"We are now accepting most major credit cards," said Vicky Jordan, city collector. Accepted are American Express and Discover in addition to MasterCard and Visa.
Tax statements, which go out today, include a note advising of the new payment options, according to Jordan.
This will be the first year that the city of Sikeston will accept credit cards and debit cards for payments to the city.
"We want to be more sensitive to the needs of the community," said Linda Lowes, director of governmental services. "So many people use credit cards and debit cards that we wanted to be able to provide the opportunity for them to use those here."
The city will officially begin accepting these payment methods Nov. 10 but may accept them as early as Monday if everything is running smoothly.
"We will accept them for the payment of taxes, business licenses, permits, fines and fees," Lowes said.
Lowes said there is a card reader at the municipal court in addition to the reader at City Hall. "Individuals can pay with a credit card on court night," she said. "This will enable more people to pay the full amount of their fine immediately following their court appearance."
There is no additional fee for the person making payments to use a credit or debit card. "At this time the city plans to absorb this amount," Lowes said.
Those making a payment may even do so with a phone call "if they don't mind giving their credit card number over the phone," said Dave Warren, the city's network administrator,
Next year the city plans to add the option of accepting credit or debit card payments via the Internet as well.
"The city treasurer, Karen Bailey, has been very instrumental in this project as well as David Warren and Vicki Jordan," Lowes said.
Warren said it didn't take too much work to enable the city to accept credit and debit cards.
"It's all Web based," he said. "The vendor provides us with a Web site we go to and it interfaces with our credit card equipment."