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January 25, 2010updated 04 Apr 2017 4:17pm

Citi provides a major boost for e-government in California

Paying taxes and bills to Californian state departments has become easier thanks to an electronic funds transfer solution provided by US banking group Citis Global Transaction Services (GTS) unit. GTS was awarded a multi-year contract by the California State Treasurers Office to operate what constitutes the largest electronic state tax collection platform in the US. To address what Citi described as the diverse and complex needs of state agencies participating in the initiative, Citi partnered with US payments processing systems vendor Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to develop a customised end-to-end payments solution.

By EPI editorial

Paying taxes and bills to Californian state departments has become easier thanks to an electronic funds transfer solution provided by US banking group Citi’s Global Transaction Services (GTS) unit.

GTS was awarded a “multi-year” contract by the California State Treasurer’s Office to operate what constitutes the largest electronic state tax collection platform in the US.

To address what Citi described as the “diverse and complex needs” of state agencies participating in the initiative, Citi partnered with US payments processing systems vendor Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to develop a customised end-to-end payments solution.

The solution is based on FIS’ Pay Direct platform, used by 6,000 financial institutions. FIS is also responsible for the provision of internet-based and call centre operator-assisted customer support which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

GTS’ payments platform, which enables businesses and individuals to pay tax and bills via their own bank’s website or the State of California website, is providing services for 11 state departments.

These include the Department of Motor Vehicles which handles licence payments on some 31 million vehicles; the Department of Justice; the Department of Veterans Affairs; the Employment Development Department; the Franchise Tax Board; and the California Public Employees Retirement System, the largest public pension fund in the US.

The California State Treasurer’s Office anticipates the solution will yield “significant operational cost savings” for the departments.

The participating departments currently receive up to 3 million automated clearing house and wire transfer payments every month.

Providing a payments solution to California could also be likened to addressing the needs of a large country. With 37 million inhabitants, California is the most populous state in the US and was also the largest in terms of its gross state product of $1.85 trillion in 2008, according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The CIA notes that, as an independent country, California would rank as the world’s 10th largest economy.

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