Streamline Your Payment Processes and Better Serve Your Community
There’s been a shift in how citizens interact with local governments, especially when it comes to making payments. Whether your constituents are making payments for utilities, garbage pick up, or renting a park shelter, they want ways to make payments quickly with less foot traffic at your office. This growing trend is included by the Deloitte Centre for Government Insight’s Government Trends 2021.
This new adoption by many local governments comes an opportunity to further optimize online payments and increase citizen engagement to meet the growing citizen demands. Not only does it offer a more convenient way for citizens to make payments, but it significantly reduces foot traffic and paper bills so employees can focus on other tasks.
Here are six ways local governments can make it easy for customers to make payments online.
1. Customer Experience
A user friendly and seamless service delivery for online payments will build retention, loyalty, and trust for local governments – not to mention complete the goal of paying online. Forbes Technology Council sites themes in digital customer experience including personalization, frictionless checkout, and anticipating customer needs to help overcome barriers that prevent customers from making a payment.
2. Offer Flexible Payment Options
Offering flexible and omnichannel payment options and payment terms will increase citizen use of online payment portals. Consider providing complete mobile payments, one-time credit card payments as well as offering a variety of credit card and debit card options that are suitable for your local government demographic.
3. Provide Guest Checkout
Minimize checkout abandonment from demanding forms by providing a guest payment option. With this option citizens can enter critical information such as name, address, invoice, and payment information without creating a new profile or being overburdened with multiple fields -a good option for one-time payment or first-time visitors.
4. Protect Privacy and Secure Data
Secure your citizen’s data by using secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant solutions. With local governments being a preferred target for cybercriminials, citizens are increasingly wary of where they enter sensitive and personal information. Creating a privacy and data protection strategy will help ensure sensitive information is safe, minimizing the risk of data breaches and improving citizen trust of online payment platforms.
5. Responsive Design
Invest in platforms that offer flexible and on-the-go payment options that are compatible with several operating platforms, devices, and browsers. As more citizens are using smartphones to access services, mobile checkout through a responsive web browser design or mobile application will ensure your checkout process is effortless leading to more online payments.
6. Integrate with Your Software Provider
Take the task of manually processing payments out of the equation by working directly with your software provider. Your software company will know the best way to integrate tried-and-tested payment portal options with your software and, if they’re like us at Harris, may have an inhouse solution specially formatted to meet your unique requirements.