U.S. Treasury Wakes Up in the 21st Century, Starts Accepting PayPal

There are about to be fewer paper checks coming into the Treasury.

Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

The U.S. government’s Fiscal Service does collections for money owed to federal agencies. And that’s not chump change. Last year it collected $3.73 trillion in revenue from more than 400 million transactions. That’s a lot to keep track of. So in an attempt to become hip to the haps, the service announced Wednesday that it is going to start accepting certain payments through PayPal and the online payment service Dwolla.

The first step will be rolling out PayPal and Dwolla on Pay.gov, one of the government’s electronic suites that handles collections. Corvelli McDaniel, the assistant commissioner for revenue collections management for Fiscal Service, said in a statement, “Digital wallets provide convenience, simplicity, and a trusted customer experience, while achieving cost effectiveness for the Federal Government.”

Dwolla said in a blog post about the collaboration, “Dwolla is now a live payment option for many U.S. agencies (and this will grow over time)–allowing any taxpayer with a U.S. bank or credit union account to … pay for a whole host of federal fees, products, and permits.”

Modernizing feels like a good thing, especially for an entity like the federal government that always seems so far behind. But when it comes to digital services, privacy and security is on everyone’s minds these days. This initiative will create one more way for the government to get hacked. They just can’t win.