We’re six months into the pandemic in the U.S. In many places, in-person court still hasn’t been approved. A lot has changed, including government agencies’ thinking about how they interact with customers and conduct business.
Many of the changes that government agencies have been forced to make have now made them embrace things that they have been reluctant to do over time including modernizing its technology. While it may have been a scramble to make updates to systems and processes to abide by the new rules and expectations, and at times this movement may have felt cumbersome, some changes that are coming out of it all are actually making things better for employees and customers alike. And while we all may have thought these changes were only temporary, many of them are in fact here to stay.
The following are a few ways how COVID-19 has changed government agency technology for good.
Mobile Check-In and Contactless Queue Management
FivePoint Payments launched FivePoint Check-In in direct response to the government agencies’ needs during the pandemic. Agencies such as courts needed a way to limit person-to-person contact and practice smart social distancing. Check-In allows visitors to use their mobile devices or FivePoint Kiosks to check in and notify agency staffers that they’re there. Agency staff can easily manage the visitor queue from an online dashboard. While this new process and technology was created and implemented during COVID-19, it’s so efficient and helpful that in all likelihood, it will have lasting power.
“This software that some thought was a temporary solution might really be a forever solution. We hear from people that they would rather have access to contactless options, COVID-19 or not. In general, people are recognizing that not all of the changes happening right now are for the worst,” says Joel Darby, president of FivePoint Payments.
Mobile and Remote Payments
With FivePoint Payments’ modern online and mobile-friendly Payment Portal, the public can smoothly pay for their government agency fees and fines. The simple, uncomplicated interface is friendly to both the customer on the front end and agency employee on the back end, making it a turnkey process to make, track and report payments. Making payments from the comfort of your own home or mobile device instead of going down to a government agency is a modern luxury that isn’t likely to go anywhere. It’s become an expectation.
Online Dispute Resolution
Online dispute resolution (ODR) software has found a recent resurgence, especially for courts since many are not back in session in person. ODR allows courts to reduce case backlogs without having to review every case in person. Defendants can negotiate, mediate, arbitrate and resolve cases remotely. Is this going to become the norm? There is certainly the possibility that ODR will continue to be used on an ongoing basis as a complementary tool to in-person court to handle certain cases as appropriate.
These are just a few ways that COVID-19 has changed government agency technology and day-to-day business forever.