Public sector organizations share many of the same challenges as private businesses. But they must also be responsive to taxpayers, who hold them accountable in unique ways. Government agencies and other public sector entities must demonstrate a high level of fiscal responsibility and stewardship of resources to continually earn public trust. For those reasons, they especially rely on three important criteria when selecting a payment solution.
Fair and Flexible Rates
Public sector entities usually calculate the total cost of credit card payment processing and then apply an across-the-board charge to recoup those costs. The charge impacts all bill payers, even those who don’t use credit cards, which is unfair and often confusing. Flex rate pricing, on the other hand, utilizes industry-compliant legal surcharging, so the public sector organization never again has to pay credit card payment processing fees. Those typically cost around two percent or more of every transaction. But flex rate surcharging instantly reduces those costs to zero. They are instead passed along to the cardholder, as a clearly disclosed line item fee. Anyone who chooses to avoid the surcharge can simply pay by cash, debit card, or other non-credit card method. In that way, flexible rate surcharging enhances transparency and equity to improve customer service, build trust, control costs, and improve cash flow−through an easy, automated solution.
Reliably Robust Security
Public sector organizations handle some of the most sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers, credit card account information, dates of birth, and more. That makes them a prime target for criminal hackers intent on stealing that data. Hardened security protocols are vital, particularly when processing payments. To ensure best practices and up-to-date safeguards, take advantage of payment technologies that feature data encryption and tokenization, PCI compliance, and Level 3 Processing. Those tools protect data, reassure the public, and thwart hackers. They help avoid the kinds of catastrophic liabilities and financial losses (as well as the loss of valuable public trust) that a data breach can cause. That is why it critical to also vet any payment tech vendors, to make sure they also adhere to PCI compliance protocols and maintain secure systems.
Flex Rate Pricing for Government
Valued Technology Partners
A tech vendor should always offer more than just a pipeline for buying products. They should pride themselves on being a reliable, solution-focused strategic partner and consultant. Public sector organizations need dependable access to innovations such as revenue neutral payment processing with flexible rate features. Their vendors should be thought leaders with forward-thinking security systems and fast-funding that shortens the revenue cycle. Tech partners should have a spotless business rating, a verifiable track record of superior customer service, and a legacy of industry success. They should be adept at managing large and small transactions, from major government contracts to citizen payment of parking tickets. Their products and services should be tailored to the specific needs of the public sector, and deliver safe, efficient, real-time processing of digital, mobile, and conventional payments.
The Bottom Line
Particularly during the COVID-19 era, government agencies, educational institutions, municipalities, and other public sector organizations face extreme financial challenges. Budgets are tight, taxpayers are stressed-out, and defaults are on the rise. But with a capable payment system and a resourceful tech partner, many of these unprecedented problems can be easily and affordably remedied with turnkey solutions that save time, money, and aggravation.