Service NSW takes infringement payments mobile

​The New South Wales government has added fine payments to its Service NSW app, allowing citizens to view and pay infringements via their smartphone.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The New South Wales government has updated its Service NSW smartphone app for iOS and Android to enable users to view, pay, and contest infringement notices.

The update to the app sees a user receive a mobile alert shortly after incurring a road or traffic fine. They will also be able to view photographs of the incident, pay the fine, and nominate the correct driver from the app.

"Today traffic fines are posted out to people who then have to keep track of the paper, manually type in their details and remember to pay on time -- and many people forget," NSW Minister for Finance, Services & Property Dominic Perrottet said.

"No one likes getting a fine, but even worse is forgetting to pay and winding up with a late fee as well."

However, paper notices will continue to be posted.

The latest Service NSW app update comes as the result of collaboration with the Office of State Revenue and builds on existing features including the ability to view licence and vehicle registration details, check demerit points, and update licence address and contact details with the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS).

"The people of NSW want 21st century services from a 21st century government, and that means technologically enabled, convenient to access, and easy to use services -- which is exactly what we are delivering," Perrottet said. "The Service NSW app is putting easy access to government services in your pocket."

On Thursday, Perrottet also launched the first phase of MyServiceNSW, a central customer account for Service NSW.

"Too often online services for different government agencies require different websites and multiple accounts," he said. "But good service means putting the customer at the centre of the experience."

Setting up an online account is optional, and users will be able to store information in their digital profile which over the coming months will be transparent across the different government services covered by Service NSW.

"Our citizens should only have to 'tell us once', and that's what we are aiming for with MyServiceNSW," Perrottet said. "Citizens today want simple, convenient ways to interact with government, including high quality digital services, and that is what we are delivering with MyServiceNSW."

The launch coincides with the introduction of a new payment platform that Perrottet said will eliminate the duplication of payments infrastructure.

"Streamlining the back-end payments infrastructure is an important waste-cutting reform, but it also looks to the future, opening up the possibility of incorporating payment methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, MasterPass, and Visa Checkout," Perrottet said.

Launched in July 2014, Service NSW brought together a number of different NSW government services under the one office, including RMS; Births, Deaths and Marriages; and small business support.

In the 2015/2016 budget, Service NSW was slated to receive AU$362 million to increase the number of digital interactions between consumers and government, and to roll out a further 27 one-stop shops across the state.

As of February 2016, the Service NSW website showed that there were 95 shopfronts across the state.

The budget also allocated a large chunk of funding for the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, including AU$64 million over four years towards a cloud solution to consolidate datacentres, and AU$10 million over two years to integrate the OneGov System Platform with Service NSW.

The NSW government decided it would be designing its own digital transaction portal through Service NSW in July, while discussions with the federal government were held around joining the myGov portal.

At the time, Perrottet said the move would address one of the frustrations people feel when they have to provide the same details multiple times to different departments.

In November, Perrottet announced that the state would begin the distribution of digital licences in mid-2016.

Digital versions of the Recreational Fishing Licence, the Responsible Service of Alcohol Card, and the Responsible Conduct of Gambling Competency Cards will be the first, and will be available on an opt-in basis, with consumers given the choice between a digital licence, a physical card, or both.

The NSW government hopes to add an additional five licences to the digital wallet by 2017, with the driver's licence, flagged as the most popular licence type, scheduled for digitisation in 2018.

Previously, Martin Hoffman, Secretary of the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, said it is a challenge to get beyond the glitz and the glamour of digital services, in order to get the overall system right, adding that the state government wants to see 70 percent of its services through a digital channel by 2019.

"It goes without saying, obviously, [digital] is how customers want to interact. Success so far with Service NSW does show that it can be done," he said. "God built the world in seven days, but he didn't have legacy systems to deal with."

The NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello announced a change to the Pawnbrokers and Second-hand Dealers Regulation in January that will require pawn shop staff record the "Wi-Fi MAC addresses" of smartphones, tablets, and laptops that come through their doors.

"This morning I went to my phone and I looked at my Wi-Fi address and then I just copied it and I emailed that address to myself, so that way in the event that this phone is stolen, I can call the police and say 'Look, here's my Wi-Fi address, can you check your database in relation to the pawnbrokers across the state and find out if it's been attempted to be sold by one of the pawnbrokers'," he said.

"It is great to see that the police here are being very innovative in the way that they are tackling crime, particularly in the digital age."

Division of Resources and Energy suffers cyber attack

This week, the NSW Department of Industry revealed that its Division of Resources and Energy (DRE) office in Maitland had suffered a cyber attack in December last year.

The department's IT security systems detected a marked increase in what it called virus and security activity attempting to impact systems at the Maitland office.

"The attacks were identified by specialist software we have in place to detect breaches to our firewalls," the department said.

"Given the increased levels of activity we took further steps to ensure that our systems were protected."

The DRE said it does not believe that the attacks penetrated its systems, or that any data was accessed as a result.

"We treat all attempted security breaches with the highest priority and our IT staff took appropriate steps to ensure the integrity of our systems at the time," the department said.

According to the department, further enhancements of the systems in question have taken place since the incident in December.

NSW Opposition Adam Searle told ABC's The World Today that the government took too long to share news of the attack.

"I would have hoped that the government would have given a briefing to the opposition about this matter earlier, that they would have taken the initiative when they became aware of it -- that unfortunately hasn't happened," he said.

"It has been now several weeks since this occurred, it's only been made public by the media, but putting that to one side, the opposition wants to work constructively in partnership with the government on this matter because it is so important to the state's entire economy."

Searle also told the ABC that there would be several parties that would be interested in the department's servers, as they store commercially sensitive data worth potentially billions of dollars, adding that there could be a number of parties wanting to seek that information.

Updated 1.35 pm AEST 4 February 2016: Added MyServiceNSW phase one launch.

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