Last month the county of Kiambu in Kenya announced it had doubled on its revenue collection following its tax payments automation process in just one month before. The county said it was planning to continue automating other processes in order to ease operations and grow the region.
Following this success, another county has moved to adopt the e-levy payments in efforts to boost its revenue collection and hopefully minimize dependence on the national government for financial support. Kirinyanga County has decided to follow in the footsteps of Kiambu in automation process.
The new e-levy platform that was introduced only last month, January, is supported by ABC Bank and a top sacco in the region dubbed Fortune that requires citizens to pay for levies and license fees as well as other various services through a mobile paybill number or make deposits to the Sacco and ABC Bank.
This arrangement is also one that has been taken up by Kajiado County as well, that requires citizens to pay for various services by making deposits in Banks. It is a move to avoid cashless payments all together and might be adopted across other regions, but one problem is it does not eliminate the hustle of lines.
In the new move toward electronic payments, Kirinyaga county hopes that the automated system will help grow the revenues collected annually from the current KSh 300 million to KSh 500 million, this is according to Business Daily.
Kenya is geared towards the adoption of cashless payments, with deputy president William Ruto saying that the government plans to digitize all its payment systems at least within the next six months in order to enhance efficiency.
Speaking during the launch of an online portal to aid in mining transactions, Ruto said, “We want to make it possible that in the next six months one can pay through M-Pesa, credit cards, and in every conceivable way on a digital platform.”
He added that the move to eliminate cash would reduce corruption in the public service, enhance revenue collection by at least 30 percent and also eliminate the need to make long queues and waste time getting business names, paying for certificate of good conduct or renewing land rates.
The new online portal introduced by the Ministry of mining will be used to record and manage all types of licenses from exploration to production and issuance of titles for the said licenses that appertain to all things mining.
If the government is committed to see digitization in payments by the said six months, then there is a lot that needs to be done. For example, the advertisement making rounds that Kajiado County is no longer accepting cash in payments but instead wants bank payments is not a move towards digitization.
For most people to make payments in banks they will be required to queue, fill in bank slips (nothing digital about that) and carry cash from their current bank accounts, if they own one, to the banks being used for payments.
Instead the counties should be emphasizing on the need for mobile payments that is more effective and caters for all people, even the low income earners who cannot make enough to sustain a bank account.