Ocean City, MD – April 11, 2013 – Finance Administrator Martha Bennett was excited to share with the Mayor and City Council this week a way to offer easy credit/debit payments for Ocean City’s bus service.
"For about 20 years, I have been looking for a way for us to accept electronic payments by credit card or debit card on our buses," she said. "The barriers to this were the high cost of installing hardware and software on each bus. The time it takes to process a payment from the time a person got on the bus to swipe their card and have it approved. The processing fees because there is a flat rate for fees and our rates were so low it would have been prohibitive to do that, and the security of maintaining credit card numbers on each bus in the environment we would be responsible for."
Bennett recently attended a seminar sponsored by the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce where a concept was introduced of pay-by-phone.
"What happens with this proposal is the phone becomes the hardware," Bennett said. "They buy the ticket on the phone and show it to the driver... the payment is made at the bus stop or beforehand so there is no time element to wait to get on the bus and hold up service. The processing fee would be a percentage of the sale and not a flat fee so that keeps it within our budget. We don't have to maintain the credit card numbers because they are held by the company doing the processing on the phone... we just get the money recorded each night in our bank account. I am very excited about this."