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GR PayIt named 2022 Smart 50 Award recipient

GovTech News

PayIt’s partnership with the City of Grand Rapids on the GR PayIt digital government solution has been named a recipient of the Smart 50 Awards for 2022. Presented in partnership with Smart Cities Connect and the Smart Cities Connect Foundation, the annual Smart 50 Awards honor the most innovative and influential municipal-scale projects throughout the world.

Led by City Treasurer John Globensky, the City of Grand Rapids has increased revenue collection from utility bills, property taxes and other essential city services by more than 278% since 2017. Digital payments have reduced the number of checks, envelopes, stamps and other costs to the residents, which has also reduced the City’s environmental impact. Globensky shared the reduction in paper amounted to 180 cases or 4.5 pallets of paper, resulting in a $325,000 calculated cost savings for customers.

The City experiences cost savings and related benefits by eliminating mailed statements and promoting digital payments. A 50% reduction in walk-in customers and a 35% reduction in mailed payments prompted a review of work assignments, allowing the City to reinvest in retraining and up-training current employees to handle more engaging work while opting not to fill open positions created by retirements. In 2021, Globensky calculated a cost savings of $118,400, as well as a total of 40,000 fewer walk-in customers and 65,000 fewer checks—a significant shift in City employees’ day-to-day work.

Customers are also encouraged to use GR PayIt to opt in for paperless water bills, with 17.5% customers now receiving their water bills electronically as thoughtful and intentional messaging, QR codes and push notifications help advance this initiative.

While the technology launched in 2017, the Smart 50 nomination focused on the significant environmental and human capital benefits to the City. Since the GR PayIt launch date, the City continues to build upon its success. A new area of focus includes analyzing payment data by census track to see if its programs can be more inclusive and connect with more customers.

Smart 50 Award winners will be honored at the a gala in Columbus, Ohio, on April 4, hosted in conjunction with Smart Cities Connect Spring Conference.

To view the full list of the 50 winning projects, visit https://spring.smartcitiesconnect.org/Smart50Awards/