IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Tyler, Paya Show Why Payments Matter to Gov Tech’s Future

A new Tyler acquisition and a Paya product redesign demonstrate how digital transactions can fuel growth in gov tech. Utility bills are just one part of the payments proposition for state and local agencies.

Payment Solutions
When it comes to such technologies as 3D mapping, real-time video data for emergency responders, and IoT sensing gear, payments can often seem boring by comparison.

But two recent developments show that digital transactions are not only vital for state and local governments, but offer fuel for further progress in the government technology space.

The biggest news comes from gov tech giant Tyler Technologies. It says it will buy Rapid Financial Solutions, a Utah-based company that launched in 2010 and focuses on such work as digital disbursements and card issuing.

Tyler will pay $68 million in cash and stock for the company, and expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter, according to a statement.

According to Tyler — more than a year into its $2.3 billion absorption of NIC, which sells payments and other digital services to states — the new acquisition will allow it to provide “Rapid’s payments platform to local, state and federal government clients to enhance their disbursement process and improve the timeliness and accuracy of their transactions with consumers.”

Rapid Financial Services has more than 1,500 U.S. customers. Tyler says it has about 7,200 payments clients, and that the company helped them process 455 million transactions worth more than $28.9 billion in 2021.

Rapid will become part of Tyler’s payments business unit. Rapid employees, including management, will join Tyler’s NIC division.

In a recent conference call with investors and analysts, Tyler CEO Lynn Moore talked about how payments fits into the company’s strategy — comments that underscored the importance of transactions to the gov tech industry.

“We view payments as really a significant long-term growth driver,” he said, according to a transcript of the call. “Our expertise was on the acquiring side of payments. We had on our road map to get more involved on really the issuing side, generating the payouts.”

He said the market opportunity on the issuing side is “about the same size as the acquiring side,” and listed all the ways — transaction load and account fees, as well as interchange revenue — that payments can bring in more money.

Rapid already has a presence in courts and corrections, both of which involve a wide variety of regular payments.

“That’s an area we did not have expertise in, but something that we would have tried to build out sometime over time,” Moore said during that call. “As we look across our Tyler portfolio and market presence, we see a lot of opportunities — other opportunities in the justice space where it’s juror payments or in work release or things like that on the state side (such as) unemployment, unclaimed property, tax refunds, parks and outdoor, enterprise, federal, social services.”

The general idea, he added, is for Tyler to offer “the full end-to-end cycle with respect to payments that we didn’t have before.”

In another demonstration of how transaction technology is changing in the gov tech space, Atlanta-based Paya has redesigned its UtilityConnect billing and payment tool to add a bundle of new features.

It offers such features as real-time payments and service notifications — for example, late payments or leak detection alerts — as well as multiple language options, grouping multiple accounts for people who own various properties, and what the company called “streamlined autopay” designed to make transactions more seamless. As well, government and utility administrators can build customer reports and integrate easier with back-end functions, Paya said.

“The new UtilityConnect offering builds upon the foundation of feature-rich payment and billing experiences municipalities have come to expect from Paya, while introducing meaningful improvements in key areas like citizen communication and administrative workflows,” said Ben Weiner, who leads government work at Paya. “Our goal is to continue providing tools that improve the relationships and engagement between municipalities and their citizens, make it easier for individuals to manage and pay bills, and improve efficiency for our municipal customers.”

Paya said it has more than 2,000 municipal and governmental clients.