Giuseppe Virgone
General Manager and CEO at pagoPA
What is pagoPA and when was it created?

pagoPA is the digital platform allowing citizens to pay the Italian Public Administration via an easier and faster online solution, which makes it possible for public administrations to avoid the delays and uncertainties of traditional payment methods.

The platform allows digital payments to citizens for any kind of taxes or fees via an easy-to-use and intuitive interface, where they can use their preferred payment method to process payments in just a few clicks like on any e-commerce site.

At the same time, all pagoPA payments ensure users the highest security standards as well as the real-time payment confirmation.

pagoPA was created in order to fulfill art. 5 of the Italian Digital AdministrationCode and D.L. 179/2012. As of 2016, the Italian Government Digital Transformation team has been working on its diffusion, reaching 50 million monthly transactions in 2019. In 2018, the “Decreto Semplificazione” 135/2018 has paved the way for the birth of a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) to fully manage and boost the platform usage.

pagoPA serves as a strategic asset for the digital transformation of public administration in Italy. What objectives have been reached so far and what are the next steps?

pagoPA can play a key role for the country’s digital transformation processand can be a driving force for the development of efficient digital services as well as for the digital payments market as a whole. Since the beginning of its involvement in this project, Digital Transformation team’s primary objective has been to make the platform effective and competitive, also in terms of market competition. To do so, we have gone through different intermediate goals: user experience has been radically transformed to provide citizens a user-friendly interface with intuitive payment methods similar to those offered by the most popular e-commerce sites.

Having the same goal in mind, we have invited as many payment market players (like MyBank) as possible to provide their services on pagoPA platform, thus making any possible payment methods available to citizens.

At the same time, we have supported the adoption of pagoPA by public administration entities in order to maximise platform diffusion (e.g. by including QR codes for payment on bills and invoices). This has made it possible to double the platform transaction volumes within just a few years and, as a consequence, to gain influence among payment market players.

Our latest achievement was the birth of pagoPA S.p.A. company, an entity able to ensure its further diffusion and more widespread usage in the coming years: this represents our primary goal and will make pagoPA an even more crucial asset for Italy’s digitization.

What are citizens’ and public administrations’ needs and how can they benefit from pagoPA?

The biggest advantage for citizens and businesses is the possibility to pay any tax or fee at any time and in any way they wish thanks to innovative payment methods that can be used directly on their smarphone.

To give you an example, a remarkable number of citizens make their payments over the weekend, something that with the “old” bills or at PA office desks could have not been possible.

More benefits for citizens include the choice of multiple payment channels, with the highest security standards and the highest transparency as far as handling fees is concerned. Furthermore, it allows citizens to get payment notifications and reminders whenever and wherever they wish: by post, via app notifications or on the payment provider’s website as well as via SMS or email. pagoPA also ensures certainty of payment, thus allowing public administration entities to automatically update the amounts due, and to provide a clear and reliable overview to citizens with regards to their completed and pending payments.

The adoption of pagoPA is now mandatory for Italian public administrations. In return, they can benefit from a streamlined, standardized and reliable payment system which is cost-effective for the PA and more in line with citizens’needs.

These are truly considerable advantages if we consider that payments management represents a significant cost for public bodies (collections, reconciliation with the treasury, reminders of individual measures, cash management, insurance, agreements with Payment Service Providers, etc.), which is greatly reduced thanks to pagoPA.

The platform also ensures institutions the automatic reconciliation and the same-day collection of paid amounts directly on treasury accounts.

How has the wide choice of payment services offered by pagoPA contributed to the digital innovation of Public Administration?

Payments represent one of the main ways citizens and businesses interact with Public Administration: such interaction is not limited to taxes, but also includes the payment of services, such as health service fees, tuition, kindergarten or canteen fees, and so on.

Boosting digital payments for this kind of expenses can bring the management –and in certain cases even the provision- of these services to be done digitally.

At the same time, digital payments and pagoPA widespread diffusion is only possible by offering citizens the possibility to choose from different payment methods and providing them the same user experience they can find on the main e-commerce platforms.

In other words, over the last years we have seen that citizens being able to pay with the payment method they prefer and they are familiar with, will tend to opt for digital payments that are faster and easier to use.

This is a significant boost towards public entities for the digitalization of services as a whole.

MyBank is among the payment solutions offered by pagoPA and allows users to pay through an irrevocable bank transfer with immediate confirmation. How is this tool perceived by citizens and public entities?

Overall, one of the strengths of pagoPA is to allow citizens to make any payments towards Public Administration through the platform, via their preferred method.

MyBank is a valuable solution to achieve this goal as it allows them to pay on their own online baking: a familiar platform where they find a pre-filled payment form to confirm, and can process an irrevocable payment with real-time confirmation.

In other words, MyBank allows citizens and businesses to approach digital payments through their own trusted banking environment, thus facilitating the country’s digitalization process which is among pagoPA’s primary goals.

MyBank benefits for payment issuers include digital identity protection, real-time information, absence of payment amount limits and, consequently, increased average ticket. Is this something you have experienced with citizens, businesses and public entities, too?

The possibility to pay in an environment that is perceived as secure, fully compliant with SCA and AML requirements and having digital identity protection at its core, combined with the real-time transaction confirmation, represents an advantage for users paying with MyBank via pagoPA. Other strengths include the fact that payments have no amount limits, in line with the online user’s banking experience. This feature allows to process payments of any amount, provided the necessary funds are available on the user’s bank account.

MyBank is a fully PSD2-, GDPR- and AML-complaint solution allowing real-time payment collection and, as a consequence, improved cash flow. Is this a valuable asset for public administration entities?

Real-time payment collection is a valuable advantage that has been foreseen by the European legislation for SEPA payments and by PSD2.

8 Nov 2019

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