Electronic payment


Just like traditional transactions with public authorities, fees and charges may also be required for their electronic counterpart. Therefore a way to pay for these costs must be made available online. Many online payment systems are already available today, such as online banking, mobile payment systems like Paybox as well as credit card payment. All of these systems can be integrated into the public authority service.

A special interface specifically designed for integrating online payment systems has been already developed, called "EPS (Electronic Payment Standard) online". Electronic payments for eGovernment services can be carried out just as fast and easy as in many shops on the Internet today. While the transaction is in progress, the public authority receives an electronically signed message with the confirmation that the payment will be received, usually from the bank. The authority doesn't have to wait to complete a transaction, as in the days of the paper payment slip. Instead, the entire procedure can be carried out right away.

The following steps are carried out for payments during online procedures:

  1. The payment procedure is initiated by the applicant. The applicant selects a bank.
  2. A payment request is sent to the bank that contains an XML message with a redirection URL that points to the eGovernment application. In response, the bank opens a session and forwards the user to the given URL.
  3. The authority’s application forwards the applicant on to the online banking application of his bank. After he has been authenticated, the payment transaction is carried out.
  4. Before the transaction is carried out, the bank checks if there is still a connection open between the bank and the authority.
  5. After the connection is confirmed by the authority, the bank carries out the money transfer.
  6. A confirmation message is sent to the authority stating whether the payment was successful or not.
  7. The authority responds with an acknowledgement message.
  8. The payment process is finalised and the applicant is referred back to the authority's application.

There are many real-life examples of electronic payments being used in eGovernment, such as with the Criminal Record Certificate or the electronic Residence Registration form. After applying to register a residence, the respective fee must be paid using an electronic payment system. Shortly afterwards, the electronic Residence Registration form is sent via an electronic delivery service.