Use CARES Act Funds to Pay for No-Contact Payment Kiosks
People are continuing to pay their bills in person during the pandemic due to preference or need.
Local governments and utilities can pay for new technology that limits person-to-person contact by using federal grant money. The deadline to use CARES Act funding has been extended to the end of 2021.
Programs that support the safety of America’s communities can help cover technology that:
- Enables public sector employees to do their jobs remotely
- Provides no-contact options for residents to engage with their local government or pay their bills, online or in-person
According to guidance released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, “any other COVID-19-related expenses reasonably necessary to the function of government that satisfy the Fund’s eligibility criteria” is an eligible expenditure for reimbursement under the CARES Act.
CARES Act Funding
Some utilities and local governments are using CARES Act funding to purchase outdoor payment kiosks that allow residents to make contactless, in-person payments 24/7. For example, this CARES Act FAQ from Plymouth County, MA, says that kiosks qualify as a reimbursable COVID expense “if the purchase was made to respond to the public health emergency to mitigate cash handling.”
This technology is important for residents who pay in cash due to preference or need, and must pay in person. Many are un- or under-banked without access to banking services, with few alternatives to making in-person payments. The kiosks keep residents and staff safe, allowing staff who are working remotely to manage transactions in real-time.
Other Grant Resources
Our GTY Technology sister company eCivis is a grant management platform for city, county, state, and tribal governments in the US. They’ve put together a COVID-19 Resource Hub that helps local governments navigate newly available grant funding, with tips, training, and other resources to make the most federal grants.