MONTGOMERY COUNTY — The Montgomery County Legislature has voted to bring the county clerk’s office into the credit card era.
At its July 24 meeting, the county Legislature voted to approve an agreement with GPS-GOVPAY.NET to start accepting credit card payments for different government documents available at the Montgomery County clerk’s office.
“Before we had this, if people did not have cash or check, they’d have to go to the ATM, so it is a convenience for the consumer,” County Clerk Helen Bartone said. “People haven’t really asked for it. We haven’t had much call for it, because people do have the option of using the ATM.”
Bartone said GPS-GOVPAY.NET will provide a credit card reader to the clerk’s office. She said credit cards will now be accepted for recording filings with the clerk’s office, indexing of filings, for deeds, mortgages, court records and other documents filed with the clerk.
GOVPAY.NET is already a vendor in the county’s Probation Department and the County Jail.
“I called [those county departments] to see if we’d had any problems, and everything has gone smooth, so we might as well go with the people we know that we’ve done business with,” she said.
Normally, credit card companies charge merchants a fee for allowing the use of credit cards, but normally don’t charge government entities. As per the credit card vendor agreements, customers using their credit cards at the clerk’s office will pay a $1 fee for amounts between 1 cent and $50, a $2 fee for amounts between $50.01 and $100, a $3 fee for amounts between $100 and $150 and for amounts above $150 customers will be charged 2.5 percent of whatever the amount is.
Bartone said one reason it was important for the clerk’s office to begin accepting credit cards is a New York state mandate requiring that clerks begin allowing for e-filing and e-recording of documents online, something the county is working to put in place now.
“People will be able to file documents electronically, so they’ll have to pay by credit card online,” she said. “We’re working on it right now. It’s being mandated. A lot of counties are switching to allowing credit cards now, a lot were already doing it.”