The state of Arkansas has made an interesting move – it has launched a mobile website that will allow Arkansas residents to make payments to the government through their mobile browsers. What fascinates me is that it only allows mobile payments for three services, which it calls “high-volume”.
What’s this now?
You can now log onto http://arkansas.gov/m if you have a mobile browser capable phone. So what are these high-volume services that Arkansas wants smartphone owners to be able to pay? Two out of the three relate to prison time. First, there’s inmate trust account deposits: these accounts are set up by the prison to hold money for prisoners while they’re incarcerated. Money can be lodged to these accounts, which are paid out when the prisoner is released. Second, you can pay for your probation and parole supervision and restitution payments. And finally, for non-cons, Pulaski County will be allowing consumers to pay their property tax via mobile.
Claire Bailey, Chief Information Officer of the state of Arkansas said: “We are committed to using multiple delivery platforms to provide easy access to government services for all Arkansans. With today’s launch, we are excited to be the first state to offer integrated online services and secure payments through a user-friendly Web site that is optimized for mobile users.”
What we think?
This isn’t the first time Arkansas has invested in mobile services for eGovernment services. The Game & Fish Commission provides real-time game tagging for mobile devices, along with other mobile services. It’s interesting, because Claire Bailey says that the reason Arkansas is doing this is because an increasing number of Arkansans are now using smartphones.