Arkansas.gov offers mobile payments for eGovernment services

Arkansas is making it easier for its citizens to make government payments while on the go with the debut of a new mobile commerce-enabled Arkansas.gov WAP site.

With the launch of the mobile Web site at http://arkansas.gov/m, Arkansas has become the first state in the nation to provide secure payment-processing specifically for smartphone users. The Arkansas.gov mobile Web site is part of the official Web site of the state of Arkansas.

“Mobile is an emerging service delivery channel for government that we believe will become the primary communication channel in the future,” said Janet Grard, general manager at the Information Network of Arkansas, Little Rock. “These solutions build on what Arkansas.gov has already done and are the next steps in what we believe will be a longer-term expansion of mobile services to meet the needs of Arkansans on the go. 

“We have rigorous security in place for portal services which is transferable to our mobile services,” she said. “As the State’s portal provider, we have the unique insight into government’s needs as well as the demands of constituents—we are able to build user-friendly, secure services that elevate customer service and fit seamlessly into the state’s existing business processes.

“We know our customer—the state—we know their customers—citizens and businesses—and we are focused on building services that perform on any platform.”

Arkansas.gov is the official Web site of the state of Arkansas and a service of the Information Network of Arkansas.

The Information Network of Arkansas is a collaborative effort between the state of Arkansas and Arkansas Information Consortium that helps state government entities Web-enable their information services.

Arkansas Information Consortium is a Little Rock-based subsidiary of the eGovernment firm NIC, a provider of official government Web sites, online services and secure payment processing services.

Mobile payments-enabled site
The Arkansas.gov mobile site features secure payments for three high-volume online government services: inmate trust account deposits, probation and parole supervision and restitution payments, and Pulaski County property tax payments.

These mobile applications provide a convenient, simple and secure option for users to access government services and are available on all smartphone operating platforms, including Apple’s iPhone, RIM’s BlackBerry, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Palm.

Arkansas.gov’s mobile site is the latest enhancement to the state’s eGovernment services for mobile phone users.

The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission’s Game Check service provides real-time game tagging for mobile devices and the state also provides iPhone applications for the Arkansas.gov Web site and the Recovery.Arkansas.gov searchable service to locate nearby recovery projects funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

The state’s decision to launch a mobile-optimized version of Arkansas.gov was driven by the growing popularity of smartphone devices in the state.

The applications will render on any mobile device based on the specific device’s screen size and capabilities, which makes government information and services even more convenient and accessible.

All Visa, MasterCard and Discover mobile transactions are processed through Arkansas.gov’s secure payment system.

Arkansas.gov’s new mobile payment services include the Inmate Deposit Service.

Friends and family can make secure deposits to an inmate’s Department of Correction-managed trust or prepaid phone account in real time.

Paying monthly supervision, drug court, or restitution fees is now much easier for offenders supervised by the Department of Community Correction with Probation and Parole Supervision and Restitution Payments.

The mobile payment application makes paying restitution quick and easy for users that might not have access to a computer.

Pulaski County Property Tax Payments lets users in Arkansas’s largest county enter their parcel information and pay installments or the total amount due on their personal property and real estate taxes.

“One of NIC’s strengths is marketing, and we’re very skilled at helping government promote new digital services,” Ms. Grard said.

“Media relations, search engine optimization, updating existing materials with mobile calls-to-action, PR/events and in some services direct mail, are among the marketing levers we are pulling to make Arkansans aware of the expanded mobile services offered by Arkansas.gov,” he said.