The city of Washington will soon accept credit and debit cards for utilities and other payments.

The city council Monday night approved an ordinance authorizing the execution of a merchant agreement between ETS Corporation, Merrick Bank and the city of Washington to process the credit/debit card payments.

Mary Sprung, city finance manager, said eventually the city also will accept credit/debit cards for park department programs and activities.

“I think we’ll start with the utilities first and then expand it to other departments,” she said.

Residents will be able to pay with a credit/debit card at city offices or online. Credit card transactions will not be accepted over the phone however.

Sprung said she receives a lot of requests from residents to use credit and debit cards. She estimates between 150 and 200 monthly transactions once the system is in place.

The cost to the city, based on that number of transactions, could be anywhere from $175 to $200. But there are many variables, she noted, depending on the type of card used.

The city will accept MasterCard, VISA and Discover.

Staff training will begin soon and credit/debit transactions will be accepted beginning in October.

The contract with ETS Corporation, Merrick Bank will be month to month, Sprung told the council.