1st Quarter 2020 Newsletter

                Access Idaho and COVID-19
In following the CDC’s and Governor Little’s guidelines, the Access Idaho staff is work remotely until further notice. However, thanks to technology, we remain fully functional to continue supporting you and your staff.

Whether it’s changes in users, questions about billing reports, refund requests, password resets, etc., please either leave a voicemail after calling our main number at 208-332-0102 (your call will be returned ASAP) or emailing webmaster@accessidaho.org.

Thank you for your understanding. We hope you, your family and your colleagues stay healthy and safe.


Access Idaho Celebrates 20 Years

2020 marks the 20th Anniversary that Access Idaho has been doing business in the state of Idaho. We started with a handful of people who helped take the State’s idea of putting forms online so citizens and businesses could access them, to helping agencies and local governments process more than $56 million in payments.  
Over the past two decades, our dedicated Boise-based team has grown to 14 Idahoans, all of whom live, work and play in the Gem State. Our passion thrives in creating ways to make it easier for Idaho citizens and businesses to interact with Idaho government more efficiently through online services, forms, emailed/texted payment links and much more.
We know we would not be here without our fantastic statewide partners like you. We are grateful for trusting us to help you with payment processing, websites, form creation, and customized applications among other services.  We are dedicated to making Idaho’s digital government easier and more accessible, and we look forward to another 20 years!
                                  App Engine Forms

Access Idaho’s newest application, App Engine, allows your office to replace any paper form (PDF, Word doc, coffee-stained paper on your desk, etc.) and convert it to an online/electronic process at no cost to your department. 
These can be regular forms that needs to be completed and submitted electronically (like an application or a grant request) or forms where customers need to make a secure payment (like a dog license or donation).  As with all Access Idaho’s applications, we have a test environment where you can see how the form will look and customize it to your liking. 
So, if you have any paper processes that you would like to automate and get the information back from the customer electronically, contact us at 208-860-4856 or webmaster@accessidaho.org.

Access Idaho Highlights the City of Homedale

The City of Homedale has been using Access Idaho’s PayPort service since 2013 to process in-person and over-the-phone credit/debit card payments for their utility bills, dog licenses, building permits, airport leases and other services.
“It has been very helpful for many in our community,” said Alex Pegram, City of Homedale Clerk. “Quite a few of our customer say that they do not buy checks anymore, so being able to pay by card is essential for them.”
Pegram added, “On days that we shut off water service for nonpayment, we often take in more money on cards than in cash, because people who have forgotten to pay their bill can quickly and easily take care of it by phone.”
Homedale is one of the 80+ cities in Idaho that leverages
Access Idaho to offer cutting-edge, highly secure services with no fiscal impact to their municipality.
“The system works well alongside Caselle, our main utility software. We are happy to be able to offer this service to our customers,” said Pegram.
Access Idaho Application Helps Earn National Award for Missoula County in Montana

Since his election nearly six years ago, Missoula County Clerk and Treasurer Tyler Gernant has been on a mission to make government duties more efficient for his constituents and save county funds at the same time. The efforts have earned Gernant a prestigious 2020 Service to the Citizen Champions of Change Award that honors public servants for their leadership and dedication to delivering an outstanding experience to the public.
With Gernant at the helm of the office that manages many county departments, including motor vehicles, taxes, real estate and vital statistics, the county has increased efficiency. In 2019, Gernant's office launched several innovative solutions using Prompt Pay, which was developed by Access Idaho and allows citizens and businesses to receive bills via email or text message, pay for services online or via a mobile device.
"I can literally create an invoice in 30 seconds, which means we can do it while on the phone with a customer," said Gernant, adding that he is redesigning the office workflow to find other uses for Prompt Pay. Non-technical county employees can bill citizens through the Prompt Pay service at no cost to Gernant’s department.

In December 2019, Missoula County became the first county in Montana to offer an online motor vehicle titling service. Citizens fill out a form online using a platform called AccessGov. After receiving an invoice via email or text message through Prompt Pay, citizens pay via credit or debit card, electronic check or PayPal, reducing the workload of county clerks. In the first three months, clerks received more than 670 forms and sent approximately 530 bills to citizens, processing nearly $200,000.
To find out how you can improve your office’s efficiency, security and payment processing capabilities with Prompt Pay and other services at no cost, visit www.accessidaho.org or call our office at 208-332-0102.
Tips and Tricks

Refunds 101: Answers to All (or Most) of Your
Refund Questions
Q:  “I made a mistake on a PayPort transaction. How do I issue a refund?”
A:   Refunds can be processed in PayPort by locating the transaction in your “Lookup Transaction” report and clicking the “Refund” link on the right. Only whole refunds can be issued in PayPort. If you do not have permission, please talk to your supervisor.
Q:  “How do I issue a partial refund?”
A:  Partial refunds can only be processed in the NIC Payment Engine (a.k.a. TPE). If you do not have access or would like training on partial refunds, please contact Access. (Note: Refunds processed in the Payment Engine are not reflected in PayPort reports.)
Q: “Oops! I processed a payment in error. How can I stop it before the customer is charged?”
A:  Access Idaho does not have the ability to stop a payment from debiting a customer’s account once it has been submitted. Simply issue a refund, and the customer’s account will be credited.
Q: “How long does it take for the customer to receive their money back after issuing a refund?”
A:   Depending on the customer’s financial institution, usually the next business day. However, it may take up to 5 business days for the customer to see the funds return to their bank account or credit card.
Q:  “A customer needs a refund for a payment they made online. How do I help them get their money back?”
A: If you have determined that a customer should receive a refund, and you do not have access or permission to process it for them, please contact us.          FYI: It is against Access Idaho’s policy to issue any refunds without prior authorization from the agency.
Q: “None of the users in our office has the role for issuing refunds. What does it take to receive this ‘super-power?’”
A: Fortunately, there is no magic necessary! Please ask your supervisor to contact our office, and we will assign the refund role to your pertinent user(s). We are here to help and want to ensure the refund process remains pain-free!
About Access Idaho
Access Idaho is the administrator of Idaho's official
Web portal (idaho.gov) and provider of electronic government solutions for the state.
The network manager for the portal is
Idaho Information Consortium, a subsidiary
of digital government firm NIC.

Questions? Please contact Access Idaho to see how we can
assist you in 2020 and beyond.

Jeff Walker,General Manager | 208-332-0102 | jeff@accessidaho.org