Tight shot of a woman's hand holding a credit card while the other hand enters the information on a computer.

How Local Governments Can Streamline Payment Management

ACTIVE Network
May 25, 2022

Library fines, bus passes, and parking tickets aren't exciting purchases to make, but they shouldn't be difficult either. These everyday transactions should feel as simple as buying curbside groceries or shopping at your favorite online store. Unfortunately, most local governments are using a variety of outdated platforms across departments, making these payments difficult and confusing for citizens, deterring them from further engaging with their municipalities.

Local governments can streamline payment management by switching to a centralized payment source that runs across departments, accepts multiple transaction types, and uses a citizen-first approach. By prioritizing these three features, governments can cut down on the time needed to manage payment systems without sacrificing customer experience or security compliance. Below is further insight into how these factors can help streamline payment processes.

Centralize All Payments

Rather than have multiple payment platforms for different departments, local governments should have a single centralized system. Single-solution platforms provide the consistency local governments need when aggregating information. They help eliminate redundancies, create a single-source-of-truth reporting, and integrate broad, comprehensive financial services. Instead of tackling each problem on a one-by-one basis, finance personnel can use a centralized payment system to increase collaboration and consistency across departments. However, simply choosing just any other platform won’t cut it. To ensure teams are set up for success, municipalities need to select a platform with state-of-the-art data centers and a team of skilled technology professionals. 

For constituents, a simple and central platform eliminates confusion. Fear of missing payments or not knowing where to access services may deter citizens from engaging with local governments. But, when traffic tickets are handled on the same system that renews a parks and recreation membership, citizens can feel secure knowing their information is correct and their payments have been processed. 

Accept Multiple Transaction Types

Cash, check, and credit are the standard options when it comes to payment types, but in 2022, they're far from a complete list. In our digital-first environment, more and more people are using services like Google Pay, PayPal and Venmo for everyday purchases. In fact, according to McKinsey & Company, 82 percent of Americans are using digital payments in 2022, up from 78% the year before. And they're not just using digital options for online payments — many people use digital wallets for in-store checkouts as well. Most citizens rely on digital transaction services, so modern governments need to meet them where they are by offering payment solutions that accept a variety of transaction types and payment options. Allowing citizens to pay with the method they're most comfortable with makes transactions faster and hassle-free. 

Use a Citizen-First Approach

A citizen-first approach means keeping end users in mind through each step of the process. For local governments, that means evaluating issues with their current systems from the perspective of a citizen. An optimized user interface, effective communication, and ease of access are key facets of a citizen-first approach. Choose a platform that allows citizens to both check out as a guest when they're in a hurry or create an account to safely store credit card information for future use. The more features like these are prioritized on the front end, the less time local governments must spend fixing errors and providing customer service. 

Payment Manager Makes it Easy

ACTIVE Network's Payment Manager is a streamlined payment solution that will help you create an intelligent and intuitive customer experience, protect data, ensure compliance, and allow you to deliver technology capabilities that once seemed impossible. For more information on Payment Manager, visit ACTIVE's Website or book a demo today.

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