Fees for public authority procedures are also applicable to digital services, and must be paid either during the procedure or afterwards. Fees can be paid by transferring the money over Internet banking. Additional methods that conform to uniform standards can also be integrated into the procedure such as credit card payments and mobile phone-based payment systems.
The Electronic Payment Standard (EPS-2) is an open standard for synchronous online payments that was especially designed for payments via Internet banking systems. The EPS standard reduces implementation costs while increasing security at the same time. The EPS-2 payment standard defines the communication process between an application and a payment system. It relies on XML notification messages, which are used to support the confirmation of payment.
The bank communicates whether or not the payment was successful using an electronically signed payment receipt slip. It assumes responsibility for the actual entry of the payment in the ledger. It returns the confirmation message directly after the payment procedure has been carried out, even though the actual money has not been received yet. The advantage of this is that the confirmation message can be processed synchronously further on in the process, (for example when an authority issues a notification right away, or when a handler arranges for delivery), or it can be archived as a receipt for verification purposes later.
The following steps are carried out for payments during online procedures:
- The payment procedure is initiated by the applicant. The applicant selects a bank.
- A payment request is sent to the bank that contains an XML message with a redirection URL that points to the eGovernment application. In response, the bank opens a session and forwards the user to the given URL.
- The authority’s application forwards the applicant on to the online banking application of his bank. After he has been authenticated, the payment transaction is carried out.
- Before the transaction is carried out, the bank checks if there is still a connection open between the bank and the authority.
- After the connection is confirmed by the authority, the bank carries out the money transfer.
- A confirmation message is sent to the authority stating whether the payment was successful or not.
- The authority responds with an acknowledgement message.
- The payment process is finalised and the applicant is referred back to the authority’s application.
The procedure in picture: