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Kansas Chooses PayIt to Build Digital Citizen Services

The company has a contract, but isn't saying much about what its work will be at the moment.

The state of Kansas has chosen PayIt, a home-grown startup, to help it beef up the digital services it offers to citizens.

The company, based on the Kansas side of Kansas City, actually operates in a model similar to the one that made another company from the same area famous — NIC. Both companies build digital services for governments without charging the agencies any money, opting instead to collect revenue through charges whenever a citizen uses those services to pay the government.

But it’s the younger PayIt, about four years old, that will be delivering those services for the state of Kansas through the new multi-year contract.

“There is an aggressive innovation road map that we’ll be tackling together,” PayIt CEO John Thomson told Government Technology.

Thomson is mum on the details of what, exactly, his company will be working on through the contract so far. But in an interview at the 2017 NASCIO Midyear conference in Arlington, Va., Kansas CIO Phil Wittmer said that the partnership would serve the state’s goals of becoming more transparent.

According to Thomson, the new work will fit inside the existing platform PayIt provides. That platform, built on Amazon Web Services’ GovCloud, is a service layer sitting on top of the available systems. It’s structured around configuration as opposed to customization.

“We innovate inside the platform versus inside custom software. We’re not custom software developers,” Thomson said.

That approach allows the company to deploy things quickly — within a span of weeks, Thomson said — when serving new government clients. It also means that it will be making the things it builds in Kansas available for other governments once they’re set up.

PayIt closed on a $4.5 million Series A fundraising round in January 2016.

Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.