How to Create and Evaluate Effective Public Sector Kiosk RFPs
The global pandemic has shifted the nature of in-person interactions. Many people still pay their bills in person due to preference or need, for public sector payments like water bills, property taxes, and parking permits. To support in-person interactions that eliminate person-to-person contact and keep customers and staff safe, local governments and utilities are procuring self-service payment kiosk technology.
Use this guide to help build your payment kiosk request for proposal (RFP) and evaluate submissions. Need to expedite procurement? Download our ready-to-use Kiosk RFP Template here, or get in touch for a free consultation.
Ask the Questions That Drive the Decision Making Process
As you write a kiosk RFP there is a lot to consider. Is your scope comprehensive enough? Are you including questions related to emerging kiosk technology? Are you missing anything important?
At CityBase, we read a lot of RFPs. We often read RFPs that are missing key considerations or are too focused on current processes rather than potential outcomes. It is important to get your RFP right – the best technology contracts start with well written RFPs.
Below are a few best practices to follow when writing an RFP. The goal is to focus on desired outcomes, highlight core competencies, and leave room for expansion and innovation.
- Ask questions with a focus on current challenges and desired outcomes, rather than a prescribed solution or process. Older processes may have been designed based on the limits of older technology. By detailing the issues that you aim to solve, you open the door to a more robust solution that may not have been previously considered.
- Hone in on the core competencies you know are a must, such as excellent information security, an improved customer experience, and reporting capabilities. Keep an open mind to vendors that meet these core needs by using a different approach than you’re accustomed to.
- Leave room for future expansion, for instance adding multiple departments to a single solution, or the addition of other payment channels. Give proposers the opportunity to showcase what they have to offer beyond the current scope of your needs.
Sample RFP Questions and What to Look For in Responses
Below are a few key themes to highlight in your kiosk RFP. We’ve included sample questions that will help you tease out the best information from potential vendors, as well as our recommendations on what to look for in responses.
User Experience and Accessibility
Ask: Please describe how a person can make their payment using your payment kiosk solution, and include screens of the software user interface. Describe the full customer experience.
Look for: An intuitive user interface. Instructions should be transparent and easy to understand, with consistent information display that’s aided by familiar visual cues.
Ask: How do you ensure that the kiosk technology is usable by a wide range of customers? What language options come standard to your kiosk solution? How does your solution comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Look for: A solution that makes payments easy for everyone, including for people with low or no English literacy, vision impairments, or physical disabilities.
Hardware Specs and Installation
Ask: What are the kiosk hardware models available? Indicate whether you have a payment kiosk model that can provide outdoor 24/7 service. What are your site installation requirements for payment kiosks?
Look for: A solution you can implement without changing your existing office space or technology stack. Consider solutions that will extend business hours for your customers, even if you’ve closed an office or payment center.
Reporting and Analytics
Ask: Can staff research and report on payment activity by tender type (card, check, cash), payment channel (e.g., kiosk, cashier, web), and department/agency?
Look for: A solution with a centralized, cloud-based revenue management system that lets staff manage all transactions in real-time, even remotely.
Integrations and System Architecture
Ask: Can your system support real-time integrations?
Look for: A vendor that has proven experience executing complex integrations with a wide variety of source systems. The best kiosk technology integrates through the cloud in real-time with a variety of source systems and applications.
Security and Data Handling
Ask: Describe your firm’s cyber security program. What are your policies and procedures related to data security, payment industry compliance, and/or cyber security?
Look for: A vendor that makes proactive, extensive use of real-time monitoring, alerting, and response capabilities on system events that may be security-related. It’s important to work with vendors that are certified in and comply with payment and government industry standards, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Additional Services and Features
Ask: Does your firm provide other payment channels, e.g., point of sale (POS) or web payments? Are there additional features not listed in this RFP you think would augment our project?
Look for: A vendor with experience in other payment channels and digital services related to payments. Vendors that can provide multiple payment channels should also offer a centralized reporting tool that allows staff to manage all transaction data in a single place.
Download the Kiosk RFP Template
Want more sample questions to include in your kiosk RFP? How about an entire RFP template? Fill out the form below to download the free, ready-to-use Kiosk RFP Template, created especially for the public sector.