In the United States, government municipalities refer to local governments responsible for providing services and managing public affairs within a particular geographic area. The primary difference between these municipalities lies in their forms of government, powers and functions. Here are some of the most common types of government municipalities in the United States:
- City: A municipality with a large population that has been incorporated as a city under state law. Cities usually have a mayor-council or council-manager form of government.
- Town: A smaller municipality with a population typically less than a city. It may have a mayor-council or council-manager form of government.
- Village: A small municipality with a population less than a town. It usually has a board of trustees as its governing body.
- County: A larger geographic area typically encompassing multiple towns, villages and cities. It has its own government, including an elected board of supervisors or commissioners.
- Special District: A local government entity created to provide specific services, such as water or sewage treatment, within a particular geographic area.
While each municipality's specific powers and functions can vary depending on the state and local laws that govern them, no matter the size, they all have one thing in common: the need to make outbound payments to vendors.
Many municipalities still use physical checks to pay vendors, wasting time and revenue. Even minor processes can differentiate between staying on top of things or falling behind.
Checks are a significant financial burden when you add material postage, bank fees, and, most importantly - labor required for writing, approving and error correction. In most instances, these AP teams are small and overloaded with manual work costing them time and money. Municipalities that automate payments to their vendors can significantly speed up time to revenue and increase their overall efficiency.
For example, in Spanish Fork, Utah, a city of about 40,000 people, a four-person accounting team is responsible for outbound payments, and it's one person's job to send about 1,200 invoices per month to the correct approvers before payments can be sent. About 75% of invoices come via mail.
Unsurprising, check fraud remains the most predominant form of payment fraud today as paper checks continue to be the payment method most often used by organizations. Per the Wall Street Journal, check fraud is one of the fastest-growing types of fraud and makes up the most significant percentage of bank fraud losses. The 2022 AFP® Payments Fraud and Control Survey reports 71% of organizations were victims of payments fraud attacks or attempts in 2021.
Checks are more susceptible to fraud because they have essential information that can be stolen or forged. An effective way to combat payments fraud is to cut ties with paper checks altogether, especially when processing B2B transactions. One of the most secure methods of payment is the virtual card. These single-use cards remove the ability for fraud as the technology can enable payment for only one invoice and at a designated transaction amount.
Using virtual cards to pay vendors is more secure and allows municipalities to earn rebates based on spending. In one year, REPAY customers are putting thousands of dollars back into their budgets thanks to using them.
Digitize Outbound Payments
Automating the AP process enables municipalities to eliminate paper checks and processing costs, improve vendor relations, reduce manual labor, track and update payments automatically and reconcile with robust reporting. Additionally, automating the process can reduce the risk of errors and free up staff to focus more on other operations.
So why push for an AP automation solution to digitize outbound payments?
It’s estimated that paper-based processes cost up to $8 more per transaction than electronic invoicing. Going digital could collectively save more than $100 billion.
The right payments providers can tailor a comprehensive AP solution to support:
- On-time payments for improved vendor relations
- Reduced paper processes and manual data entry
- Automated payment tracking and reporting for easy reconciliation
- Monthly rebates from virtual card spend
- Single source for payment management
AP automation can simplify how you make outbound payments.
REPAY delivers solutions to empower governments and municipalities to manage vendor payments from an integrated, easy-to-use digital platform. With REPAY's automated AP platform, remove the headaches, security concerns and time associated with paying vendors. Start supporting digital vendor payments to simplify outbound payments and get back to what matters.