updated website offers the convenience of paying taxes online or if a resident prefers to pay in person, city hall hours are convenient and a secure mail slot at the site is available 24/7.
“Prepayments on property taxes, utility billing and parking spaces is a sound, low cost, effective way of collection,” said Merlo. “However, the City of Trail’s current pre-payment methods are antiquated, laborious, risk and do not comply with current PCI standards.”