Esther Kang

New system allows paperless bills for Manhattan Beach residents

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Photo courtesy of the City of Manhattan Beach

The screenshot above shows where residents can register for the new BillPay system. Photo courtesy of the City of Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach residents can now go completely paperless, thanks to the city’s new electronic billing system.

Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP), implemented Dec. 3, allows residents to view and pay their water and refuse statements online, track past usage and receive bills via email.

So far, approximately 800 residents have already opted into the new system, said Steve Charelian, the city’s revenue services manager.

“This has been one of the goals of the city, to make city services more accessible and modern for our residents and our customers,” City Manager Dave Carmany said. “A lot of them are enamored of new technology and completely want this arrangement.”

Previously, residents had two options for paying their water and refuse bills online: a one-time payment that required entering their information each time; and an automated payment linked to their checking accounts.

About 4,000 customers, or approximately 31 percent of Manhattan Beach dwellings, currently use one of these methods, Charelian said.

“With EBPP, we’d like to get this number to increase, up to 35, 40 percent,” he added.

With the new system, residents can simply sign in with a username and password to access all their information. They can also set up recurring payments via checking, savings and debit or credit card accounts.

Not only is the new system user-friendly, it stays true to the city’s green initiative to reduce carbon footprints by printing less and saving on postage, Carmany said.

“When you’ve got this many customers … it’s a lot of paper to process, a lot of envelopes to send and a lot of postage,” he said. “This cuts all that out.”

Charelian noted that all previous options for billing and payment are still available depending on the customer’s preference. All services, such as the automatic payments via checking account under the old system, will continue uninterrupted unless the customer registers for EBPP.

Although it is still too early to determine how much the city saves from going paperless, Charelian said he thinks the “saving is neutral,” due to an increase in processing fees for credit cards.

“We couldn’t be happier to provide this service … It has a lot of benefits to the working class Americans,” Charelian said. “Hats off to the revenue services team for the work they did. I’ve been here over 20 years and this is a project that will stay with me.”

Visit citymb.info for more information on how to enroll.