December 18, 2019

Engage Citizens Through Better Billing and Payment Options–Key Takeaways From KUBRA 2019 Citizen Report

Bringing payment and technology innovation to your local government can be challenging, especially given the rise in security breaches every year. But you can’t deny the significant impact that innovative government technology has on citizen engagement and the overall perception of government. Understanding and meeting your citizens’ ever-changing expectations can help prioritize innovation initiatives.  

KUBRA, a thought leader in the government billing space, conducted a survey of U.S. citizens to research their current billing and payment behaviors and attitudes, so you don’t have to. With over 1,000 responses analyzed, KUBRA gained valuable insights into today’s government payment marketplace and the state of the citizen experience. Below we share some of the key takeaways for municipalities.

Provide Digital Payment Options

As a citizen yourself, we doubt you’re content with ‘less than good’ payment experiences from your local government. Your citizens likely aren’t either. Unfortunately that’s exactly how almost half of citizens rate their government payment experiences, which is…less than good. 

Safe to say there’s room for improvement. You can do so by providing innovative payment options. On the digital payments fence? Perhaps knowing that 75% of citizens want to be able to pay using digital channels and 48% of citizens state it increases on-time payments and improves overall satisfaction will make it easier to take the leap. Your citizens want options that save them time, are convenient, and easy to use. Digital payment options tick all those boxes and more!

Add Payment Channels

We live in a world where there are more than 87,000 different drink options at a coffee shop and we have a seemingly infinite number of movies and tv shows at our fingertips. We’re used to having options, and lots of them. It’s not surprising then that having more than one way to pay is something that 59% of citizens feel is important. Payment channels like government websites, mobile apps, SMS/text, and digital wallets are preferred.

Your citizens’ comfort level with technology and desire for convenient, time-saving solutions is on the rise. This means they expect features like bill view, bill payment, alerts, and reminders to be available any time, anywhere.

Increase Payment Types

More than 50% of citizens pay their taxes digitally and another 37% pay parking fees that way. It’s clear, more and more citizens are comfortable paying for government services online. When reviewing digital payment attitudes, citizens report having better payment experiences when multiple payment types are made available to them. Credit and debit cards still come out ahead, but check is also a common choice among citizens when paying for government services. You can improve the citizen experience further still when you implement a payment solution that allows real-time payment processing.

Give E-Billing Options

For the under 60 crowd, email is the preferred method to receive statements with satisfaction rising even more when payments are enabled through secure email. Citizens over the age of 60 still choose mail as their preference for receiving statements, though email is a close second. In fact, some seniors even prefer to receive statements via both channels. Keep in mind that an important feature of e-billing is ensuring the inclusion of preference management tools for setting alerts and reminders. These tools improve citizen engagement by providing a way to customize what citizens’ receive from you, and when. 

If you’d like to improve your citizen engagement, knowing what they want is the first step. Take a deeper dive into today’s billing and payment trends and behaviors by watching our webinar and downloading the KUBRA Citizen Billing and Payment Report 2019.