03/22/11 — City residents can pay their bills online now

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City residents can pay their bills online now

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on March 22, 2011 1:46 PM

Goldsboro residents can now view and pay their water bills online.

The program, which Finance Director Kaye Scott said came about in response to customers' comments, went live Monday and carries no additional convenience fee.

"We've had a lot of customers request online payments," she said. "A lot of utilities have gone that way. You can pay your light bill, your energy bill or your natural gas bill online, and people wanted to have that option."

Interim City Manager Tasha Logan said the move was a low-cost way to improve the payment process.

"We look at it as a way for us to be more accessible," Ms. Logan said. "It's a way to extend our services at no cost."

She announced at Monday's City Council meeting that, in the site's first day, three customers had already used the online tool to pay their bills.

Ms. Scott said the decision to add an online payment option was the first step toward paperless transactions. Soon she hopes the website will allow customers to request new service and to transfer their service, as well as generate reminders about payments and late notices via email.

Customers still have the options to pay by mail, bank draft or in person, and Ms. Scott said she hopes the online payment program will benefit those customers as well by easing congestion at the office, especially when due dates bring droves of customers in.

"Our due date is always a busy day," she said. "The end of the month and first of the month are always busy as well, so we're hoping this will help alleviate the traffic here."

Ms. Scott said there hadn't been any reported issues with the program, but that customers experiencing problems with the payment tool could call customer support with inquiries.

On top of allowing customers to pay without leaving their homes or licking stamps, the online option also broadens the window in which payments can be made.

"(Customers will) be able to make their payments seven days a week instead of five, and they'll be able to make their payments until 10 at night. (Payments are) posted immediately to their accounts, too."

Ms. Scott said the public has anticipated the program's debut, which was delayed several times since January, but that it's too early to gauge what type of response it will elicit.

"We've had a lot of people asking when is it going to be available," she said. "But it'll take a while to see what the response and usage is."