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Ask the Expert

Revenue collection for the federal government sounds like a big job. What lessons have we learned in growing these capabilities that others involved in financial services can also apply?

As appeared in the Cleveland Fed Digest's Ask the Expert

It is a big job. Through developing and maintaining different applications including, a website for making electronic payments to federal agencies, and Debit Gateway, one of the central hubs for processing funds to the US Treasury, we support the Treasury and its customers. We process millions of transactions a year. We have to continually improve user experience. We also play a critical role in facilitating more innovative approaches to revenue collection. Mobile is definitely one newer approach.

The ongoing shift of customer preferences and the advancement of technology present enormous opportunity for improved convenience. For us, though, challenges remain in ensuring those new capabilities are available without introducing security and privacy risks for systems and users. We work with analysts, developers, and technicians to make sure transactions are processed quickly and accurately while protecting customers’ privacy and data security.

There are lots of new technologies emerging, but we cannot use every single thing. As a business, we need to know the effect of new technology on security defense, and we must evolve to avoid negative impact on security. Security is not something that can be added as an afterthought; we have to incorporate secure coding practices throughout the software development lifecycle. Our team consists of trained and experienced security personnel who possess different security certifications. We have to think one step ahead of a cyber threat and stay up to date on security trends.

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