Local governments adopt PayPal

The system handles services ranging from parking tickets to library fines

County and local governments are discovering the benefits of using PayPal to collect payments for recreation programs, motor vehicle department fees and other government services, said Glenn Lim, PayPal's general manager for alliances and non-retail.

People are already familiar with PayPal from using eBay and other online merchant sites, so they are comfortable using it to pay parking tickets or library fines, Lim said.

Local governments like it because PayPal handles the security aspects of credit card information, said Judy Chang, PayPal's principal product manager. "It keeps all that out of the county's hands." Counties are using PayPal to accept payments for services ranging from utilities to tickets for the annual regatta, Chang said.

The number of county and local governments using PayPal now numbers "probably in the thousands," Lim said. Customers include Lee County, Ala., and Menlo Park, Calif.

Lim said that PayPal offers government the same benefits it offers other sectors: "It's a lower cost, more-efficient way of accepting payments."

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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