How To Improve Government Services With Self-Service Kiosks
From water utility bills to parking tickets to property taxes, people have to interact with government services for any number of reasons on any given day. Most of them want to take care of their bills and settle their accounts quickly so they can cross one more task off their to-do list and get on with their busy day.
Yet their experience with city services can sometimes be far from straightforward. At its worst, a process may include standing in line, filling out forms, and even being asked the same questions several times over. Automated kiosk solutions can make in-person transactions faster and easier, and even eliminate the need to drive all the way to City Hall.
A self-service kiosk is an automated machine where constituents can take care of bills, research account history, and receive receipts for their transactions. Depending on how they’re configured, many kiosks allow users to settle their accounts using any number of payment options — from cash to check to credit card. Because these kiosks are automated, it’s possible to provide users with 24/7 access. Some kiosk solutions are even weatherproof, allowing them to be installed outdoors year-round.
At CityBase, we further weave convenience and accessibility into our offerings by designing kiosks with:
- High-contrast displays for people with visual impairments
- Multilingual support for non-native English speakers
- Graphic icons and buttons for users with low literacy
Locally stored information can present security risks, especially if that data is of a personal or financial nature. At CityBase, our kiosk solutions leverage cloud-based technology so that no payment information is ever stored locally on the machines. All sensitive data is tokenized before being sent through secure channels, integrated in real-time back to client databases.
If the only option for a person to pay a fine or fee is during normal business hours — when most people are at work — people may have to take time off work in order to pay a bill. This could mean missed hourly wages, making it even harder to pay city debts. If their account is always incorrect and they don’t have an easy way to pay or dispute it, they may risk missing a deadline to pay a fine, which could result in additional penalties that make it even harder to pay. It’s bad for the constituents and bad business for the city, which would benefit from collecting debts on time.
Self-service kiosks for government put the power back into constituents’ hands. If they have the option to pay bills during flexible hours and convenient locations, they’re much likelier to pay their bills on time. And this translates to more money for the city.
Also published on Medium.