The federal government has opened up its pay portal, pay.gov, to the digital wallets from PayPal and Dwolla. This announcement follows a federal move to accept Apple Pay for many transactions with the federal government, such as at national parks, starting in September. Both are part of an ongoing effort to move the government away from paper-based processes to more efficient and secure electronic transactions.
The US Government’s Fiscal Service unit collected $3.73 trillion in revenue during 2014, almost 98 percent ($3.69 trillion) of which was settled electronically.
“Digital wallets provide convenience, simplicity, and a trusted customer experience, while achieving cost effectiveness for the Federal Government. We are committed to operational excellence and continually improving our business processes; digital wallets help us achieve that goal.” said Corvelli McDaniel, assistant commissioner for revenue collection management. Almost 200 federal agencies use the Treasury Department’s Pay.gov platform, both to create and to host custom online payment forms. Using the portal has allowed federal departments to collect $110 billion across around 100 million transactions. Federal officials prefer the electronic payment methods because they are more secure, which is particularly important as the Treasury attempts to find a response to the wave of data breaches breaking against American industry.
“Treasury looks forward to working with providers to evaluate how these new technologies can be used with government benefits cards and terminals,” he writes. “This process involves studying the technology and establishing agreements with each provider. We are also working with Federal agencies to upgrade their credit and debit card terminals to support secure standards used by these providers,” wrote the fiscal assistant secretary at the treasury David Lebryk in a blog post. Lebryk also called out tokenisation initiatives by the major card schemes as a particularly useful tool in fighting fraud.