Basic considerations for local governments looking to buy utility bill payment kiosks

Municipal utilities possibly see the most frequent interactions between citizens and their local governments because most residents must make recurring payments for essential public services such as water, gas, and electricity. So, it’s important for local governments to create a well-designed, convenient utility bill payment experience to make these regular interactions as seamless and hassle-free as possible for all citizens.

As local governments navigate an increasingly digital-forward world, it can be easy to forget that many citizens still prefer to or must make bill payments in person, and at times, using cash. A utility bill payment kiosk is a cost-effective solution to help governments accommodate their citizens’ diverse needs and preferences.

Basics Of A Utility Bill Payment Kiosk

A utility bill payment kiosk is essentially a standalone or through-the-wall machine that facilitates monetary transactions. The kiosk can be placed indoors – for instance inside the City Hall or another public building – to handle walk-in payments, or it can be installed outdoors for 24/7 drive-through or walk-up payments.

To collect multiple forms of payment, the utility payment kiosk can be designed to include hardware components such as coin dispensers, check scanners, credit card readers, bill recyclers, and pin pads. A key feature of these kiosks is the user-friendly interface, managed by software that can facilitate payment collection for multiple utilities or government departments, support multiple, customized payment methods and processes, and provide real-time payment reports.

The self-service kiosk provides a convenient, fast, around-the-clock, in-person utility bill pay solution for citizens, while giving local governments the ability to boost operational efficiency and maximize the reach of their services.

What To Consider Before Getting A Utility Bill Payment Kiosk

Explore All Funding Options

Local governments may be able to use federal relief dollars under the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to purchase kiosks and facilitate no-contact, in-person payments. Be sure to work with your finance team and legal advisors to identify funding within your budget or external options to buy the kiosk.

Choose Your Kiosk Locations

It’s important to ensure that your utility bill payment kiosk is installed at convenient, accessible locations so citizens can get the most value from the machine. Consider placing your kiosks in locations that get significant foot traffic, both in and around your public buildings, to maximize usage by citizens and minimize long lines.

Further, to boost convenience for citizens, also make kiosks available at locations that can support 24/7 payments so your residents are not restricted by regular business hours and can pay their bills at any time.

The locations of your kiosks will impact their design and determine whether the machines must be placed indoors, outdoors, or through the wall.

Determine Preferred Payment Methods

Assess your citizens’ needs and preferences to identify the best payment methods to offer via the kiosk. For instance, if a large number of your citizens make utility bill payments in cash, then make sure your kiosk is equipped with the necessary hardware and software to support cash payments. Kiosks can accept multiple forms of payments, such as cash, check, credit card, and money order, so make sure to provide bill payment options that work best for your citizens. The payment methods you choose to incorporate will further determine the hardware and software of your kiosks, so this is a key decision.

Inform Citizens About The New Payment Kiosk

Before the launch, plan a communications strategy to inform your citizens about the new payment kiosk so they are aware of this option. Further, make sure to provide citizens with relevant information about the purpose of the kiosk, how to use it, accepted modes of payment, hours of operation, etc.

Partner with a Trusted Kiosk Manufacturer

Work with an experienced kiosk manufacturer like AdComp Systems Group to ensure your kiosk is reliable, durable, and secure. Our kiosks are PCI-compliant and ADA-compliant. We provide our government clients with in-depth technical support and resources to make sure their utility kiosk is successfully launched. By partnering with us, you can eliminate the guesswork and rest assured that your payment kiosk will prove to be a valuable service for all citizens.

To request a demo of our kiosk, click here.