VASAP and Virginia Interactive Take a High Road to Better Systems
VASAP (Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program), the state's response for helping citizens with alcohol and substance abuse offenses regain safe use of the highway system, needed a better solution for its payment processing. With 68,000 users attempting 158,000 payments in 2015 alone, a fresh start was required to replace an antiquated and cumbersome method of paying in person via cash or money order, and only at VASAP locations.
Beyond the indignity and inconvenience of making payments in person, participants in the VASAP program were also costing the state unnecessary time and expense under the existing method for handling and processing fines. Foot traffic in VASAP's 24 offices for the pedestrian purpose of paying a fee was causing the agency unnecessary distractions from its primary tasks. Beyond these obvious drawbacks, such limitations were incongruous given the VASAP program's track record, and stated purpose, of helping citizens get back on their feet efficiently and effectively.
VASAP partnered with Virginia Interactive (VI) to develop and provide a new web-based payment solution that allows citizens to conveniently pay participation fees online, and enables all local offices to accept credit and debit cards over the counter. Built with a mobile and tablet friendly user interface, the solution allows in-state and out-of-state offenders to pay their fees anytime, anywhere, and in relative anonymity.
Happily, the new payment processing has been picked up rapidly, with 30% of fees being handled through the new VI-built portal almost immediately. Prompt results have also been driven home in vastly improved customer experiences and satisfaction, most notably from the convenience of paying remotely. Best yet, by leveraging the Commonwealth’s contract for credit card payment processing, VASAP was able to lower the interchange rate and fees charged to each office for payment processing by as much as one percent (1%) per transaction.
A partnership with Virginia Interactive is about much more than solving payment processing quandaries and enabling web based solutions. Its about taking a road that leads to gains far beyond the transaction. When the wheels start turning between you and VI, everyone winds up happy at the destination.