More local councils and their residents embrace BPAY and BPAY View

More local councils and their residents embrace BPAY and BPAY View

Australia’s local councils and their ratepayers are among the biggest adopters of BPAY and BPAY View. Last year alone more than 17 million payments to around 740 local councils were made through BPAY. So it’s no surprise an increasing number of councils are delivering rates notices and other bills electronically through BPAY View.

Delivering bills through BPAY View gives councils an important new communication channel. Plus, councils benefit from the security of offering bill summaries from within their customer’s financial institution’s online banking platform which means bills are housed within the institution’s firewalls, network, hardware and switching capabilities. It also means the council doesn’t have to pay for any of this infrastructure. This can lead to reduced costs for councils, at the same time positioning them at the forefront of e-commerce technology.

BPAY View also ensures rate payer benefit from being able to access their bills from the one spot. They are also able to maintain control of the bill payment process, choosing the account from which to pay their bills (thus avoiding the risk of becoming overdrawn).

One local council that is moving to eBilling with BPAY View is Shellharbour City Council. Financial Services Manager, Paul Henderson says the council took the decision so that it has a simple means of providing electronic rate notices to ratepayers who request them.

Switching to BPAY View gives residents a more timely and efficient means of receiving their rate notices. It will also eventually result in cost savings for the council by not having to print and post rate notices.

At the moment, the council sends rates notices by post. But, says Mr Henderson, "council is not always notified when ratepayers change their mailing address and it is a very time consuming task to try to locate them once notices are returned."

"Using BPAY View means the ratepayer's bank will notify them when a rate notice is there to be viewed, which should mean a lower number of returned rate notices," he explains.

Another local council that is just about to offer bills to its residents through BPAY View is Glenorchy City Council in Tasmania. Revenue Supervisor Aaron Wooldridge says after requests from ratepayers, and because of its benefits, the council was keen to offer BPAY View for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Wooldridge stresses BPAY View has many advantages for both ratepayers and the council, which currently distributes rates notices using traditional mail.

"For ratepayers, it means no paper handling, which has great environmental benefits. For the council, it reduces the cost of production of rate notices. It also means increased efficiencies and minimisation of staff resources, as everything goes through the one portal," he explains, adding that the council expects to save $1 per rates notice by switching to BPAY View.

As a result of the council offering rates through BPAY View, Wooldridge also anticipates other nearby councils will also now consider it.

"I’m a member of a group of council rate officers and through this group I am endeavouring to communicate the BPAY View service at our next meeting. Seeing that the word is out about BPAY View, I am hoping that everyone will get on board."

The number of councils offering BPAY View is growing. As at end June 2013, the following councils offer BPAY View:

  • Banyule City Council
  • Brisbane City Council
  • Burnie City Council
  • Circular Head Council
  • City of Canada Bay
  • City Of Fremantle
  • City Of Greater Geelong
  • Clarence City  Council
  • Devonport City Council
  • Dorset Council
  • George Town Council
  • Glenorchy City Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Goulburn Mulwaree Council
  • Launceston City Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Meander Valley Council
  • Monash City Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Northern Midlands Council
  • Penrith City Council
  • Shellharbour City Council
  • Townsville City
  • Waratah-Wynyard Council
  • Wellington Shire Council
  • Young Shire Council

Register with your Financial Institution for BPAY services