What is pagoPA and how does it work?


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  1. Introduction
  2. What is pagoPA?
  3. pagoPA payments: How they work
    1. What is the IUV code?
    2. What is a payment notice?
  4. Making payments with pagoPA
    1. Making an online pagoPA payment
    2. Making an offline pagoPA payment
    3. How much does it cost to pay with pagoPA?
  5. The advantages of using pagoPA
    1. Advantages for private individuals and businesses
    2. Advantages for public administrative services

pagoPA is a national platform for making payments to any type of public body in Italy. Launched in 2012, the platform has been managed by pagoPA S.p.A. since 2019. As a state-owned business founded to help distribute digital services across Italy, pagoPA has transformed how public administration payments are managed throughout the country. In this article, you can find out more about what the service is, how it works and the advantages it offers.

What's in this article?

  • What is pagoPA?
  • pagoPA payments: How they work
  • Making payments with pagoPA
  • The advantages of using pagoPA

What is pagoPA?

pagoPA is a platform that enables both private individuals and businesses to make digital payments to public administrative services quickly and easily. With pagoPA, private individuals can make payments to Italian public institutions through participating payment service providers (PSPs) and can choose from various payment methods depending on their specific needs.

Using pagoPA, private individuals can pay duties, taxes, utilities, fees, stamp duties, fines, licence fees and any other type of payment to central and local public administration services. These include schools, universities, local health authorities, the INPS (Italian national institute for social security) and the Italian Revenue Agency, as well as other entities, such as publicly owned businesses and public service managers.

These various institutions use pagoPA as a centralised and readily available system to manage revenue and reconcile payments. This system helps to save time and resources, while ensuring improved payment tracking alongside a quick and easy customer experience.

Use of the platform has grown exponentially over the years, exceeding a billion transactions since 2016, totalling over €225 billion in value and with an average transaction amount of €203. The main categories of creditor institutions that use the pagoPA service are utilities, central public administrative bodies, the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI – Italian automobile club) and local councils, schools and regions.

pagoPA payments: How they work

Firstly, it's important to know that there are two types of pagoPA payment:

  • Spontaneous: These are payments made on the initiative of a private individual (e.g. following a service request).
  • Expected: These are payments that are requested by an institution in relation to a pre-existing debt position (e.g. stamp duty, municipal taxes, utility bills, rent, university fees or co-payments for health services).

What is the IUV code?

The pagoPA payment process is the same in both cases. To make the payment, customers require a code called the IUV, which stands for "unique payment identifier". This is a number that allows the institution to associate the single payment made by the customer to the payment request or the debt position.

The creditor institution generates the IUV code, which the customer can find in the payment notice that they receive. This is usually marked with the wording "Codice Avviso" (payment notification code), which is an 18-digit number containing the IUV code. When private individuals make a spontaneous payment, the system generates the IUV code automatically at the time of the payment request.

What is a payment notice?

The payment notice (or payment slip) – which the institution sends directly to the customer for expected payments – is a document that contains the information needed to make a payment using the pagoPA platform. This information includes the creditor institution, the cardholder or individual responsible for making the payment, the payment information (including the IUV code, the amount payable and the expiry date of the payment notice), the reason for the payment and the amount, the payment methods, the barcode and a QR code for data acquisition using an optical reading device.

The goal of the payment notice is to create a standard document at the national level for all creditor institutions, therefore simplifying payments for both private individuals and businesses, while guaranteeing a multi-channel approach. This allows customers to make payments for the notice across all the relevant channels.

Making payments with pagoPA

Private individuals and businesses have many options at their disposal to make a pagoPA payment, both online and offline (using physical channels). Here are the main methods that are available for both online and offline payments.

Making an online pagoPA payment

Customers can access the platform using various methods, depending on the institution to which the payment must be made. No single form of authentication is therefore available. At present, both free-access services (which allow customers to make payments by entering the IUV code, for example), and services that require either a weak form of authentication (by simply registering on the portal) or a strong form of authentication (SPID, CNS or CIE), are available to customers. In most cases, institutions request authentication to allow customers to check the details of their debt position and their payment history.

Following the identification of the IUV code and other information found on the payment notice, the private individual or business can choose their preferred payment method. Several options are available for online payments:

  • Through home banking, where the customer accesses their bank's services and makes the payment directly from their current account using the CBILL circuit. Offered by banks, private individuals and businesses can use this service to view and pay pagoPA payment slips and payment notices online. CBILL supports both online payments and payments made at cash machines that support the service.
  • On the creditor institution's website, choosing from the options provided and the transaction manager.
  • Through payment apps, such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Satispay, BANCOMAT Pay and PayPal, by scanning the QR code displayed on each pagoPA payment notice.
  • Through online payment services integrated into the pagoPA platform.
  • Through the IO app which is made available by public services.

Making an offline pagoPA payment

Customers can also make pagoPA payments using physical channels. Payments can be made at the following locations:

  • The bank, participating branches or cash machines which support the service
  • The post office (Poste Italiane), either using the pagoPA QR code or the PA postal slip
  • Affiliated businesses that display the pagoPA logo, such as tobacconists, supermarkets, newsstands, bookshops or cafes.
  • Private post offices

How much does it cost to pay with pagoPA?

pagoPA payments usually involve a cost that varies depending on the selected banking institution. To allow for greater transparency, the pagoPA website provides customers with a cost calculator, where they can simply enter the amount, channel and payment method to see the fees charged by each banking institution.

However, there are various options that allow customers to make pagoPA payments without incurring any fees. The include the SI conto! CORRENTE service offered by Banca Sistema and the DB Contocarta service offered by Deutsche Bank, Banca Raika Ritten and Banca Intesa Sanpaolo (this can be selected on the creditor institution's website by choosing "Conto Corrente"). Revolut, Tot and Qonto also offer further options.

The advantages of using pagoPA

The pagoPA platform offers several advantages for private individuals, businesses and public administrative services. Here are the most important ones:

Advantages for private individuals and businesses

  • Quicker and easier payments to public administrative services
  • Availability of multiple payment channels
  • Option for customers to receive digital payment alerts on their favourite apps or channels (e.g. by email or text message)
  • Access to payment information that is always up to date, with an accurate indication of the amount owed (e.g. if the amount changes over time due to late payment interest or other penalties, the system will always show the most up-to-date amount)

Advantages for public administrative services

  • Efficient and economical payment management
  • Real-time monitoring of the amounts collected
  • Availability of multiple and faster collection channels
  • Lower transaction costs
  • Automatic reconciliation of the amounts collected
  • Resource savings (such as paper, ink etc.), making services more environmentally friendly

The pagoPA platform has simplified the management of payments to public administrative services in Italy significantly, for both private individuals and businesses, as well as for public institutions. For businesses in particular, managing payments as easily and as quickly as possible, and having access to the payment methods best suited to the specific type of business, is of the utmost importance. If you want to find out more about how Stripe can help you manage payments and grow your business, you can get started now.

The content in this article is for general information and education purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Stripe does not warrant or guarantee the accurateness, completeness, adequacy, or currency of the information in the article. You should seek the advice of a competent attorney or accountant licensed to practice in your jurisdiction for advice on your particular situation.

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