The city of Dayton is expanding its payment options to allow water customers to pay their bills at CVS Pharmacy and Family Dollar stores, which officials hope will save some people a trip to City Hall.
Many Dayton residents and property owners pay their water bills in person in cash at the city’s treasury window at 101 W. Third St.
But the city has rolled out a new program to allow customers to make utility payments in cash at the two retail chains, which combined have more than a dozen stores across Dayton.
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Customers also will be able to pay their water bills at CVS and Family Dollar store locations across the country.
Walk-in customers either have to catch a bus or drive downtown and find a place to park and come into City Hall, often multiple times a year, said LaShea Lofton, Dayton’s finance director.
“The solution we are employing is really about our customer,” she said.
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About 40 percent of water bill payments to the city are paid in cash at the treasury window at City Hall, according to city data.
In 2017, the city’s finance department processed nearly 29,000 cash transactions totalling $3.7 million, the city said.
But Dayton water customers can now pay their bills in cash at CVS and Family Dollar using bar codes unique to their accounts.
The bar codes appear on customers’ printed bills. Customers also can download their bill with the bar code or have the barcode sent to their phone or mobile device.
CVS and Family Dollar have stores scattered across the region, and city officials hope residents and property owners will be able to make much shorter trips to pay their bills.
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Some customers who pay in cash at the treasury window do not have traditional bank accounts or may be “underbanked,” city officials said.
Customers who pay at the window are more likely to be facing shut off.
When customers pay at CVS or Family Dollar, the transaction will be recorded in real time, meaning it will show up on their account immediately, Lofton said.
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