How often does civil service outrank business in terms of efficiency? Very rarely. But when it comes to electronic payment governments worldwide are making serious progress.
A new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit measures the extent to which 43 countries have adopted electronic methods for key transactions such as tax payments/refunds, automotive costs, social welfare benefits, business registration and government procurement. The study also considered the countries' payments infrastructure and the influence of educational, economic, and political factors. Canada tops the list, followed by the UK. Germany and the US are tied for #3. Indonesia, Nigeria, and Ukraine scored the worst. There were some surprises – Japan is ranked #17, after Italy a country that is generally not well regarded when it comes to bureaucratic efficiency.
- The payment system should be appropriate to the users (citizens vs. business) and not so technologically simplistic that they rapidly become out of date.
- The means of disbursing payments (G2C) should be as easy and useful as the means of collecting taxes (C2G).
- Security is key.
- For transactions where identify, fraud, and documentation considerations preclude online services the online channel should be used to provide information, downloadable forms, and appointment scheduling.
- Start with high volume, widely used, relatively standardized transactions (the low hanging fruit) and save more complex transactions (road tolls, government loans) for later.
- Governments should promote basic banking services – public or private – to unserved populations and encourage widespread availability of internet access.
- Payment plans should integrate solutions for the informal economy – this applies in both developing and some wealthy countries.
- Openly communicate long term plans so that private-sector partners and citizens can plan accordingly.
Download the 14 pg report here:
Government E-Payments Adoption Ranking (GEAR)
Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by VISA.
(via Payments News)