Legislation Would Have Authorized Automated Payment Services in New Jersey

by Kay Byfield – Marketing Manager

Last month, one of our account executives in the Mid-Atlantic region, asked me to write a newsletter article to submit to the New Jersey Association of Counties (NJAC) publication, County Biz. In anticipation of pending legislation, my colleague wanted to build awareness in the state about TouchPay/GTL Financial Services automated payment services.

The new law would have allowed counties, municipalities, and state agencies in New Jersey to take advantage of the cutting edge automated payment processing services provided by TouchPay dba GTL Financial Services. The article, “Automation + Payment Options Increase Collections for County Governments,” describes the range of automated payment alternatives available to governments along with the benefits to New Jersey agencies and citizens. It also provides questions an agency should ask a prospective payment services provider. (NJAC County Biz, page 13)

The November edition of the State House News which described legislation that would authorize local governing bodies in New Jersey to accept and make payments using electronic fund technologies. The soon-to-be-available payment methods include wire transfers, electronic fund transfers (EFT), prepaid debit cards, and Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments. Up until now, government agencies in the state were restricted by law to traditional paper checks and electronic direct deposits. NJAC expressed support for the new legislation because adding digital payment technologies will reduce printing and processing costs, enhance security, increase productivity, and improve cash management throughout state government. (New Jersey State House News, page 5)

TouchPay/GTLFS accepts and processes government payments using state-of-the-art Lobby Kiosks, Countertop Terminals, Online Payment Platforms, IVR phone payment services, and Walk-In Retail, a local cash processing service. Our reporting platform is integrated across all the payment channels and our turn-key business model furnishes every aspect of installation, integration, maintenance, reporting, security, accounting, customer service and marketing. Because the costs of services are covered by the small convenience fees paid by the people making transactions, taxpayers and agencies incur no expense.

Our more than 250 TouchPay/GTL Financial Services clients include correctional facilities as well as city and county services, courts, and state agencies across the U.S. We process payments and deposits for court services, child support, traffic tickets, utilities, government fees and fines, trust deposits, etc., and we accept cash, debit cards, credit cards, and checks.

The Assembly and Senate did pass the bill, but when it went to the Governor, it was not signed so it will not become law. New Jersey’s legislature will need to reconsider it again in the next session.

Like New Jersey, many states are beginning to see the value of allowing automated payment services. Increasing the number of payment options expands transaction volumes which is good for the agency, and automation decreases risks and costs. At TouchPay/GTLFS, we are dedicated to maximizing convenience for payers and minimizing headaches for our agency clients. In 2016, as more states recognize the benefits of payment automation, we will continue to provide the most reliable, secure and convenient ways to pay.

For more information about TouchPay/GTL Financial Services contact a company representative today.

January 22, 2016 / Blog

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Legislation Would Have Authorized Automated Payment Services in New Jersey

In the push to reduce the recidivism rate, correctional facilities are moving away from a traditional layout to one that is designed for inclusiveness and keeping inmates engaged with outside society. Studies have shown that maintaining a support structure is a key component to keeping inmates on the right path to successful reintegration into society after release. In Australia, a new maximum security prison opened this year that includes no cells. Instead, inmates are housed in dormitory-style accommodations with 25 inmates in 16 ‘pods’ that offer more access to education, entertainment, and communication with friends and families. This novel move seeks to enhance inmates’ daily lives by making these services more accessible and improve re-integration into society. Inmates have access to technology that connects them with friends and family members, news, books, movies, education, games, and more. They are required to work for up to five hours during the day and pursue education and other programs in the remaining time. This progressive approach aligns with GTL’s vision of technology and education being available to every inmate. “GTL has the technology portfolio to enable correctional facilities to execute their strategies,” said Gad Tobaly, President, GTL International. “Whether those strategies are similar to the open-plan jail approach or focus on a more traditional environment, we offer the innovations to help facilities become safer and more secure while providing inmates with access to programs that improve their lives during and after incarceration.” GTL creates new technologies and advocates for tablets, education, and other programs to help reduce recidivism rates. “These new facilities highlight the need for technology in corrections,” said Eric Gonzalez, Executive Director, Technology and Implementation Services. “Today’s inmates are digital natives, having grown up in the age of computers, cell phones, tablets, and more. It is only logical that providing them with technology and programs to learn and better themselves through those access points is the direction that corrections is taking.” As part of GTL’s ongoing mission to keep our offerings in line with global corrections trends, the company will once again be a sponsor at the International Corrections & Prisons Association (ICPA) Annual Conference. This year’s conference is being held at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain in Montreal, Canada. The conference theme of “Beyond Prisons: The Way Forward” will draw discussion on the underpinning philosophies, strategic direction, policies, and practices being instituted across the globe. More than 500 delegates from over 70 countries attend this prestigious conference. GTL and two collaborating organizations will present on two topics that relate to the use of technology in aiding the corrections and criminal justice systems. “Transforming the Inmate Environment: How and Why Facilities are Implementing Tablet Programs” will discuss how technology is used to humanize correctional efforts and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. “Virtual-Enabled Justice: Delivering Swifter Outcomes and Improved Victim and Witness Experience” will discuss the use of technology to create ‘virtual courts’ that fuel efficiency, safety, and security, and will take place on Tuesday, October 23rd at 3:30 p.m. in Maisonneuve A Room. To learn more about our technology solutions, contact GTL today.