More Efficient, More Secure: The Best Payment Solutions for Government Entities
“More efficient government” is a concept just about everyone can support, whether it’s an election year or not. In fact, some of the biggest efficiency gains have more to do with how your agency handles payments than who is in office. Here’s how smart payment services can help your local or state government run better—no campaign rhetoric required.
The business of state and local government
City, county, and state governments have a lot of fees, bills, and tax payments to handle, usually with very limited budgets and staff. Comprehensive payment solutions can reduce employee time spent handling files, mailing bills, and manually processing payments. That, in turn, can reduce spending on everything from ink and toner to postage.
But not all payment solutions are created equal. Some only address part of the payment process (like online but not mobile payments) or only support a few forms of payment. The more solutions a government has to adopt to get comprehensive service, the more time it spends on integration and management, and the less efficient the process becomes.
The most efficient tools for government payments
In an ideal world, your agency would work with a service provider that delivers everything you need. In the next-most ideal world, you could easily fill gaps in your current systems with a provider that plays well with others; think of it as the spirit of bipartisan cooperation. These service providers deliver:
- Streamlined electronic bill payment acceptance to reduce time spent processing in-person and mailed-in payments.
- Streamlined posting of payments to software systems for more efficient clearance and settlement of funds.
- Service-fee and absorbed fee support, so your agency has the option to absorb transaction fees or pass them on to users.
- Simple integration with existing software and payment tools, so your tech team can focus on other projects.
- Support for multiple payment channels, so your agency only needs to work with one provider while improving service for your constituents.
- Single sign-on reporting for quick, customizable access to your payment data for reports, transaction lookups, and transaction management, to save time, emails, and phone tag among reporting groups.
The ideal system also offers competitive pricing and free marketing support to help you get the word out to your clientele about the new payment options you offer.
The ultimate government efficiency: better security
Payment data breaches are a nightmare. They cost time, money, and public trust. The ideal government payment service provider offers PCI compliance to meet international security standards and reduce your agency’s PCI scope. Beyond PCI, the right provider:
- Tokenizes and encrypts transaction data to protect it from the payment gateway to the payment network and back.
- Provides check verification to reduce NSF and fraudulent transactions.
- Hosts payment pages for your agency to reduce your security scope and ensure a seamless and secure payment process.
Each of these steps protects your customers’ payment information and your agency’s reputation, time, and budget.
Take a look at your agency’s payment systems. Are there areas that need streamlining, better options, or tighter security? More than 10,000 agencies have elected Forte to meet their payment needs. We’re closing in on two decades of serving local and state government bodies with the most up-to-date, flexible, secure and comprehensive solutions available. Give us a call 1.866.290.5400 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help your government entity work more efficiently.
Photo credit: Ryan Pouncy