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PayIt Hires Accela Vet Tom Nieto as President and COO

PayIt sells payments, licensing and outdoor permitting tech, and recently raised $90 million. Nieto talks about how the company intends to grow in 2024, and what his experience helping to lead Accela taught him.

Tech Services
PayIt, which sells tax processing, licensing, revenue collection and other software, has hired Accela veteran Tom Nieto as president and chief operating officer. He joins the Missouri-based firm as it considers a second acquisition and uses a $90 million funding round to keep growing.

Nieto reports to PayIt founder and CEO John Thomson.

Nieto takes over part of the load from Mike Plunkett, the co-founder who was previously COO and who now becomes chief development officer. In that job, Plunkett will coach employees and deal with client relationships and corporate development.

Nieto spent almost six years at government technology vendor Accela, most recently as chief operating officer. Previous experience includes head of sales strategy and execution at Box, which focuses on cloud-based content management, and as a project leader at Boston Consulting Group.

“My time at Accela helping to scale the business to deliver successful outcomes for their clients and drive mission-focused outcomes are core to what I hope to bring with me to PayIt,” he told Government Technology over email.

In May, the decade-old PayIt announced its first — and to date, only — acquisition. The company bought Tennessee-based Sovereign Sportsman Solutions, or S3, a platform dedicated to licensing and permitting for hunting, fishing, boats, RVs and event management.

PayIt has since experienced “great traction in this market,” Nieto said, adding that more acquisitions could come.

“As we look ahead, we are open to exploring other strategic transactions to continue building a market-leading platform for agencies and the residents they serve,” he said.

PayIt, which has raised nearly $200 million since its founding, according to Crunchbase, including that $90 million earlier this year, has no immediate need for another round of funding.

“We have plenty of both capital and revenue to fuel our current strategy and continued growth,” Nieto said.

As he sees it, that growth will come in part from PayIt standing out from the likes of Tyler Technologies and smaller gov tech competitors by its “major focus on the end-user experience,” helping clients get PayIt tech up and running more quickly than other vendors, and the company’s pricing.

He also described how PayIt is working in a gov tech environment that is quickly changing, including when it comes to protecting data and via payments.

Client focus on cybersecurity, he said, along with moving data to the cloud, means more cross-agency collaboration, and delivery of services and transactions “in a more streamlined, singular experience.”

He said that PayIt is particularly interested in the near-term opportunities of bringing together software and payments.

“Both agencies and the people they serve want to do more online, but solely focusing on a payments solution on their website is insufficient to drive adoption,” Nieto said. “We know from firsthand experience that residents embrace digital when the experience fosters trust and encourages reuse. I believe that will be the area where there are a lot of efficiency gains to be made over the next few years.”
Thad Rueter writes about the business of government technology. He covered local and state governments for newspapers in the Chicago area and Florida, as well as e-commerce, digital payments and related topics for various publications. He lives in Wisconsin.