South Stormont’s credit card surcharge “unacceptable practice”: report

SOUTH STORMONT – If you’ve paid for municipal services by credit card at the office or online you may have noticed a little fee tacked on for convenience.

The township will move tonight to somehow remove that two per cent surcharge from Visa and Mastercard transactions after it learned the practice is “unacceptable.”

In fact, the Federal Competition Bureau ruled against surcharging credit card customers and the practice violates both Visa and Mastercard’s merchant terms and conditions.

In 2014, South Stormont collected $2,363 through convenience fees in order to cover its administrative costs for accepting credit cards.

The township spent $2,378 on administrative fees for plastic.

A report before council says South Stormont has a number of options.

It can limit credit card transactions to online registration for recreation programs, thus eliminating the ability to pay other township bills online.

It could continue offering credit card payments without the fees, which may prove costly in the long run.

Another option is increasing township fees and rates while offering a discount for alternate forms of payment like cash and cheque, which is an acceptable practice.

The report states credit cards are not accepted in three of the six SD&G townships while their use is limited in South and North Dundas.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday).

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