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6 Self-Service Options to Empower Your Citizens to Engage with Technology

By Justin Rutley, VP of Business Development, Catalis Public Works & Citizen Engagement

Uber, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, and self-serve checkout at Whole Foods – citizens are embracing technology in their everyday routine. Since the pandemic, business continuity of municipalities was tested as they tried to maintain their level of service. The post-pandemic environment coupled with advancing self-service technologies is now creating a perfect storm that local government must now transform to meet. Let’s take a look at 6 self-service options to empower your citizens to embrace technology.

Online Service Portals

Create user-friendly online portals where citizens can access a wide range of services, such as applying for permits, requesting public records, paying taxes, and reporting issues like potholes or streetlight outages.

Mobile Apps

Develop dedicated mobile apps that allow citizens to interact with the municipality on-the-go. These apps can provide real-time updates, push notifications for important announcements, and allow citizens to engage with problem situations in their neighborhoods.

AI Chatbots

Implement AI-powered chatbots on your website or mobile app to provide instant responses to frequently asked questions. Chatbots can offer 24/7 support, guiding citizens through various processes and offering timely assistance.

Automated Appointment Scheduling

Offer an automated appointment scheduling system for various municipal services, such as building permit inspections, licensing, or community center reservations. Citizens can choose convenient time slots without the need for manual intervention.

Digital Payment Solutions & Self-Service Kiosks

Enable digital payment options, such as online payment gateways and self-service Kiosks to facilitate quick and secure transactions for services like parking fees, utility bills, and fines.

GIS-Based Service Mapping

Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to create interactive maps that allow citizens to locate and access relevant services, parks, community centers, and public facilities easily.


By incorporating these technological solutions, municipalities can empower citizens to access services and information more efficiently, leading to greater satisfaction and engagement with their local government. These self-service options not only benefit citizens but also help streamline municipal operations.

Catalis offers a variety of citizen engagement and payment solutions that may be a fit for your municipality in your preparation journey.

Visit for a comprehensive list of our government/public sector solutions.

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