The City of Santa Monica will begin assessing convenience fees on most types of debit and credit card transactions beginning January 1, 2021. Electronic check or e-check payments are a no-cost alternative for customers to take advantage of in lieu of credit card transactions where processors charge a fee for each transaction.
The fees will show as a separate charge and will in most cases be paid directly to the credit card processors, and the City will not retain any portion.
Here is a summary of the fee rate by type of transaction:
Administrative Citations$3.50 per transaction (customers are already paying)
Utility Payments$2.95 per transaction
Parking Citations$1.00 per transaction
Rent Control(to be provided)
All Other Transactions (non-parking)2.95%percentage of the transaction
Electronic checks and mailed checks are other no-cost payment alternatives.
This is part of an effort to fully recover business costs to instead invest in community services, including the $4 million paid to credit card processors annually. The fees were authorized by the City Council at the October 27, 2020 meeting.