Apr 252008

This is a follow-up to the last post, also based on a recent article from the Stockton Record online.

Via the Stockton Record:

Electronic Billing in Your City

• Tracy: Began electronic billing in 2005.

Residents can receive their bills electronically, can use an automatic withdrawal from their checking accounts to pay for services or can go online with a credit card each month and pay their bills. About 15 percent of Tracy’s residential customers are using some form of electronic payment, officials said. That percentage is a little higher than the response in other cities offering electronic bill paying.

• Lathrop: Also began offering electronic bill paying in 2005.

The effort is part of a larger Web-hosted financial package, but it is only within the past month or so that the city could send out bills electronically, said city spokesman Mike Esau. The service is called E-Notification. Initially, customers can ask to receive both electronic and paper bills, or just the electronic version. Payment can be made using credit cards. About 10 percent of the customers are using the system.

• Stockton: Joined the electronic age in 2004, when it began accepting payments over the phone.

The city’s online bill-paying system began last August. Currently, the city sends out bills to all its customers. However, it hopes to begin sending e-bills within the next six months. About 11 percent of Stockton’s utility customers now use electronic payment, about half paying monthly and half using automatic withdrawal.

• Manteca: Began its service in June.

At first, the city only offered the automatic payment option. In August, electronic credit card payments were added. Through last month,

3.6 percent of the city’s 18,133 customers had signed up for the service. All bills are still being mailed at this time. Additional features will be added in the future, according to accounting supervisor Frances Ramos.

• Lodi: Hopes to begin its service in the next 60 days or so.

All that’s left is working out the final details with the city’s vendor, InfoSend of Fullerton. Lodi residents receive a single bill that includes electricity, water, sewer and solid waste. When the system is operational, they will have the option to view and pay the bill online using various payment methods. The city still is deciding exactly what will be available under the new system, said information systems manager Steve Mann. The city is looking for 15 percent participation in the coming months.

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