36th District Court launches ‘no-fee’ kiosk service for payments

DivDat Media Coverage, News Room

By KURT NAGL | Crain’s Detroit Business

Detroit court joined payment network Monday 50 kiosks located around metro Detroit Court expects timelier payments with new service

Paying off debt to 36th District Court in Detroit became a little easier Monday with implementation of a “no-fee” kiosk service accessible at about 50 locations in metro Detroit.

DivDat kiosks throughout metro Detroit will now allow users to pay fines and fees to the 36th District Court without having to go to the courthouse in Detroit.

Fees and fines owed to the court can now be paid through DivDat, a network of 50 kiosks at approximately 45 locations such as grocery stores, party stores and community centers in the city and suburbs. The service means that those with outstanding debt no longer must travel to the courthouse downtown topay it.

The expectation is that more convenient payment methods will lead to timelier payments to the court.

The kiosks are synced in real time to the court’s information system and automatically displays balances owed, according to a Monday news release from DivDat. There are no service fees to use them.

DivDat kiosks also allow users to pay their DTE Energy Co. bills, city of Detroit water bills, county and city taxes, as well as rent with a newly created escrow account program. Around 100,000 people use the service per month, the release said.

The Ferndale-based company was founded as Diversified Data & Communications in 1971, according to its website. Its roots are as a provider of paper billing services for other companies, and eventually it expanded into electronic payments. The company launched its kiosk service in 2014 and opened a Detroit office in 2017.

The court signed a three-year agreement with the company to use the kiosks, DivDat spokesman Bruce Babiarz said. He said the court pays a monthly fee to the company but declined to say how much. A message seeking more details was left with the court Monday.

“We expect earlier compliance of the Court’s orders using this new technology that provides people with safe, convenient access at no fee,” Court Administrator Kelli Owen said in a written statement. “Also, many of the kiosks are accessible 24/7 including weekends for payments.”

Babiarz said DivDat saved Detroit residents $4 million over the last year by helping them avoid service charges. The 36th District is the first court to use the service as far as he is aware.

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