Gov’t can’t take cards

If you need a driver’s licence, have trash service, or use the post office in Cayman chances are you’ve been frustrated at some point that you couldn’t pay for those services with a credit or debit card.

It hasn’t happened yet, but Works and Infrastructure Minister Arden McLean said times will soon be changing.

‘I am sure more persons than myself in this country have experienced going up to a government cashier, expecting to pay in cash, and then when we are told of the total amount, realise that we are short by a few dollars or so,’ Mr. McLean told the Legislative Assembly last week. ‘Thus we are forced to leave the office, go to the bank, wait in line there, return to the government office, and wait in line again to pay what we owe.’

Mr. McLean said in the near future the Department of Vehicle Licensing, the Postal Service, Department of Environmental Health and Radio Cayman will all be able to process credit and debit card payments.

This will be the first time that any of those departments have been able to do so.

Environmental Health Director Roydell Carter said his department expected to implement credit and debit card payments by the next garbage fee billing cycle in January.

Assistant Postmaster Tara Bush said the post office was aiming for card payments by February. The Department of Vehicle Licensing was still not accepting credit or debit card payments as of Friday, and it was unclear when they would be able to do so.

Officials at government-run radio station Radio Cayman said they would start accepting credit and debit card payments in late January, and until then customers would have to pay cash.

Mr. McLean said the ability to use credit and debit cards would obviously make things more convenient for customers. He also noted government’s uncollected debts on things like trash bills would likely be reduced by allowing those cards to be used.

During the Legislative Assembly, Mr. McLean estimated that uncollected debt at somewhere in the region of $2 million to $3 million.

‘Why, in this technological and computerised age that we live in, has it taken so long for some government departments to move forward,’ Mr. McLean rhetorically asked the assembly. ‘Perhaps what was needed was proper leadership in government.’

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