In-person payments still matter during a pandemic. Here’s why kiosks are the best solution.
It’s important to make services and payment technology available online. But it’s equally important to provide safe in-person payment options for people paying bills like property taxes or water, heat, and electricity bills. Here’s why payment kiosks are the right solution for utility providers and state and local governments.
Despite payment center closures, people are still paying in person
Some of our clients have seen more customers pay by kiosk than ever before. One CityBase utility client closed all of its payment centers amid the spread of Covid, but they maintained access to its network of self-service payment kiosks. Their monthly average kiosk payment volume increased 19% in April from the previous three months — this April spike included 19,700 first-time kiosk users.
Payment kiosks eliminate person-to-person contact
CityBase payment kiosks are self-service and easy to use, enabling people to pay in person without putting your staff or customers at risk. The average transaction time on a CityBase kiosk is under a minute, keeping people moving quickly and eliminating lines. Our kiosk software is cloud-based and posts payments in real-time to underlying data sources. This enables your staff to manage revenue and billing questions remotely.
No-fee cash payments
CityBase never charges your cash-paying customers a processing fee. Many customers pay in cash because of preference or need. Some are underbanked and have limited access to banking services like credit cards and checking.
Alternatives like check-cashing stores charge a steep fee, sometimes 3% of a person’s bill, making them costly for customers who must pay bills in cash and especially those who make multiple partial payments against a bill. Money orders require multiple steps, putting customer health at risk as they must enter multiple buildings and interact with pay agents. No-fee cash payments reduce the burden for customers to pay their bills, especially as they may be struggling financially during Covid.
It’s time to drop the drop box
Payment drop boxes are a poor alternative to cashiers or kiosks for several reasons. They don’t allow people to pay in cash, while the majority of in-person payments are made in cash. They require a staff member to manually enter data. This requires more frequent in-person staffing and delays payment posting and revenue. When credit card and check payments are manually handled by staff, this compromises customer security of their personal identifying information (PII). Alternatively, kiosk hardware connects to CityBase through a secure cellular network, keeping you out of PCI scope. Customer information stays secure, since no information is stored on kiosk devices.
You can use federal Covid relief funding to pay for kiosks