City of Kinston

How using CSG Forte SWP checkout helped the city of Kinston bridge a gap in payment processing.

Products used: Secure Web Pay | IVR | Convenience fee model

A need to modernize

Kinston, North Carolina is home to over 21,000 people. Though a family-friendly place to live, the city government had limited options for electronically paying utility bills.

Kinston officials wanted to make payments easier for customers, leading them to partner with CSG Forte Payment Systems to expand their payment options.

The Challenge

Kinston’s Assistant City Manager noted that the city was able to accept credit and debit card payments for utility billing over the phone (IVR) and in-person at a kiosk. However, payments could not be made online, and could not be accepted at all for other departments like recreation, police, and fire.

Kinston officials wanted to integrate payment processing into their utility billing software’s web interface to allow customers to pay online, as well as gain the ability to accept payments for other departments in-person or by phone. Kinston turned to CSG Forte for assistance.

"FORTE PROVIDES GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM BEGINNING STAGES OF PLANNING TO FINAL DEPLOYMENT. THEY DEFINITELY STILL HAVE A PERSONAL TOUCH THAT IS MISSING IN SO MANY INDUSTIRES."

Assistant City Manager, City of Kinston

Why CSG Forte

Kinston was introduced to CSG Forte through a new software management system — for which CSG Forte was already a partner — deployed by the Recreation department. City officials learned that CSG Forte was able to develop programming to bridge the gap between their ERP system and a payment interface. Kinston’s Assistant City Manager stated, “I was impressed with the service level and product, so when it was time to look for a utilities merchant provider, I sought out our sales rep to see if there was a way to make it work.” Shortly after, Kinston and CSG Forte were integrated.

How CSG Forte Helped

Forte’s development team worked with the city of Kinston to get their online and IVR utilities billing up and running, allowing residents to make payments online or via phone.

  • Providing value: Kinston utilities customers now have more convenient options for making payments.
  • Saving staff time: Processing payments electronically eliminates much of the need for staff to handle cash and checks, reducing bank fees and freeing up time.

Kinston’s Assistant City Manager has enjoyed partnership with CSG Forte, stating that “from planning to implementation to deployment to ongoing usage, the service we have received from Forte has been efficient and responsive.

The Results

Kinston saw a 41.4% year-over-year growth in the number of transactions processed from 2016 to 2017, with nearly 40,000 transactions in 2017 alone. This data is paired with positive feedback from customers who appreciate how simple it is to make payments after the CSG Forte solution implementation.

Conclusion

CSG Forte was able to provide the city of Kinston with a reliable solution that has proven to be attractive to both city officials and utilities customers.

“CSG Forte provides great customer service from the beginning stages of planning to final deployment. They definitely still have a personal touch that is missing in so many industries,” said Kinston’s Assistant City Manager.

That personal service — alongside our industry-leading solutions — is what sets CSG Forte apart.

Summary

The city of Kinston, NC partnered with CSG Forte Payment Systems to expand payment options, primarily for online utilities billing.

Highlights

  • Kinston had limited payment options, none of which were online.
  • Forte integrated a comprehensive, user-friendly solution for online payment processing.
  • Between 2016 and 2017, Kinston saw a 41.4% YoY growth in transactions processed.

Complete flexibility

  • Secure Web Pay
  • IVR payments
  • Convenience fee model

Contact us to learn how we streamline payment processing for state and local governments.