City of West Torrens improves efficiency and customer experience through ADVAM’s multi-channel payments platform
Posted 20 August 2020, Australia
The City of West Torrens is a local government area in the western suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. Due to its proximity to the Adelaide CBD and accessibility, City of West Torrens services a strong mix of residents and local businesses.
City of West Torrens accepts payments for a variety of services including council rates, parking fines, permits and more. As a council that is growing in population, they needed a better way to manage their payment acceptance from their citizens and at the same time improve their citizens’ experience with their council. ADVAM and City of West Torrens collaborated to enable the council to enable multi-channel payments.
A need for speedy validation and efficiency
Historically, accepting payments was a labour intensive and inefficient process for the council. Credit card numbers accepted through the City of West Torrens call centre had to be manually entered into a physical card machine and approval could take up to 24 hours. Whilst online payments via the website or internet banking eventually became viable options, some people still prefer to pay by calling and paying over the phone. They needed to be able to address both demands from their citizens.
The council started down the path of improving their payment experience with call centre validation, integrating credit card payments with their core software, Infor Pathway and ADVAM’s PathToPay solution. This enabled real time receipting within the call centre with instant validation. ADVAM’s existing integration with Infor made the roll out of the payments integration at their call centre easy. Because of the success of the implementation and integration, the council had no hesitation to also move their online self-service payments to ADVAM – enabling multi-channel payment options for their citizens.
Liz Bailey, IT Application Support Coordinator, City of West Torrens, comments “We needed an alternative payment services provider that can easily integrate with our current system and can support our team throughout the process. ADVAM makes it very easy to integrate its services with our existing products, which is ideal for us. Their global expertise and their local presence show their in-depth experience in payments and the calibre of their services, as well as the strength of support that they can offer local organisations like ours.”
Gateway to improved payments with great features
City of West Torrens utilises ADVAM’s PathToPay, a multi-channel payments platform, to enable their online payments and over the phone payments acceptance via their call centre.
For their online payments, the council uses a payment form that is hosted by ADVAM and embedded into their web page using an iframe. Using an iframe allows ADVAM to capture the payment information for processing and gives the council the design flexibility they need for their payment web page.
When customers want to make a self-service payment for the council’s services online, they go to the council’s payment website and enter their reference number. This will present the amount to be paid and their details. The customer simply enters their payment card details into the online payment form and payment is securely transmitted to the ADVAM Gateway for processing. The transaction is confirmed instantly and matched against the customer’s record.
For their Call Centre, they utilise PathToPay through its integration with the receipting module of Infor’s Pathway to accept payments. It allows the customer service operative to collect the card data and calls ADVAM’s API directly to transmit the information. Approval is instant and payment confirmation is received immediately.
When customers call, the council’s representative will take the payment details over the phone and enter the data into their existing receipting system. Payment card details are encrypted and securely sent to the ADVAM Gateway for processing, delivering a seamless payment experience not only to the citizens but to the council as well.
These core features, combined with the ADVAM Administration Portal reporting and refund features, deliver improved efficiency, convenience and an enhanced customer experience.
Liz Bailey enthuses: “PathToPay has helped us to improve the overall payment experience of our citizens and has made the overall process for the council much more efficient. The real-time response in the system is great and from a customer service point of view, we cannot fault ADVAM’s reliability. If there are ever any issues, they are very proactive and offer great communication. Even though we might not be their biggest customer, we still get treated as though we are appreciated, and we feel very valued by them.”
ADVAM’s Global Managing Director, Fintech Payment Solutions, John Tait, says “PathToPay has been built to make payments easier for councils and their citizens. Its features and functions enable multi-channel payments, assisting councils to improve their digital services to better serve their residents and local businesses. We are fortunate to be able to work with a number of city and suburban councils and add value to the wider community. Working with City of West Torrens is a great experience and it is good to see the benefits of the collaboration realised.”
City of West Torrens on partnership with ADVAM
City of West Torrens takes around 30% of its payments through the call centre and online gateway using ADVAM. Enabling the online payment acceptance via their call centre, means that the need to manually enter payment card details into a physical machine has been eliminated and citizens have the flexibility or choice to make a payment over the phone and get an instantly validated payment. Having one supplier for both of their online and call centre payments also helps in streamlining processes. As a result of the success of PathToPay, the council sees a strengthened partnership with ADVAM. They see ADVAM as an organisation who can support them with their growth.
Liz Bailey confirms: “ADVAM’s ability to partner with a range of corporate software products is great for us. Having a behind-the-scenes gateway that can integrate with many products easily adds scalability to our offering. Understanding the power of PathToPay allows us to look at what we need, to explore opportunities and collaborate with ADVAM to come up with ideas or solutions to suit our requirements, as our council grows with the changing market demands.”