Transforming State and Local Government Payments through Modernization

Thursday, December 20, 2018 8:33 am EST


Marlen Prato, Head of Strategic Markets, Public Sector, Elavon

Elavon and GovLoop recently partnered on a report examining how state and local governments can deliver cutting-edge transaction options to their citizens. The report provides best practices for boosting constituent contentment through modernizing governments’ payments programs.

Constituents know their alternatives and they’re demanding digital payments for all organizations they interact with including the public sector. So how can state and local governments move to digital payments to better meet their constituents’ needs?

Below are five tips from the report:

1. Digitize and Expand Payment Options

Modernizing the payment process starts with offering more digital transaction options. Adding online payments lets citizens use their cellphones, laptops and tablets for transactions. This omnichannel approach pleases tech-savvy constituents and frees employees to help people who prefer paying in person or over the phone.

2. Improve Payment Security

Agencies must also ensure the validity and security of payment data or risk losing their constituents’ trust. One method is implementing the EMV program, which accepts payment cards with integrated circuit chips to validate transactions by verifying the integrity of the payment data. 

Encryption is another payment security measure. It makes data unreadable to everyone who lacks authorization to de-encrypt the transmitted data.

Tokenization provides an additional security layer by replacing payment data with a token that contains no exploitable value. The token represents the valuable data without making the actual payment card data vulnerable.

3. Implement Service Fees

Many businesses and governments collect service fees on their transactions for the convenience of using payment cards. A person buying a license plate, for example, may be willing to pay a small additional fee so they can pay online or in person with a card and avoid having to get cash or write a check.

Service fees also offset the cost of payment acceptance from agencies, allowing them to offer payment card services without losing revenue given the costs associated with the payment transactions.

With service fees, citizens get more payment options and agencies save costs — victories for both sides.

4. Broaden Card Acceptance

Agencies have not traditionally accepted every payment card brand because of challenges and restrictions. Smaller agencies, for example, may be unable to take some card brands because they don’t meet the company’s minimum volume thresholds.

Broader acceptance allows constituents the choice of card payment options and desired awards such as airline miles, cash back and bonus points.

5. Emphasize Mobile Payments

Agencies can shrink crowds and increase on-time transactions with mobile payments, which occur on digital applications or wireless handheld terminals that accept credit card transactions. They also include cellphones, laptops and tablets. Bringing the payment to the constituent lets them pay from their preferred location.

About GovLoop:
GovLoop serves a community of more than 300,000 government leaders by helping them to foster collaboration, learn from each other, solve problems and advance in their government careers

Elavon’s Media Contact:

Cara Crifasi 
Corporate Communications 
+1 303-268-2412

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