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Paya, Promise Team Up to Help Government Collect Debts

Promise, which focuses on delinquent payments, has selected Paya as a partner as both companies try to help governments collect what they’re owed. Such debt grew significantly during the pandemic as citizens lost income.

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California-based Promise, a software-as-a-service payments company that works with utilities and other government agencies, has made Paya an integrated payments partner.

Paya, which handles government and municipal payments, will help Promise expand its “capabilities and reach across many government agencies and utilities,” according to a press release. Paya has some 2,000 government and municipal clients in 24 states, and processes more than 8 million payments each year.

Promise, for its part, provides “payment flexibility” for customers who are in debt or unable to pay their bills in full.

“We are very pleased to be working with Paya,” said Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, co-founder and CEO of Promise, in that statement. “By partnering with an integrated payments provider with deep experience in the government space, we are able to deliver incredible value to the people who really need it. Making it easier to pay government debt is foundational to our mission, and Paya’s government payment technologies and comprehensive support services will both enhance our customer experiences and enable us to better serve our mission.”

Promise last made news in spring as it positioned itself to help state and local governments catch up on delinquent utility payments lost during the pandemic.

The technology firm gained a bit of the spotlight in 2018 when hip-hop artist Jay-Z’s Roc Nation took part in a $3 million funding round for Promise. Now the company is striving to help deal with the estimated $22.3 billion in delinquent utility payments nationwide.

Such problems remain, providing opportunity for payment providers in the government space.

“We are thrilled to have been selected by Promise as a payments partner,” said Michele Shepard, Paya’s chief commercial officer, in the statement. “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen citizens across the country experiencing increased difficulty making payments, which in turn strains the municipalities that serve them.”