Automated Telephone Payment: A vital Self-Service Payment Channel in UK LAs

Automated telephone payment are a vital component of the payment infrastructure for UK Local Authorities. Nowadays, there are many channels available to UK citizens through which a payment can be made to their local authority. In addition to automated telephone payment, citizens can use Direct Debit, Online web card payments, EFT, Agent assisted card payment, Card Payment at Counter,  Cheque and Cash by post or at the counter.

Card Payment by Channel

The following analysis looks at card payments through four channels in a typical UK local authority over the past five and a half years. These four channels account for approximately 50% of payments to the local authority.


The four channels shown above are as follows:

  1. Card Present – a citizen pays using a card at a counter
  2. MOTO – a citizen pays using a card over the telephone to a member of staff, typically in the cash office or customer service centre.
  3. Web Payment –  a citizen uses a card on an online web payment portal typically accessed through the local authority web site
  4. IVR Payment – a citizen uses a card on an automated telephone payment service

The trend displayed by these statistics show that automated telephone payments, or IVR payments, are they are traditionally known, are still a key component of the self-service payment infrastructure. The trend in web payments is steadily upwards while MOTO ( card payments over the phone to a member of staff) are declining.

Therefore, citizens who, do not wish, or, are unable, to use the internet, are happy to use the phone as their self-service channel. Because of the long and widespread use of the technology it is established as a payment channel and citizens expect to have access to it.

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