Senator NELLIE POU
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Clarifies that local governments may accept certain electronic payments.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the receipt of electronic payments by local governments and amending P.L.1995, c.325.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.1995, c.325 (C.40A:5-44) is amended to read as follows:
2. As used in this act:
"Association" means an organization whose members are issuers.
"Cardholder" means the person or organization named on the face of a credit card or debit card to whom or for whose benefit the credit card or debit card is issued by an issuer.
"Card based payment" means a monetary obligation tendered by the user of a credit card or debit card.
"Card payment system" means a technical procedure by which obligations owed a local unit or court may be paid by credit card or debit card.
"Credit card" means any instrument or device linked to an established line of credit, whether known as a credit card, charge card, credit plate, or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in satisfying outstanding financial obligations, obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value on credit.
"Debit card" means any instrument or device, whether known as a debit card, automated teller machine card, or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of the cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value through the electronic authorization of a financial institution to debit the cardholder's account.
"Director" means the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs.
"Electronic funds transfer" means any transfer of funds, other than a transaction originated by check, draft, or similar paper instrument, that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephone, or computer or magnetic tape for the purpose of ordering, instructing or authorizing a financial institution to debit or credit an account, and includes an in-person funds transfer and an online funds transfer.
"Electronic funds transfer system" means a technical procedure by which obligations owed to or collected by the Supreme Court, the Superior Court, Tax Court or a local unit may be paid by an electronic transaction between the financial institution of the person or organization owing the obligation and the financial institution of the governmental entity.
“In-person funds transfer” means any transfer of funds through a service that accepts a payment made in-person, by any method, and then transmits those funds to a payee by electronic funds transfer.
"Issuer" means the business organization or financial institution which issues a credit card or debit card, or its duly authorized agent.
"Local unit" means any unit of government subject to the provisions of chapter 5 or 5A of Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes, and the constituent parts of those units, including but not limited to independent local authorities, public libraries, municipal courts and joint municipal courts.
“Online funds transfer” means any Internet-based transfer of funds through an Internet-based payment system.
"Service charge" means a fee charged by the Supreme Court, the Superior Court, Tax Court or local unit in excess of the total obligation owed by a person or organization to offset processing charges or discount fees for the use of a card payment system or an electronic funds transfer system.
(cf: P.L.1995, c.325, s.2)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill would clarify that local governments may accept specific types of electronic payments. Namely, this bill would allow local governments to accept payments through in-person-based electronic transfer services, such as a Western Union kiosk, as well as Internet-based electronic transfer systems, such as PayPal and Venmo. The enhanced flexibility provided by this bill to make remote, electronic payments to local governments is of particular importance in light of the social distancing required by the current COVID-19 crisis.