By VINCE REMBULAT
Blue Sombrero is the leading provider of websites, registration, and league management tools for youth sports organization.
This free online website will again handle the credit card payments for the City of Ripon Recreation Department.
The Ripon City Council approved Blue Sombrero and its new pricing and policies, effective Dec. 4, of no monthly fees, $3 service fees (paid per transaction by the registrant) and 3.4 percent credit card processing rate.
Since 2016, the local parks and recreation department has used Blue Sombrero to register and track registrants in the rec. program.
Vantiv was approved the following year as the merchant processing company to help collect payments through the Blue Sombrero site.
But overtime, staff noticed an increase in the monthly processing fees.
Council then approved an amendment with Vantiv, a third party to Blue Sombrero, to lock in lower fees in August 2018.
In April, Blue Sombrero notified the city that the merchant service would be in-house and at a 2.8 percent transaction rate. Gone, too, was the third-party merchant.
Blue Sombrero has been well received by local users.
According to the staff report, there were a total 2,077 users in 2018. Of that, 1,668 paid via credit card.
From January through June of this year, 1,418 of the 1,553 users paid by credit card.
Staff, in addition, recommended Blue Sombrero because “it was free, easy to use, and had a good reputation.”