For the past three years I led government relations for Code for America. In my role, I had the good fortune to travel around the U.S. talking to hundreds of government leaders about 21st Century Digital Government. I also interacted with and mentored dozens of civic and govtech startups through CfAs Accelerator and Incubator while helping public sector agencies understand the benefits of partnering with these new, innovative companies to make government work better.
Among the top questions I always heard from government leaders was “What about mobile”?
The question is an obvious one given the significant shift we’ve seen in mobile/smartphone usage, across nearly all demographics. As of October 2014, Pew Internet Project reports, nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011 (read this -- 96% of citizens age 18-29 have a smartphone); and nearly 40% of all smartphone users have used their device to look up government services or find info.
Today banks give us mobile banking. Airlines enable on-the-go flight changes. Uber puts transportation service at our fingertips. Today’s all-mobile, all-the-time consumers expect every transaction—even with the government—to be quick, easy, personalized and all possible with a few clicks and swipes of their smartphones.
That is why I’m excited to join PayIt as the head of local government solutions -- to help mobil(ize) local government. We’re doing just that in a flexible, lightweight way that doesn’t leave them with custom built applications that cost millions or even thousands of dollars to maintain or improve.
What makes PayIt unique?
- Citizen first: Our approach to citizen-first design makes interacting with government easy and efficient, especially in a mobile environment. But even more importantly is how it allows individuals to do business with government in the way that works best for them. Knowing that online/web may at times be the best solution, we offer both.
- Agile and iterative approach to design and deployment: Unlike incumbent vendors, PayIt works to quickly integrate with back office systems, allowing our mobile platform to help make interacting with multiple agencies seamless for citizens.
- Better experience for citizens and government: Just as much as the app improves the experience of citizens, the PayIt platform improves the process and subsequent data intelligence for governments.
In short, we offer governments an easy-to-deploy platform and citizen-facing solutions that can make a visible difference in the way citizens perceive government’s ability to serve them and effectively do business with them in the 21st century. It’s an exciting time in govtech and 2016 is poised for local governments to take a huge leap forward!