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Orland Park Might Start Paying Bills With Plastic

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American Express

(Credit: AP)

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ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) – The southwest suburb of Orland Park is looking at using plastic to pay its bills.

Orland Park village officials are considering using an American Express card. They say the credit card program would allow the village to earn points toward supplies, or donations to nonprofit organizations.

Vendors are now paid by either check or electronic payment, finance director Annmarie Mampe said.

Three Orland Park vendors do not accept American Express, including Waste Management, a company the village purchases salt from and an office supply vendor.

Payments to the three vendors come to about $4.8 million per year, which would allow the village to accumulate about $48,000 worth of points, Mampe said. She said the village could use the points to buy office supplies and could also donate half of the points to eligible not-for-profit groups.

In paying by credit card, Orland Park would see a cost savings because it costs the village about $1.20 per check as opposed to six cents per transaction when the village pays via electronic transfer or credit card, Mampe said.

And by using a credit card, the village would have some more flexibility in that it would have an additional 30 days for payment.

Committee chairman Edward Schussler and members Kathleen Fenton and Bernard Murphy seemed intrigued by the idea but were concerned that asking the vendors to absorb the credit card processing fee could lead to higher costs to the village in the future.

The village pays Waste Management about $4 million yearly, and if Orland Park paid the company via credit card, Waste Management would get significantly less because a percentage would go to processing fees, Schussler said.

Fenton suggested that the village receive input from Waste Management before deciding on the credit-card use.

Village manager Paul Grimes said it’s possible that vendors would prefer the village to pay with a credit card because “in the sense they get the cash right away” as opposed to having to wait days for a check to be processed.

The SouthtownStar contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

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