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PagoPa: facts, whipping by the Authority, objectives and controversies

PagoPa: facts, whipping by the Authority, objectives and controversies

There does not seem to be any real peace for PagoPa, the Renzian innovation which, like two other technological novels wanted by the former Tuscan premier, namely Spid (Public Digital Identity System) and Cie (electronic identity card) now engaged in a duel last function to decide which of the two will indeed serve to communicate virtually with the government, would have to simplify the relationship between citizens and public offices and is rather confusing ideas to too many people, on both sides well beyond the front office. But let's go in order.


Moreover, SPID and PagoPa continue to be closely linked (and not only by the confusion they are generating) if we think that the extension granted by the "Simplification Decree" (Article 24 of Legislative Decree no. 76/2020) will expire on February 28. for the adoption of "PagoPA" by the subjects referred to in art. 2, paragraph 2, of the "Digital Administration Code" (art. 7 of Legislative Decree no. 82/2005) and on the same date the deadline for joining Spid and preparing a concrete project to make online services available also expires accessible to the citizen. In short, to finalize that digital migration so dear to every government that has taken place in the last 20 years but still struggles to take off.


"PagoPa is the system that has led to the digitization of payments in the Public Administration". So Matteo Renzi saluting the introduction of the system he wanted. “Taxes, university fees, school canteens: today you can pay everything directly on the internet and say goodbye to old paper bulletins. And public administrations have a duty to electronically issue all invoices in digital format ".


In short, a single system with which to pay fines, taxes and so on? Mistaken. As we have already reported , in fact, a few days ago the Competition and Market Authority invited PagoPa not to overflow from the banks, imposing itself as the only payment system destined to supplant all the others because it cannot be so also in order not to burden too much on the citizen. According to the provisions of the Relaunch Decree, in fact, local authorities can "reward" citizens who make use of bank domiciliation for payments, applying a reduction of up to 20% of the rate. A bonus that would vanish, however, if PagoPa became the only payment method. Instead, the Guarantor reports, it must remain possible to pay the PA by means of cash, single proxy F24 and, in fact, that bank domiciliation which, if chosen, would even give the right to the rewards of the Relaunch.


And, precisely, just as Spid and Cie (which has the Poligrafico behind) are arguing with each other, forgetting that they should have remained two "different things", adding and tracing functions, in an attempt to each become the privileged access key to services online of the Pa (a dispute that is generating a great deal of confusion), in the same way PagoPa has been accused by the Authority of making the possibility for the ordinary citizen (perhaps lacking computer knowledge) to interface digitally with administrations. A confusion on this side but even beyond the counter, that is, among the bureaucrats, as the Guarantor accuses that "uncertainty has been generated in Public Administrations, so much so that some of them, even important from a demographic point of view, have to the PagoPA system only, the methods allowed for payments (excluding, for example, Sepa Direct Debit – ie bank direct debit – for the payment of taxes such as TARI); and this on the assumption of the entry into force of the PagoPA system ".


As the official website states, “pagoPA is not a site where to pay, but a new way to make payments to the Public Administration in a standardized way through the participating Payment Service Providers (PSP). Payments can be made directly on the website or on the mobile application of the Entity or through both physical and online channels of banks and other Payment Service Providers (PSPs), such as bank agencies, home banking, ATMs, SISAL, Lottomatica and Banca 5 points of sale and at post offices ". More recently, the possibility of paying at the Esselunga supermarkets has also been introduced, relying on a third party service, Satispay. But, above all, PagoPa is yet another participated by the state, the last (the final step a year ago) of a very long series. Today it is led by Giuseppe Virgone , who here tells both how “his” SpA was born, and the mission, which we link so that everyone can get an idea of ​​whether we are on the right path or not.


In short, pagoPA is one of the first tangible effects of the well-known, publicized, praised administrative "digitization". To be precise, the pagoPA system was created by the Agency for Digital Italy (AgID) in implementation of art. 5 of the Digital Administration Code and Legislative Decree 179/2012. It goes back to that Team for Digital Transformation that was initially led by Diego Piacentini , who was succeeded by Luca Attias . The subsequent Legislative Decree 135/2018 transferred the management of pagoPA to the Prime Minister's Office which avails itself of the extraordinary Commissioner for the implementation of the digital agenda and also ordered the establishment of a joint stock company owned by the State which has been operating for one year in this part under the address of the Prime Minister.


The new system allows you to pay taxes, utilities, fees, membership fees, stamps and any other type of payment to central and local public administrations, but also to other subjects, such as publicly-owned companies, schools, universities. , the ASL. Payments can be made directly on the website or on the app of the creditor (the Municipality, for example) or through the channels (online and physical) of banks and other Paid Service Providers (PSP). Here you can download the updated list of operators where a payment notice can be presented.


In addition, what was written by the Messenger, who underlined how with pagoPA the commissions would be paid by users, did a lot of discussion: "With an average of 90 cents per operation – but you can also spend more than two euros – you get to 81 million in a year. But by 2023 the goal is to increase to 350 million transactions, which for intermediaries corresponds to over 300 million in revenues. Commissions that are mainly divided into three subjects: Sisalpay with the network managed by tobacconists, post offices and banks ”. To overcome this problem, Voce.info suggests, for example, to "Transform the platform into a real single tax collector", perhaps partly recovering the Renzian project, the man who did not scrape the old political class but closed Equitalia.


The piece on the Messaggero also allows us to understand what has (or would be) changed: «Platforms have a cost – clearly says Gianfranco Torriero , deputy director general of ABI, the association that brings together Italian credit institutions -. Before paying the cost of the payment was borne by the Public Administration. Now it is the responsibility of the user, due to the service offered by the Public Administration. The perception is that the request comes from the bank, but in reality it is the Public Administration that no longer bears the cost ».


In addition, Torriero again explains: «Until 2016 taxes were paid in some cases with commissions and in others not – pointed out by PagoPa -. The citizen did not see them, but the costs were there even earlier. Now, from Trento to Pachino, everyone has the same system, the commissions are transparent and the taxpayer can choose who to pay with ». In short – writes the Capitoline newspaper -, they insist, the system just started is adapting and there will be administrations that will make the citizens pay and others that will take on the commissions ”. The fear is that what the giants of energy and telephony have done for years, which have borne the costs of commissions for the payment of utilities on the taxpayer, despite the fact that it was not possible to pay them without going through intermediaries.


The problem just raised by the Messenger, however, is not new to the parts of pagoPA, which already on the site, in the FAQ section, explains: “With pagoPA the commissions, in the worst case scenario, remain unchanged compared to cases in which pagoPA is not used. The difference is that, with pagoPA, the commissions are exposed transparently to the citizen, who will be able to realize how the costs tend to be reduced ".


Basically not, as the official site itself illustrates: "Before the introduction of pagoPA in many cases it was the Creditor Entity that incorporated the commission costs into the tax or service". This does not mean that it did not burden the taxpayer: "The commission cost remained hidden from the citizen but still present". So according to pagoPA only formally paid the Entity, in fact it paid the citizen without knowing it. “In the other cases the commission cost was explicit. For example, paying with a postal order or with a bank notice involves a commission fee, even if paid with home banking. In the payment of an F24, for example, the citizen does not pay commissions but the costs are borne by the Revenue Agency and therefore indirectly fall on general taxation. In fact, the Revenue Agency pays the banks a commission for each F24 paid electronically or at a bank counter ".


For example, via Sisal and Lottomatica the commission will be equal to 2 euros but, for intellectual honesty, even earlier, with other systems, turning to the tobacconist for the payment of utilities was paid the same tax. It varies from euro and ten to euro and fifty as regards the postal channel (the classic bulletin), but even in this case it was an implicit tax that we already paid well before pagoPA.


PagoPA also explains that the commissions "are caused by some service costs that PSPs incur to guarantee a quality service: for example, 24×365 supply continuity, transaction execution times which must be very low, costs of international circuits in the case of payment by credit card, security and anti-fraud services, infrastructure reliability, etc … "


This is the thesis supported by pagoPA itself: "The bargaining power of any body, even large ones, is certainly lower than that of the Italian Public Administration as a whole: for this reason PSPs guarantee almost always more advantageous treatment for pagoPA. the transparency of commission costs should encourage competition, leveling commission costs downwards: for example, if I see that my bank charges me a high commission to pay with a current account, I can choose a credit card, even with a other institute ". But it is easier for a reduction in costs for users to be achieved only with a drastic intervention by the authority to protect consumers.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/innovazione/pagopa-fatti-scudisciate-dellautority-obiettivi-e-polemiche/ on Sun, 22 Nov 2020 06:58:43 +0000.