Last updated: March 10, 2020

Why We Built a Better Online Payment System for Governments

Now government agencies can quickly and easily add a payment option to any online form.
Posted by Karl Pawlewicz
Photo by Firos nv on Unsplash
Today we’re launching Payments for GovOS Application Studio, which provides government agencies with an efficient citizen payment solution. Now municipalities can use GovOS’ intuitive form automation technology to quickly add a payment option to all of their online government forms. As GovOS President, Kevin LaFeber, puts it, “It’s our vision is to empower governments to create beautiful and accessible online services quickly and effectively to replace their existing paper processes.” As we continue to build GovOS Studio to meet the needs of our partners bringing more services online, Payments is another tool that agencies can use to provide citizens with a unified, end-to-end experience for doing business with their local government. Payments also mean less paperwork processing for employees. “For anyone that has ever had to manually process a check, this can be an even worse process than doing data entry! It is multi-stepped and can take days to get verification from the bank that a check was deposited. We built Payments in part to alleviate this pain point for our partners.” Chachi, our Senior Vice President of Product, echoes that sentiment. “Over the years, working with several government agencies to get their forms online, we found that many of the forms required payment at the time of submission. We also found that each agency required integration with a different payment gateway. Building a custom solution for each gateway posed its own set of problems.” Kevin recalls that, “Initially we tried to deliver a version of Payments that only worked with one popular payment gateway. While this was effective for some governments, we realized that many governments already had existing gateways that they couldn’t change. So, this relaunched version of Payments is even more powerful, has even more features, and most importantly allows anyone to easily sync with their existing Gateway.” “To accomplish that, we’ve partnered with a PCI compliant gateway integration service that allows us to safely and securely process payments through over 70 payment gateways out of the box,” says Chachi. “Best of all, the integration is seamless so your citizens don’t need to leave the form they’re on, and the transaction information is stored with their submission. This makes it much easier for your staff to track submissions and payments within the GovOS platform.”
What an admin sees when a form requires a payment.  
Now agency admins can see a blue dollar sign icon next to their forms that require a payment.
As Asher Rosenfeld, Vice President of Consulting and Business Process Management, points out, adding a Payments feature ensures agencies have the security and flexibility needed to ensure the convenience of paying digitally is accessible to everyone. “Every municipality has services that they take payment for, and most of these services are managed by forms. With payments on digital forms, governments need a level of flexibility to account for all citizens’ needs. For example, governments must be able to make digital payments optional to accommodate citizens who are underbanked. Agencies also need the flexibility to review forms before authorizing payments so that they don’t have to handle a lot of refunds.” Asher adds, “As agencies look for ways to digitize all of their online services, municipalities will want to bring Payments online in a holistic way. And we’ve designed this feature with those needs in mind, so that agencies can roll this out with the flexibility and security needed to meet modern expectations.” As Kevin says, “Ultimately, our mission is to make the interaction with Governments a beautiful experience and we are proud that with Payments we can take on one more aspect of that experience.”
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