Graduate project

City of San Marcos Payment Processes

Inefficiencies in local governments are the bane of taxpayers everywhere. However, there are always opportunities for the private sector to provide potential process improvements. The City of San Marcos is no exception, specifically related to its accounts receivable process. With a population in excess of 96,000, including over 4,300 businesses, and 37 parks spread over the 24 square miles, the city handles a plethora of transactions on a regular basis. Considering that the city is focused on balancing service enhancements with fiscal sustainability and being good stewards of taxpayer dollars, it makes sense that improving the AR process would yield benefits to its constituents. Currently, the city employs a decentralized payment process system to receive payments for services and fees from customers. This process is a combination of cash payments as well as paper checks, and a variety of electronic payment methods. Specifically, for cash transactions, the city employs Cash Handlers at multiple locations who accept these payments and process them manually. The city uses ActiveNet for payments received through Parks and Recreation, but otherwise does not have a consistent electronic payment method, with other departments using software-based solutions such as JetPack and CardKnox. More recently, the city has purchased a payment software system called Payment Central, but has not deployed it across all departments. As such, the city seeks to evaluate the current processes and find an ultimate solution that centralizes payments and leverages its newly acquired technology, Payment Central.