Credit Cards Dropped as Utility Payment Option for Scottsdale Residents
Despite ongoing debate about the possible reduction of credit card interchange fees, one Arizona city has announced changes that could make life less convenient for residents who pay bills with plastic. Officials in Scottsdale, Arizona alerted citizens that the city's utility services would radically scale back their credit card acceptance in August. City leaders hope the move will save more than $350,000 in annual merchant processing expenses.

Beyond the potential cost savings, city officials told residents that the change would also reduce Scottsdale's liability for potential identity theft. By eliminating the need to store credit card details on the utility's secure website, the city makes itself far less likely to become a target for hackers.

Utility customers who demand to pay their bills with credit cards can still do so, but only using a retail card swipe terminal at the utility's office, during business hours. While officials told reporters for American Banker and other publications that they expected some backlash against the new policy, they also expressed hope that alternate payment methods would make bill payment convenient for citizens.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.