In an effort to reduce costs for residents and make it easier for them manage utility accounts, the City of Alliance has announced a new service — online billing and payments. Utility customers now have the option to register to receive their bills online rather than via postal mail, saving the City the cost of printing and mailing bills.
In doing so, customers participating in online billing will receive e-mails when their bills are ready for viewing. The bill will appear online with all the information they would have received on a paper bill.
“This is a win for everyone involved,” said Steve Lyster, Utility Office Manager. “We spend 35¢ or more in postage alone to mail a bill to a customer. Add to that costs for paper, upkeep on equipment, labor—it is a costly process. The cost to post a bill for online viewing is about a penny. This is a great way to reduce costs. The online statement service is free to our Alliance neighbors.
Utility customers can also pay from the comfort of their homes, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. They can access the bill payment service via www.cityofalliance.net by clicking on the “on-line bills” button or by calling a toll-free automated payment service. Residents are able to set up automatic payments for the amount of the bill or a set budgeted amount and not have to worry about making payments each month. A small convenience fee of only $2.99 applies to the bill payment services.
The City continues to offer direct pay and budget billing services at no charge to its neighbors. In addition, most of the local banks and credit unions offer online bill pay services and the City has partnered with the financial institutions to automate the payments eliminating paper checks and expediting credit to customer accounts, often overnight.
“We would like our neighbors to sign up for online billing to help us reduce costs,” said Randy Waggener, Finance Director. “However, if they prefer to have paper bills sent, they can still go online to pay their utility bills; which nhelps us save money, too.”
“It is our #1 goal to provide excellent service to our neighbors and I am very please that this represents yet another large step forward in the endeavor,”commented J. D. Cox, City Manager.
Security of online information was a high consideration in the City’s selection of Payment Service Network (PSN). Based in Madison, Wisconsin, PSN has attained the highest degree of security awarded by the industry. It was a pioneer in the online payment industry and specializes in electronic services to utility companies and municipalities.
To register for online billing, Alliance neighbors can log onto www.cityofalliance.net and click on “On-line Bills.”
If neighbors have any questions, they can call PSN toll free at 1-877-885-7968 or the City Utility Office at 762-5075.