The Income Management / Payment Solution Landscape

Published On: March 10th, 2020

The HeyCentric team have been working with Local Authorities and other customers using Income Management solutions for 20 years and have seen a significant number of changes throughout that journey.

The digital revolution has driven real changes and “channel shift” in the default way people typically choose to engage with Local Authorities. More recently this has been further re-enforced by COVID-19 and the increased take up of internet shopping, remote working and more

We were already seeing citizens wishing to engage with their local authority and students wishing to engage with their university, but increasingly the inverse is also true. Many organisations we work with have developed (and started to implement) digital strategies which both recognise the demand (but also the opportunity) that such a channel shift offers.

Some of the more typical reasons that citizens contact their Council or students contact their university can now be managed automatically or with minimised intervention by council / university officers. Some councils are also looking at how AI can be utilised to reduce the amount of time their call centre staff are involved in handling low complexity calls. This frees them up to aid those citizens with more complex enquiries and needs.

Significant changes have also taken place in the regulatory framework surrounding card payments in parallel to the continuously evolving payment security landscape. This has made many organisations wary of their need to adopt and adhere to such frameworks and for a significant number of our customers (particularly those who are more reputationally aware) their approach to compliance in this regard is very important.

Everyone will have seen the changes that have happened in the Financial Services sector recently (and most importantly, the changes in card payment solutions). If you have walked along the streets of any major UK city pre-COVID-19 you will have noted that the buskers were all accepting card payments using a card reader attached by Bluetooth to a mobile phone. Conversely for many Councils, the only customer facing solution they could support was a Verifone 820 physically attached to a PC and receipt printer!

It is against that backdrop our customers needed to react to citizen expectations, which are typically driven by their retail and social experiences out there in the ‘real world’. The increased need for modern, connected, usable and accessible payment systems has become paramount for any organisation that wants to ensure that its citizens, students or customers are receiving the service that they both require and expect. Whether an organisation is based within the private or public sector there is also a need to ensure that the way that they can interact with the organisation is as easy and seamless as possible.

To address these issues the HeyCentric team advocate using a solution that provides maximum customisation and accessibility options to your citizens, students and / or customers. People across the spectrum now expect to interact digitally and (importantly) expect to do so using systems that are clear and concise to use. Language support and other such features are essential in today’s world and not only ensure the end user is confident and comfortable when conducting their business online, but it also has the secondary effect of ensuring that your revenue collection strategies are more effective and total cost of ownership of a solution is pushed lower.

Finally, whilst ensuring that citizens have a portal that they are confident to use and supports their varying needs, it is also essential that back-end systems are able to provide exceptional income management capabilities. Up to the minute analysis of payments received not only gives an organisation a significant benefit in terms of cash flow management and strategy, but crucially it ensures that their citizens, student and / or customers can also be confident that their payments count. This manifests itself in many ways but is a strong point to end this article on. In some cases, these ‘joined up systems’ can simply guarantee that a citizen can be reassured by an agent (for example, within a local authority) that their payment has been received (in real time). Other (more serious) situation can be as critical as ensuring a bailiff is not instructed to take action because the system is able to cope with (the likely scenario) that a payment preventing action is received just before a payment deadline is breached.

It is these real-world examples that affect real people which are crucial to the decisions organisations take in deciding what income management solution they select and what ‘front of house’ accompanying payment systems they publish. It is for these reasons that the HeyCentric team are passionate about the software, experience and services that they provide to organisations in cementing good practices, increased income collection and (most importantly) delivering value to citizens and stakeholders that use such systems on a regular basis. With the advent of COVID this has become even more significant and having the right systems in place to facilitate day to day life activities has never been more paramount.

Let’s get you back to the work that matters

We call them payment solutions. You may prefer to call them timesaving magic. Here’s just a snapshot of some of our simple, intuitive modules for HeyCentric IncomeManager and start reclaiming your afternoons. Make payment headaches disappear with our simple-to-use services


More ways to pay means fewer missed payments. Take payments any time of day or night with our secure agent-assisted or fully automated telephony solutions


Extract,Transform and Load (ETL) is where HeyCentric’s time saving magic shines and it’s included as standard. It automates time-consuming allocation tasks and gets income instantly into your finance platform and you can still utilise your current payment platforms

Allocations, Refunds & Reversal

Simple to set up automations for recurring income and an easy to use refund and reversal processes

Pay By Link

Payments made easier with secure links delivered by email or SMS

Recurring Card

Get a payment amount and frequency that works for everyone

Web Payments

Offering secure and safe online payment solutions with detailed transaction query screens

Payment Wallets

Allows citizens and customers to make payments using Apple Pay and Google Pay Payment Wallets


Real-time transparency and visibility across every transaction by simplifying communication between systems

Have any questions?

HeyCentric pride ourselves on our ability to pass on our expert knowledge in a professional, customer-friendly way.