Residents can pay utility bills online

· Sep 27, 2001 Tweet

Paying bills is a common annoyance for citizens and students alike. Often, bills come in the mail and pile up on the kitchen counter or coffee table. The city is trying to make those piles disappear.

When paying parking tickets or utility bills, most citizens have two options: pay through the mail or stand in line to pay in person, which can be both inconvenient and easy to put off.

Madison residents have a new alternative — paying parking tickets and utility bills via the Internet.

“It’s a lot easier to get on board the Internet and go to the city homepage to pay bills online,” said Ryan Mulcahy, spokesperson for Mayor Sue Bauman.
The city added the option to pay water, sewer and stormwater utility bills through the city webpage after its first Internet venture, online parking ticket payments, became a success.

Since April, 2,500 people have paid their Madison parking tickets online, amounting to over $57,000 in payments to the city. These payments include tickets issued to residents of other states, which normally would not be received. The address for online payments is www.madisonpay.com.

“A lot of people in Madison with access to a computer at home or at their job [benefit from this service],” Mulcahy said. “The Internet is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Online payments may be made with a major credit card at the convenience of the payee. These payments are received faster than those made through the mail.

With the success of the parking ticket payment option, the city is expanding its Electronic Government (E-Gov) plan. Madison residents will soon be able to purchase Civic Center gift certificates online and Automatic Clearing House payments will soon be accepted as an alternative to credit cards. ACH payments allow payment amounts to be automatically deducted from the customer’s checking or savings account.

Utility bills for October will include a message informing customers they can now go online to pay. Water utility general manager David Denig-Chakroff expects to see a pickup of online payments after citizens receive the bills. The utility bill payment option began less than a week ago, so the city has yet to receive feedback from citizens.

“We’re wondering ourselves [how effective the online payment option will be],” Chakroff said. “Hopefully, people will enjoy this option.”

As the community becomes more connected through the Internet and E-Gov takes on a more prominent role in connecting the community, new payment options will be added to the city website.

“People are realizing this is a more convenient way for people to pay utility bills on time,” Mulcahy said. “[This option is] just easier — a modern convenience.”

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This article was published Sep 27, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Sep 27, 2001 at 12:00 am

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