In Arkansas, one of America’s more impoverished states with a per capita income of US$31,946 in 2009, is focusing its e-government efforts on mobile apps since poorer residents were using their smartphones as their primary internet access point.
Phil Billingsley, General Manager of Information Network of Arkansas, a public-private partnership that runs Arkansas’ technology-driven public services, said: “”If you’ve only got so much disposable income, people are going to make an effort to put that toward a smartphone in a lot of cases and that becomes their lifeline.”
The state has since been focusing its attention on mobile applications. Right now, 28 of its 68 countries allow residents to pay property taxes through their mobile devices and Arkansans can make secure credit card payments to family members’ inmate accounts with their mobile phone—making Arkansas the first state in US to provide secure payment services on a mobile platform.
Even hunters can register their deer and turkey kills through a mobile application.
Billingsley said that with this app, deer kill information goes straight to the government and officials from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission can make “better and faster decisions about how to manage the state’s deer population”.
“Previously, they were driving all over the state and gathering game check cards from these mom-and-pop shops along the trail and then entering them into a database,” he said. “About three months later you’d get usable data. At first we were a little leery because we didn’t want to put the mom-and-pop shops out of business, but it turned out the guys went there anyway to have a drink and a bite to eat and brag about their kills.”
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