The municipal clerks and deputy clerks job is a very important one. That's why we've taken the time to write a blog to further help support them in their jobs. We've written this blog to take a deep dive into some of the common questions that we've heard from municipal clerks.
Question: Our municipality may need to add more forms in the future. What is the cost to have more forms added?
Answer: We don't charge you anything additional to add more forms. It's "all you can eat!" Just send us your new forms. We can digitize them inside of HeyGov and add them to your website.
Question: What if one of the forms that you digitize for us needs to be updated? Right now, our Town Clerk is the one who handles the dog licenses. We're looking at hiring a part-time Deputy Clerk. How difficult is it to have those forms changed over to the deputy clerk?
Answer: All changes can be done by our team. Again, there is no extra charge for us to modify your forms. If you wish, you can make updates to the forms and workflows yourself. However, most municipal clients just want us to do the work for them.
Question: What if our board votes to increase our existing fees for the building permits or the dog licenses? How do we go about updating these fees? Is this something we can do on our own, or do we need to go through you?
Answer: Updating your fees is simple with our system. You can choose to do it yourself or have us do it for you - whichever is more convenient for you.
Question: Can you explain to us a bit more what a QR code is and how it would work for our town's boat launch? I've seen them used at restaurants for menus, but never used it myself.
Answer: A QR code is similar to a website link, but it is in a visual form. The main difference is that it can be recognized by smartphones. To use a QR code, you open the camera app on your smartphone and point it at the code. The app will recognize the code and you can click on it with your finger. This will open the webpage in your phone's browser. For example, if you were to use a QR code at a boat launch, you would be taken directly to your municipality's boat launch page, where you could fill out and pay for a boat launch permit. This makes the process convenient and frictionless!
Question: From what I can tell, you're using QR codes at some of your boat launches. Does this mean that you don't need drop boxes for cash or check payments?
Answer: If you already have a drop box, you can keep using it. The QR codes used at a boat launch are a great alternative to an expensive kiosk. The kiosks, however, require regular maintenance and servicing. A QR code for online payment is much more cost effective. Our recommendation is to keep using the drop box for cash and check, but also rely on the QR code to accept credit card payments.
Question: How much is the fee for credit card transactions? Does our municipality pay that fee? Or, does the resident pay for it?
Answer: The fee is 2.9% +30 cents for each successful online transaction. These fees are added on top of whatever the charged amount is. Therefore if you want to collect a $25 payment, the resident would pay $26.03 when paying by a credit card. The bank account will receive exactly $25.
Question: There are many ways that our town could start to accept credit card payments, but we're not quite sure which route to go. How are payments done at the town hall currently? Do we have a way to swipe somebody's credit card, or do we need to make them do it online?
Answer: You can have both options available to constituents. With the purchase of an optional terminal/card reader, you can accept payments also in person. You can also have more than one terminal. Our clients with more than one department have multiple terminals.
Question: The police department is located in city hall, but in a different part of the building. Can HeyGov also be used by them to process the police department's fees? And, can they have their own card reader so that it can be done from their office?
Answer: Yes. Each department can have its own card reader/terminal.
Question: Can HeyGov really be used for tax payments? I'd think the fee would be too expensive.
Answer: Yes, HeyGov can indeed process tax payments! There is a fee for online transactions, which is 2.9% plus 30 cents. Some residents want the convenience of paying for things online with their credit card. Although there is a transaction fee, it's paid by the payer.
Question: We'd be interested in having people pay their taxes, but only just the full payment or 1st installment. Our 2nd installment tax payments should be made directly to the county, not through our municipality. How does HeyGov prevent people from paying a 2nd installment to us?
Answer: We add a disclaimer to the payment process to let people know that they can only make a 1st installment or a full payment. It’s noticeable in order to discourage people from paying the 2nd installment through the municipality.
Question: How does HeyGov work with utility payments? We have had many homeowners in our village who've asked to pay by card.
Answer: HeyGov accepts any type of online payment (credit card, debit card, ACH). We can have your municipality's utility bills set to be paid online. One way to make online payments for your utilities is to input your bill number and amount due. This will generate a report of who has paid, which can help with reconciliation. Another option is to integrate HeyGov with your utility billing software. This would allow the software to send the data straight to HeyGov, so each resident can pay their portion automatically.
Question: Are we able to list the park pavilion and the various park shelters on the site? Right now, we just have binders in the office and people have to call in to reserve.
Answer: Yes, HeyGov has an online calendar that helps users find and book venues for events. It is quick and easy to use, and it provides all the information users need to know about a venue before making a reservation.
Question: Can HeyGov handle sending out notifications about dog license renewals? I keep a list of dog owners on a spreadsheet but have to manually send out postcards. Doing it online would be so much easier.
Answer: The app allows users to set an automatic renewal reminder for their dog licenses and similar licenses. This means that users don't have to fill out a brand new application from scratch every time their license expires.
Question: We have a company we use for credit card payments, but it's just for utility billing. Would your software interface with them to collect all other payments?
Answer: Yes! HeyGov is a forms and payments platform. It can integrate with your existing provider, assuming the payment provider has an API. HeyGov's own API is flexible to allow for two-way syncing of data. We are integrating (or soon to be) with Banyon Data, Quickbooks, PSN, Stripe, Square, Workhorse and others.
We hope that you have enjoyed this blog post about the various questions that Municipal Clerks have asked us. If you have any additional questions that you would like to ask us, please don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. We will be more than happy to answer all of your questions!