Online transactions for local authorities

Local authorities will be able to more easily accept credit and debit card payments through their Web sites, following the launch...

Local authorities will be able to more easily accept credit and debit card payments through their Web sites, following the launch of an online payments service from Alliance & Leicester.

BillPayPlus, from the bank's commercial banking arm Girobank, is launched at a time when the Government is anxious to speed up the availability of local authority transactional Web sites in order to meet its 100% delivery target by 2005.

BillPayPlus eliminates the need for an organisation to design, test, administer and manage its online payments system from scratch, Girobank said. It allows bills such as council tax, rent and business rates to be paid online, and could be up and running in as little as four weeks, the company said.

The service is based on BillPay, a debit card-based payments Web site, which has more than 100,000 users, according to Girobank.

BillPayPlus takes the service to the next level because it is fully integrated, said Russell Carter, senior marketing manager for Girobank. "The key advantage for bill-paying customers of BillPayPlus is that they have no need to move from an organisation's own Web site and they can make payments using credit or debit cards," he said.

"It is relatively simple to implement and will help councils and other public bodies ensure they are well on track to meeting the Government's 2005 deadline," Carter said.

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