The Cyprus University of Technology is a public university based in Limassol, Cyprus. Due to its nature, its major source of income is from government funding. For this reason, all payments made by the university to any third party must comply with the Republic of Cyprus’s legislative procedures.
The university is a society within a greater society. It uses governmental premises, thus making its presence to the public noticeable. As the university campus is located within the city centre, great responsibility arises towards the society for supporting and promoting good and sustainable practices.
The design of the e-Payments platform took into consideration a holistic and sensitive perspective. The platform was designed to be easily customised and to be used by any governmental organisation, provided they follow the legislation on payments as set out by the government’s legislative procedures.
This online platform is not limited to providing automation to payment procedures. It can adapt to any other kind of procedure and is ready for the next step, to be used by local authorities and central government for their citizens’ access to meaningful information, providing transparency and inclusion to the procedures.
The system can act as a major tool for all governmental bodies and local authorities since it can adapt to any structured procedure. If the core of this platform could be used from these authorities, all users – i.e. citizens – could check the status of their requests transparently and without physically visiting the specific authority. It reduces man-hours and consumes less taxpayers’ money.
The new system is aimed at simplifying and automating the payments process of the Cyprus University of Technology. It was tailored, designed and developed by the university’s own people; people who knew the limitations and drawbacks of the existing processes and workflows, thus understanding better than anyone what it would take for this change to take place. Its main objectives were to provide for a simpler and faster procedure for payments, be transparent and be efficient, and at the same time comply with the government’s rules and regulations regarding payments in the public sector.
The change was significant, not only because it proposed a new system to take over old paperwork procedures, but because it was an improved way of doing things. It demanded a change in culture of the organisation, a multi-level change, involving the secretary who would input the data, the manager who would approve the payment, the accounting officer who would process the payment and the management (board, senate, rectorate) who would gain valuable insight from the system’s reports.