Government Trends: Payments Made Easy

JetPay Communications

January 7, 2019

Not so long ago, opening your mail to discover a notice to renew your driver’s license or car registration was tantamount to receiving bad news. Standing in line at the DMV or Secretary of State’s office was one of the most dreaded and reviled experiences in the lives of many Americans. Within the past five or 10 years, however, agencies at every level of government have acknowledged these complaints and taken steps to ease the ordinary citizen’s pain.

Across many sectors and touchpoints, the government is eliminating inefficiency, reducing time commitments and making life easier for members of the public. At the center of this shift is digital payments technology.

How Digital Payments Are Making Things Easier for Governments and the Citizens They Serve

Anyone who has ever been to the DMV for a simple auto registration renewal can tell you that being there in person — and waiting in line for hours to complete an extremely straightforward process — feels highly unnecessary. The same can be said for other in-person experiences involving government departments, bureaus, and systems, such as registering to vote, filing one’s taxes, or changing one’s legal name. It wasn’t until the government started embracing digital payments that things really started to change.

Today, there are still some government services you can only access by going to a government building, waiting in line, and speaking to someone in person. However, these touchpoints are starting to become the exception rather than the rule.

Take the example of renewing your car’s registration in person at the DMV office. Every year, you need to pay to renew your license plate. This process usually costs between $100 and $200. In the past, this simple renewal and payment would also probably have cost you an hour or two in line at your nearest DMV office. Today, most states allow you to go to your Secretary of State website, input your name, driver’s license number, and license plate number, then pay for your registration right there online.

There might be a small convenience fee associated with the online transaction, but to citizens, that fee is well worth avoiding a physical trip, a long line, and the irritation of coordinating transport and time off to arrange a visit to their local office. Best of all, the interface is familiar and easy to use, modeled after online payment methods that have been the norm for years on eCommerce sites.

Digital payment technology has made a positive impact on multiple touchpoints that citizens have with their government. Paying taxes online, for instance, is far easier at this point than printing out a tax return, writing a check, and mailing both to the IRS.

Citizens can now submit payments digitally directly to the government for a wide range of non-tax expenses, too, such as VA medical care copayments, merchant mariner user fees, or non-tax-related debt. Online portals even make it easy to direct your online payments to the proper agencies whether you are trying to buy a National Park pass or figuring out how to pay the right agency for an FOIA request.

Conclusion

Embracing digital payments technology has allowed the government to streamline processes that used to be complicated at best and maddening at worst. Because state and national government offices are so large and multi-faceted, it can be difficult for citizens to find and access the services they need or figure out how to accomplish even the simplest task. Efficient and easy-to-use online payment methods have changed the game by closing the gap between governments and their citizens.

At JetPay, we offer integrated payment solutions customized for government. As a single provider of payment services for all departments for all payment channels, we can help improve the user experience for both your constituents and your contract management personnel. Our dedicated implementation teams specialize in government service agencies and understand the complexity of integrations and requirements for onboarding efficiently. Most importantly, we are an industry leader offering proven stability and security. Learn more about JetPay and how partner with government agencies to making their operations more efficient.

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