The call for cost-reducing and waste-cutting technologies in government has never been louder, with mandates to find efficiencies and streamline processes within the public sector coming all the way from the top.
But finding the right tools and implementing the right solutions isn’t as easy as upgrading your computer’s operating software or switching email providers. Governments have special considerations, like heightened levels of security and compliance; deeply entrenched legacy systems that need to be accounted for; and infamously long integration timeframes.
Where Dwolla was designed to address many of these concerns when it comes to payments, the same can’t easily be said with other streamlined technologies and ideas that are trying to address other aspects of government.
That’s why Microsoft is announcing a new platform initiative specifically designed for Government, and we’re teaming up with them.
Microsoft for Government
The idea is simple: create a new-age government workforce, one that is enabled by unified cloud services, development tools, and user experiences—something that responds to the challenges of today while meeting the needs of the future, like mobile and rich audio/visual content. The reality, however, is that your average hosting services won’t work. A government cloud infrastructure must be specifically designed to meet the unique considerations of government, like the heightened requirements with security, compliance, and regulation. Until today, no scalable solution had yet to hit the market in a meaningful way.
Today, in DC, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is previewing their answer and announcing a small number of select partners hand-picked to help bolster the overall Microsoft for Government product portfolio.
Called Azure Government, the new platform provides governments the kind of cloud-based benefits that the private sector takes for granted (e.g. interoperability, speed, scale, and economics) while addressing the security, compliance, and regulatory needs of U.S., local, state, and federal governments (e.g. FedRAMP, CJIS and HIPAA). The hybrid and tiered product offerings make it an incredible choice for any size of government, from Department of Defense to local municipalities. These offerings together with Office 365 Government provide the most complete cloud for U.S. government customers.
It’s an intuitive platform enabling IT departments, developers and end-users to create a more simple, powerful, and modern government. We simply cannot do it justice here on our blog. Check out the solution yourself at Azure.com/gov.
How is “Dwolla for Government” involved?
Microsoft Azure is just one of the many adapted products and services being offered exclusively by Microsoft for government—all of which enable a more modern government. That’s where we come in.
Governments, like everyone else, have payment problems. Manually processing checks are costly, prone to error, and can have long wait-times attached to them, which slows down everything for everyone. For state and local taxpayers, using credit or debit cards, although convenient, comes with an astronomical price tag that we, the taxpayers, pay directly. These inefficiencies and costs add up to the tune of billions of dollars each year.
Paradoxically, most government agencies and departments we talk to do not have access to the budget, time, and resources needed to improve their payment operations. Let’s face it, traditional payment processes are hard enough to understand, let alone complicated, expensive, and cumbersome to replace. This has led many in government to deprioritize the modernization of their existing payment operations for “higher priority” items—despite electronic payments’ proven return on investment.
The modernization of government technology paves the way for a huge opportunity for the future of government payments. Together, Dwolla and Microsoft work to create and distribute custom “Dwolla for Government” products and services that solve real problems for all levels of government. Dwolla is the only payment partner to date.
Dwolla’s government customer data will be hosted on Azure’s specialized servers. This will be done free of charge and without any additional considerations or actions by new, or existing, Dwolla government customers. Think of it as an added bonus to doing payments with Dwolla.
In looking for partners, Microsoft searched for government-provided services that put citizens first, proved sustainability, enabled government workers to leverage the smartest technology available, and had solutions that would last far into the future.
For its part, Dwolla has been helping governments address many of the usual adaption dilemmas—strained budgets, legacy systems, or low resources—for nearly two years. Dwolla was selected for its simple smart bank transfers, low-cost transactions, and dynamic APIs.
We also have a proven track record in the modernization of payment operations for state, local, and—soon to be announced—federal governments. For example, The Iowa Department of Revenue has seamlessly replaced its manual check operations, improved productivity and fulfillment times of tax stamps. Meanwhile cities, like Evanston, Illinois, are collecting municipal fees with our custom turnkey checkout solution, Form Builder, and government vendors, like IowaTaxAndTags, are saving citizens tens of thousands of dollars each year in card processing fees. Our easy to integrate and low-cost solution even allowed the Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles to bring part of its payment collections online for the first-time ever. We replace excuses with smart government. Simple as that.
More on Dwolla for Government
- No-tech to high-tech options: Our simple (and free) tools, like Form Builder or payment buttons, or high-tech options, like our APIs or SDKs, make collecting and sending payments easy for a government of any size. Additional levels of support and customization are available and affordable.
- Benefits of online: Paperless processing, automatic email receipts, and real-time notifications reduce manual errors and improve timely payments.
- Bigger savings, bigger revenues: With our no-cost transaction affordable setup, and amazing customer service, Dwolla ensures that you’re not only saving taxpayers money, but also saving them headaches.
- Convenience taxpayers expect: Our simple experience is easier and cheaper than mailing a check. Simply click, verify, and send a payment directly from your bank account in minutes.
- New ideas on security: Dwolla does not provide bank or card information to recipients (or senders). By eliminating the need to collect such sensitive financial information, Dwolla offers citizens and governments a safe processing that reduces the liability and costs typically incurred by taking such information.
Are you a local, state, or federal government interested learning more about the smart way to collect revenue and issue disbursements with Dwolla, let us know: dwolla.com/government