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St. Louis residents can use app to pay some bills by phone

courtesy PayIt

St. Louis residents can now pay their property tax, water and trash bills from their phone or other mobile device.

The city’s Collector of Revenue office is among the first to work with PayIt, a mobile technology startup based in Kansas City. The app went live this week.

Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daly said convenience is important, especially when getting people to pay their taxes.

“I’ll be the first to tell you that taxes are never the most popular thing on everyone’s mind,” he said. “It is our responsibility as tax collectors that we have the most convenient and most accessible ways for people to do that.”

Residents will get a chance to try out the app almost immediately. Daly said personal property tax bills will be mailed next week, along with a letter explaining the new service. He said St. Louis residents can also use the app to check their accounts with the Collector of Revenue's office. Those who use it to pay their bills will be charged a 2.45 percent convenience fee. 

PayIt founder and CEO John Thompson said the company’s goal is to make financial transactions with government agencies easier. He said the idea came to him after receiving a postcard in the mail to renew his vehicle tags.

“I couldn’t do it online and I had to go into the office, and while I was sitting there I knew there had to be a better way,” Thompson said.

The former CEO of cloud-based marketing startup Serpio, Thompson said he used the experience working with Fortune 500 companies and focused in on the public sector.

“We want to make it easier for people to do business with government and for government to serve citizens that’s really natural and right on their phones,” he said.

PayIt also has a contract with the city of Kansas City. The app is expected to go live there soon. Thompson said the company also has agreements with state government agencies in Kansas and Illinois.

The company has more than 20 employees.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.