Covington to do away with swipe fees, spare residents from debt

Consumers are typically required to pay a convenience fee, a surcharge for using their credit card, when making transactions at retailers. These can be anywhere from a few cents to $2.95, but the city of Covington, Georgia, may do away with this to help residents avoid accuring credit card debt.

The Covington News reports that it may be willing to pay these swipe fees for residents who pay city bills with credit or debit cards. In the end, the paper reports that it may cheaper for the city than check payments. Currently, Covington is negotiating with credit card companies to institute a flat rate for swipe fees, around $2.95, for all bill payments.

By removing credit and debit card fees, the Covington News says that the city hopes to also avoid paying check fees whenever a transaction bounces. Many payments were denied between 2008 and 2009 at the beginning of the recession.

Cities typically rely on convenience fees as another steady source of income. Money from city fees goes toward funding public programs.