Frequently Asked Questions
CASH BAIL, INMATE DEPOSITS, AND OTHER CRIMINAL JUSTICE-RELATED QUESTIONS
What is GovPayNet?
GovPayNet is a private company that processes credit, debit, and pre-paid debit card transactions for government agencies that want to make this payment option available to their customers.
What kind of payments can an agency accept through GovPayNet?
GovPayNet can process any payment an agency has contracted with GovPayNet to accept on its behalf. This can be a wide variety of payments including those to law enforcement agencies, courts, corrections facilities, departments of revenue, and treasurers, such as cash bail; deposits to government trust accounts held for inmates, probation obligations; restitution payments; electronic monitoring fees; payment of traffic and criminal fines; court fees; towing and impound fees; records fees; child support; property taxes; assessment payments; business taxes; and license and permit fees, among others.
What do I need to do to have GovPayNet process payments for my agency?
You must sign a contract with GovPayNet to enable us to process your agency's payments, or enter into a cooperative arrangement with another agency in your state already under contract with GovPayNet. Call us at 1-888-604-7888, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to our web site, www.govpaynow.com and access the information on doing business with GovPayNet.
How do I let my customers know they can pay my agency through GovPayNet?
We provide signs and other promotional materials to our contracted agencies and encourage agencies to place our information and a link to GovPayNet on their web sites and provide a media kit to help the agency alert its customers that it is under contract with GovPayNet.
What cards does GovPayNet accept?
GovPayNet processes payments made using cards that have the Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover card brands.
Does GovPayNet accept EBT (SNAP/Food Stamp, TANF, etc.) cards?
GovPayNet only processes payments made using cards that have the Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover card brands.
Is GovPayNet part of the government?
No. GovPayNet is a private company that contracts with government agencies to help them process payments made by credit, debit and pre-paid debit card.
Is GovPayNet a collection agency?
No. GovPayNet is a payment processing company, not a collection agency.
Is GovPayNet the only way my agency's customers can make a payment?
Using GovPayNet is usually just one payment option an agency may provide.
How will a payment through GovPayNet appear on my customer's card statement?
The name of the agency the cardholder paid through GovPayNet will appear along with the letters "GPS" which is an abbreviation for our corporate name, "Government Payment Service, Inc."
Does GovPayNet deduct its costs or fees from the payment to my agency?
All fees are paid by cardholders. GovPayNet wants our agency customers to be paid the full amount they are owed, so our system obtains the processing fee from the cardholder up front along with the principal obligation. Example: $1000 tax bill + 3% fee = $1030 card authorization; $1000 to the government, $30 to GovPayNet.
Is there a cost to my agency for using GovPayNet?
No. All service fees are paid by the consumer and are non-refundable. GovPayNet does not invoice participating agencies for our services.
How do my customers make a payment through GovPayNet?
GovPayNet has three ways to make a payment: Through our web site, by phone, or at the agency. The agency chooses which options it wants to make available to paying parties. GovPayNet encourages agencies to make all three options available.
Does GovPayNet have bilingual customer service?
Yes. GovPayNet has Spanish-speaking staff in our call center.
Does GovPayNet handle calls in languages other than English and Spanish?
Yes. GovPayNet has access to telephone translators in over 170 different languages.
When can I call GovPayNet?
Any time, day or night. The GovPayNet call center accepts calls 24/7/365.
Can my customers make a payment through GovPayNet when they visit my agency?
If an agency has contracted with GovPayNet to make this service available, the agency's customers may make a payment to the agency through GovPayNet with the help of agency staff who will assist the customer in using an agency computer to access the GovPayNet web site. Agency staff may enter card information into www.govpaynow.com for the customer, or may direct the customer to use a Gov$wipe® card reader.
What is Gov$wipe?
Gov$wipe is a patent-pending method that automatically completes the payment form on the GovPayNet web site by filling in your card information after you swipe your card through the Gov$wipe card reader.
Can my agency use GovPayNet to process payments by check or money order?
GovPayNet only processes payments made by credit, debit or pre-paid debit card.
Can my agency use GovPayNet to process payments by electronic funds transfer?
GovPayNet only processes payments made by credit, debit or pre-paid debit card.
Is my agency obligated to accept a payment made through GovPayNet?
Agencies have the ability to reject a payment for reasons the agency determines. GovPayNet will credit funds for a rejected payment to the consumer's card account between 3 to 5 days after the agency has rejected the payment. The GovPayNet service fee, however, is not refunded if an agency rejects a customer's payment.
Why would an agency reject a payment?
This is determined by the agency. Sometimes a cardholder has, for example, mis-identified the government account that the cardholder is attempting to pay. We instruct cardholders to contact the agency to for information on why their payment was rejected.
What information does GovPayNet need to process a payment to my agency?
For all payments, GovPayNet needs the cardholder's name, card number, CVV number, and Pay Location Code (the next two FAQs are about the "CVV number" and "Pay Location Code"). Other information depends upon the agency and the type of payment. For a property tax payment, we will need the number that identifies the parcel. For a deposit to a trust account for an inmate's benefit, we will need information to identify the inmate. Some payments also require addresses as an additional measure against card fraud. Cardholders will be prompted for this information by agency staff trained to use the GovPayNet system, the GovPayNet payment web site, or a GovPayNet customer service representative, depending on how the cardholder is making a payment.
What is a "Pay Location Code"?
The Pay Location Code, sometimes referred to as a "PLC," is a 4-6 alphanumeric character (not case sensitive) assigned to an agency for a specific payment type. The agency you are paying has this code and will give it to you. GovPayNet is in the process of adding features to our web site to make it easier for you to find the PLC you need.
What is a "CVV number"?
"CVV" stands for Card Verification Value. The CVV is a three-digit number on the reverse side of cards issued by MasterCard, Visa and Discover and a four-digit number often on the front of American Express cards. GovPayNet requires the CVV to be entered as an additional security measure (other terms are used in the card industry for this number but all are fairly similar).
How does GovPayNet process a payment?
When the cardholder has provided all the information GovPayNet needs to make the payment, our system contacts the card issuer (such as the bank that issued the consumer's credit or debit card) via secure Internet connection for payment authorization. If the payment is authorized, the GovPayNet system will advise agency staff who will the inform the cardholder, or the GovPayNet payment web site or a GovPayNet customer service representative will inform the cardholder directly, depending on how the payment is being made. GovPayNet also immediately notifies your agency that a payment has been approved. If the agency accepts the payment, GovPayNet then transfers funds electronically from the account the cardholder accessed through the card to your agency's bank. This deposit is generally completed within two business days of payment authorization, but longer if the payment precedes a weekend or holiday.
What if the card issuer denies the agency customer's payment?
The cardholder will be informed at the time the card issuer denies the payment by agency staff, the GovPayNet web site, or a GovPayNet customer service representative, depending on how the cardholder is making the payment, that the payment was not authorized. The cardholder will be given the opportunity to make the payment using another card, but unless a card issuer authorizes a payment through the GovPayNet system, GovPayNet will not be able to complete the payment the cardholder has requested. The cardholder should contact the card issuer with any further questions.
Can an agency customer make a partial payment?
This depends on the agency. GovPayNet will attempt to process any amount the cardholder requests. Some agencies, however, will not accept partial payments and will reject a partial payment. Cardholders will need to contact the agency to determine its policy on partial payments.
Can an agency customer set up a payment plan or apply for payment assistance through GovPayNet?
GovPayNet only processes card payments on behalf of cardholders to agencies. The agency would need to work with the cardholder to offer a payment plan or payment assistance.
Can an agency customer use more than one card to make a payment?
This depends on the agency. Some agencies allow GovPayNet to process payments using multiple cards. Other agencies, primarily criminal justice agencies, require us to accept only one card per transaction.
Can an agency customer make a payment for someone else?
Yes, as long as the cardholder provides all the information GovPayNet requires in order to process the payment.
How can an agency customer cancel a payment?
A payment cannot be canceled once GovPayNet has processed it. If the cardholder believes a payment was made a payment in error, the cardholder must contact the agency to resolve the issue.
What if an agency customer paid the wrong amount?
A payment cannot be canceled once GovPayNet has processed it. If a cardholder believes a payment was made in error, the cardholder must contact the agency to resolve the issue. If the cardholder made an overpayment, the agency must contact GovPayNet to issue the cardholder a refund of the amount you overpaid. If the cardholder made an underpayment, depending on the agency's policy, the agency may reject the payment, in which case GovPayNet will credit the cardholder's funds to the card account in 3 to 5 days, or the agency may accept a partial payment, in which case, the cardholder may still owe funds to the agency. For this reason, it is best that cardholders contact the agency if they believe they paid the wrong amount. The service fee, however, is not refunded if the cardholder paid the wrong amount.
When agency customers pay through GovPayNet, do they get a receipt?
If a cardholder pays with the assistance of agency staff, the cardholder may request a printout of the GovPayNet payment confirmation. If the cardholder is paying through GovPayNet by phone, GovPayNet will email a confirmation if the cardholder provides an email address. If the cardholder is paying through www.govpaynow.com, the cardholder may print this confirmation.
What if an agency customer has a question about a payment?
If cardholders have a question about the payment itself (when it was made, in what amount, to what agency) they may contact GovPayNet by email at email@example.com or toll-free telephone at 1-888-604-7888. Agency staff who are contacted by cardholders with questions about their payment are instructed to refer these questions to GovPayNet at the preceding number or email address. GovPayNet will attempt to answer the question and will only contact the agency if additional information is needed to assist the cardholder.
What if an agency customer believes someone used a card without permission to make a payment through GovPayNet?
Cardholders should be advised to contact the company that issued the card immediately and report their concern.
If an agency customer's card was used without permission, will the payment be reversed?
From the agency's perspective, payment are final even if made through fraudulent card use, unless the agency agrees that circumstances justify reversing the payment, and in the case of an agency error. Otherwise, GovPayNet will work with the card issuing bank and the cardholder to resolve the issue.
How do I know my customers' card information is secure?
GovPayNet is independently certified as complying with the highest level of card security available. You can confirm this by clicking on the Trustwave® logo at the lower right-hand corner of our corporate web site, www.govpaynet.com or our payment web site, www.govpaynow.com.
How long will it take to implement the GovPayNet service at my agency?
The GovPayNet solution can be implemented in a period of 15-21 days, in a non-integrated environment. If integration with agency systems is desired, our IT Department generally requires a lead-time of three weeks once specifications are finalized, though this can be longer depending on the complexity of the integration specified. This period can run concurrently with other implementation activities. Certain types of payments, however, can involve a longer time to implement due to card association compliance reasons. Call us at 1-888-604-7888 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
How does GovPayNet train agency staff to use its service?
We have a robust, multi-modal training solution provided to the County at no cost. Call us at 1-888-604-7888 or email us at email@example.com for further details.
CASH BAIL, INMATE DEPOSITS, AND OTHER CRIMINAL JUSTICE-RELATED QUESTIONS
How does a cardholder post bail through GovPayNet?
Cardholders may call 1-877-EZBail5 (1-877-392-2455) or go to our web site, www.govpaynow.com. Due to the nature of the law enforcement process, bail calls are given priority.
Is GovPayNet a bail bondsman?
No. GovPayNet is not a bail bondsman. GovPayNet only allows cardholders to post their own cash for bail, which they access using their own credit, debit or pre-paid debit card. GovPayNet is not a surety, does not post its own funds, and does not act on behalf of any sureties.
Does the individual get their cash bail deposit back from GovPayNet if they appear for trial?
No. This is a court process. GovPayNet is not involved in the refund or forfeiture of cash bail.
Can bail be posted through GovPayNet if the defendant has outstanding tickets, delinquent child support, etc.?
GovPayNet will work with the cardholder and the court or law enforcement agency to attempt to process sufficient funds for a legal release, but this depends on the cardholder knowing the full amount of bail, fines, fees, and other costs that must be posted to obtain release.
How long after a cash bail payment is authorized will it be posted?
GovPayNet informs the court or law enforcement agency immediately when a cash bail payment is authorized by the card issuer. Many agencies choose to release a defendant based on this confirmation. GovPayNet immediately notifies the agency that a payment has been approved, then transfers funds electronically from the account the cardholder has accessed through a card to the agency's bank generally within two business days. A small number of agencies require GovPayNet to send a check to cover their funds.
Will GovPayNet alert another agency that an offender has paid fines or fees (Department of Motor Vehicles, etc.)?
No. GovPayNet does not communicate a cardholder's payment status to other agencies. We will, however, provide cardholders with a confirmation of payment by screen print or email.
Does GovPayNet have limits on the payments that may be made to a trust account for the benefit of an inmate?
In order to control card fraud exposure, GovPayNet places limits on the amount and frequency of deposits to trust accounts for the benefit of inmates through GovPayNet. The corrections facility generally imposes its own controls in addition to those imposed by GovPayNet.