In order to fund budgets, local governments need to collect money from their citizens - from property taxes to fines for code violations to application fees for permits and licenses. Procurement officials are also making constant payments to vendors for products and services.
Yet, without the proper digital infrastructure, your municipal or county government has to manually process checks that are sent in the mail or dropped off in-person at the local clerk’s office by citizens and local business-owners. This means that your private-sector partners are stuck waiting for payments to be made in an antiquated fashion for goods and services provided to your locality.
Online credit and debit card processing on your government website makes for more convenience for your citizens and automates payment processing workflows that previously needed to be performed by humans. Follow along for more insight into the advantages of digital payment processing for local governments, and how every department from tax to code enforcement can move payment collection online.
At the end of the article, you'll see a list of the best government credit card processing partners that can be integrated with GovPilot's government software to be made available on your website.
What are Digital Government Payment Services?
Digital government payments are exactly what they sound like; citizens and businesses can make payments to government entities online via a credit or debit card. Government entities can also pay private-sector contractors online using the same technology.
Credit card processing partners can be embedded into your government website, allowing for tax, fee, and fine collection to be digitally streamlined rather than paid over checks in the mail or in-person.
Learn more about How Online Government Fee & Fine Processing Works.
See how Rutland, Vermont generates $40,000 in previously unrealized revenue annually through online fee payment of Continued Occupancy Certificates.
Why Should Local Governments Move Citizen Payment Collection Online?
Digital government payment solutions make things more convenient for both your citizens and your government officials.
Applications can be filed completely online and fees can be collected right then and there, easily enough for any constituent, including senior citizens, to submit online. The tax department can be completely digitized. And, when a fine for a code violation is issued, the payment can be paid online or even in real time to the code enforcement official via a government mobile device. Moving citizen processes like this online also improves equity and helps to overcome language barriers in local government.
Why Should Governments Make Payments to Vendors Digitally?
We’ve all experienced being antsy while waiting for a check in the mail. For private sector partners providing thousands of dollars worth of goods or services to your local government, this anxiety is amplified while waiting for traditional slow-moving public-sector payment processes.
Making digital payments via a government credit card or bank account can streamline vendor payment processes to be quicker and more efficient. No longer will your private-sector partners need to wait for a check to arrive in the mail, and all of the government procurement data will be automatically stored in the cloud for your government’s accounting records.
Follow along for a more detailed account of the full benefits of digital government payment processing solutions for both citizen services and municipal procurement.
What are the Best Credit Card Processing Partners for Government Agencies?
What are the Benefits of Digital Government Payments?
As described above, everyone’s lives can be made easier by making a digital transformation in your local government, from government officials to citizens to private-sector partners.
Here are the key benefits that should motivate your local government to offer online payments:
1. Online Permit & Licensing Applications
No longer do your citizens and local business owners need to drive to the clerk’s office to submit permit and license applications and pay the related fees.
Now, with permitting and licensing software, any type of application form can be moved to your government website. And once a citizen or business owner uploads the relevant information & documents, they can virtually pay the application fee.
Interested in learning how permitting software works? Here are the most popular digital permit and licensing forms used by GovPilot customers:
- Construction permitting and related permits like
- Building permits
- Demolition permits
- Dumpster permits
- Electrical permits
- Elevator permits
- Fence permits
- HVAC permits
- Plumbing permits
- Septic system permits
- Health department permitting & licensing such as
- Pet licensing
- Health licensing for food vendors, pet shops, aquatic facilities, massage parlors, and more
- Parks and recreation department permitting and licensing such as
- Parking permits
2. Streamlined Code Enforcement
Citizens and visitors in your community that commit code violations often skip out on making payment; in many instances, it’s due to the inconvenience of having to go to the clerk’s or code enforcement department to hand over cash or a check.
Now, a modern code enforcement strategy gives officials the option to collect a fine on the spot from a mobile phone or tablet. Or, citizens can go online to pay fees for parking violations, animal control issues like barking dogs or pets off leashes, and beyond.
3. Streamlined Invoice Collection
Invoicing across government departments just got way easier. When your government collaborates with private-sector partners to build and maintain local public infrastructure, vendors can now submit invoices in a completely digital capacity.
4. Better Vendor Relationships
Many contractors are hesitant to work with the government due to the public sector’s reputation for being slow-moving when it comes to making payments.
Now, with digital invoicing and payment processes, your local government can shy away from these stereotypes and build a better relationship with the vendors you rely on to maintain your local physical and digital infrastructure.
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5. Time-Savings in Your Government Accounting
Manually adding money that’s coming in and going out of your locality to your general ledger is inefficient. By digitizing government payments, all payments received and issued online will be automatically stored in the government cloud alongside a paper trail of related paperwork like invoices and permit applications.
6. Financial Analytics
With all of your digitized payments recorded online, your local government leadership can set up intuitive reporting to assess
- Where revenue is being generated
- Where your budget is being allocated in each department
- The types of code violations that are occurring the most
- The types of permit and license applications being submitted the most
This data can be used to measure your success and make informed decisions in the future.
7. A Modern Government Website
Governments are notorious for having websites that look like they were designed in the 1990s. Now, by embracing government software, your newly optimized municipal or county website will be actually useful for citizens and businesses looking to make tax payments, file applications, and beyond.
Why Do Local Governments Need Modern Websites? Here’s everything to know.
8. More Revenue Sources
Collecting more application fees and code violation fines will put more revenue into your locality to allocate towards making improvements to your neighborhood.
9. Simplified Property Financial Records
Your local government can keep track of payments made by businesses and property-owners in seconds via a simplified local GIS map of your community. Keep track of whether or not property taxes, code violations, construction permit application fees, etc. have been paid at any location in your community, and access any finance related documents associated with said property.
Trenton, NJ raised millions of dollars to be utilized towards local economic development at the height of the pandemic by using GovPilot’s free online real estate auction platform.
Your local government can too. Real estate investors from across the country can bid on real estate up for auction by your municipal government and pay your government directly online for their newly acquired properties.
What Government Payment Solutions Should Local Governments Use?
GovPilot government software offers credit card integrations with top processing partners.
Pick from any top credit card processing partners that integrate with GovPilot for your procurement department, government tax department, and any other municipal or county department that needs to collect credit or debit payments.
Government management software can transform your government payment processes and beyond. To learn more about how it can transform every department to save time and money, book a free demo.
Digital Government Payment Services FAQs
1. What is Government Credit Card Processing?
Government credit card processing is digital technology that allows for local governments to receive payments online for common things like permit and license applications, property tax collection, business registration fees, code violations, and more.
2. How Can Local Governments Embrace Procurement Technology?
Local government procurement software helps the purchasing department move to a digital capacity for:
- Online requests-for-proposal
- Public sector contract management and tracking system
- FEMA expense tracking
- Inventory management
- Vendor applications
- Cloud-based invoicing / payment record storage
3. How Can Citizens Make Payments Online to Your Local Government?
Government software allows for citizens to make payments directly to your local government for taxes, fees, and fines. Your local government simply needs to select a payment processing partner, and GovPilot will integrate it into your government website.
4. How Does Online Government Payment Processing Automate Workflows?
Government officials had to previously receive and process payments by hand. Now, instead of receiving and processing checks manually, your local government can receive payments online that are automatically processed and added to your government accounting systems.
5. Why Should Governments Collect Application Fees?
Your local government allocates a lot of time and energy receiving, reviewing, and approving applications for permits and licenses across departments. Collecting application fees can generate substantial revenue across departments to pay for the salaries of government workers handling application processes as well as other key government projects.
When your local government embraces online forms for permit and licensing forms, credit card processing allows your government to collect fees before the application is submitted.
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