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Toledo opts for online billing services

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The Toledo City Council has opted for a new payment system through Invoice Cloud, allowing the use of debit and credit cards to pay for city fees and services.

Approved during their June 3 meeting, Invoice Cloud had come highly-recommended from the city’s current billing software provider, Vision Municipal Solutions, with City Clerk Michelle Whitten stating the system will be encouraging news for customers not used to using cash or checks.

“We de receive a lot of upset customers that want to pay with their debit or credit card and we have to send them down to the ATM,” she said, acknowledging Toledo had fallen behind other cities who have adopted electronic payment methods.

But she added Invoice Cloud will allow Toledo to go beyond simply accepting electronic payments and will provide customers access to their current statement and payment history online. While this service will be optional and those who wish may still receive their bills in the mail, Whitten said the city stands to save a significant amount of money in labor and shipping costs if enough customers opt for online billing.

But Invoice Cloud will not be available to Toledo residents until at least the beginning of September, with Whitten stating it will take around three months to set the system up. After it is ready to go, Invoice Cloud will cost the city of Toledo an estimated $170 annually and $20 monthly in fees, with the possibility for additional charges depending on how many customers use the online services. But Whitten said she anticipates these costs will be offset as residents opt for online billing and, at this time, the council has not chosen to charge those who pay electronically an extra fee.

Opposed to the acceptance of Invoice Cloud was Council Member Carol Hill, but only because she felt other service options aside from Invoice Cloud should have been explored before the city made a decision.
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