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County partners with Safaricom to roll out cashless revenue collection system

Kisumu County Government has partnered with the mobile telco Safaricom to unveil a new Integrated County Revenue Management System (ICRMS) to offer a one-stop platform for residents to access and pay for various county services.

Governor Prof Anyang Nyong’o remarked that the bold decision to embrace the new, integrated, and automated system would not only enhance accessibility and transparency but also

tremendously boost its Own Source Resource (OSR) collection regime.

“With this innovative approach, and if well managed, we hope to collect the county potential target of Sh2.2 billion and build on that next year. We have co-created this platform with Safaricom to provide a seamless and user-friendly experience for Kisumu residents and county officials to contribute to the overall efficiency of revenue management,” Prof Nyong’o said during the launch at the City Hall.

He added that the new revenue collection system is purely cashless and it has been made available on several channels to support seamless revenue collection, including the Safaricom App, Mobile App, and WhatsApp platforms.

While thanking the Kisumu County Revenue Board and Safaricom for their tedious work of putting the new system in place, Prof. Nyong’o noted that the revenue collectors have undergone adequate training on how to use and monitor the new platforms.

He expressed his satisfaction with the real-time verification of transactions and payments which has been made possible using secure unique identifiers including QR codes.

In addition, the system ensures Real-time reporting of all revenue transactions across all departments in the county.

The County boss also revealed that they were also introducing the Ushuru Centre; which is both a contact and call center from where the county revenue staff would be able to assist and resolve issues related to revenue from the citizens.

“The system has GIS Data Integration Capability which is intended to help the County Government Map all its revenue sources and resources to ensure enhanced service delivery and to make revenue collection easy and more organized, especially for the structured revenue streams,” he assured.

Notably, the smartphones being used are installed with new technology and capability to be used by the officers for revenue collection, and they can both work online and offline. The system passed the credibility tests upon undergoing the pilot testing for the Unstructured Revenue Streams which began on December 18, 2023.

The already rolled-out streams include; Markets, Town Parking, Bus Park, Cess, and Stock Rings, among others. Mooted plans are also underway to include in the new system the Unified Business Permit, Advertisements, Plan Approvals, and Rates.

Safaricom’s Chief Enterprise Business Officer Cynthia Kropac pointed out that the ICRMS would address the county’s challenges in optimizing revenue collection, administration, and reporting.

“The innovative platform will support various revenue services, including parking, cess, markets, advertising, property rates, and approvals, among other revenue services reducing queues and wait times at the county offices,” she affirmed.

Kropac emphasized that the ICRMS is designed to enhance citizen satisfaction by providing convenient payment options for services where residents could pay through various channels, including USSD (*427#), WhatsApp, the MyKisumu App, and a web self-service portal.

“The system which is Kenyan-made and locally-made ensures real-time integration with payment channels like MPESA and banks for accurate reporting and reconciliation of transactions. This will enable enhanced visibility and control are provided through dashboards accessible to executives, enabling effective monitoring of revenue performance and operations,” she said.

“At Safaricom, we are committed to leveraging our technological capabilities to drive positive change in communities across Kenya. The implementation of the ICRMS system in Kisumu County reflects our commitment to driving digital transformation for efficient service delivery, making services more accessible and convenient for all, and furthering our mission to connect, empower, and improve the lives of Kenyans,” said Kropac.

The ICRMS also incorporates transparency features, providing real-time updates on revenue collection and usage and fostering accountability and trust between citizens and the county government. Its implementation is aligned with Safaricom and #39’s broader mission to empower businesses and government entities through digital solutions.

Pointedly, the ICRMS utilizes Safaricom and #39’s technological expertise to streamline and modernize revenue collection processes, facilitating convenient payment for county services through multiple channels, thus enhancing accessibility and transparency.

Kropac further revealed that to enable end-to-end support, the East Africa Device Assembly Kenya Limited has come on board to provide smartphones required to run the revenue application used by dedicated revenue collectors. The devices are managed securely to ensure they are purpose-fit to run the revenue collection services effectively.

Prof Nyong’o informed that public sensitization is currently ongoing and he urged the county staff to remain disciplined and committed to the successful implementation of this great innovation.

“I want to appeal to everyone involved in revenue collection using this new system- from the revenue Board, the County Treasury and the actual collectors to ensure we meet our targets because it is now or never. I also want to appeal to our cherished taxpayers to support us by promptly paying their taxes and reporting any of our officers trying to manipulate the system. On our part as the executive, we assure you of secure, clean, and environmentally friendly trading spaces,” Nyong’o urged.

By Rolex Omondi and Renny Esther

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