By Abdi Ali
Published April 24, 2016
A local government in Kenya has adopted a cashless revenue collection system.
Nyeri County Government is collecting fees such as motor vehicle parking, land rates, business permits and market stalls through electronic payment. Besides stronger accountability for funds collected, the system is expected to save time for consumers who no longer have to travel to a public office and wait in a queue to pay for service.
The cashless system, offered by a French company called Ingenico Group in collaboration with TracomÂ payments systems integrator and Equity Bank, is said to be reinforcing the emerging cashless-based culture in Kenya.
County agents, equipped with Ingenico wireless smart terminals with a specific Revenue Collection application, can now simply collect payments when arriving at the business premises.
Describing the cashless system as “a real game changer for the County administration,â€ Andrew Wakahiu, Equity Bank’s General Manager in charge of Agency Banking, says the system “relies on a technology that is both simple and secure. No more paperwork, complex processes or cash management issues in the agent network.”
A Press Statement issued from France by Ingenico Group says “Equity Bank has partnered with Ingenico Group and Tracom for the past few years to deploy cashless programmes in East Africa. This has been part of a global strategy which aims to deepen Financial Inclusion among the local population. Equity Bank has been a pioneer in Branchless Banking where local merchants became trusted agents, offering the unbanked population a full banking portfolio (including account ownership and management as well as savings and credit) through a simple agency banking application on Ingenico iWL smart terminals.”
Luciano Cavazzana, Eastern Europe & Africa Managing Director for Ingenico Group, says, â€œWe are proud to be Equity Bankâ€™s partner on this governmental program. We are demonstrating that our technology is not limited to traditional payment but is open to a wide range of new opportunities. Through this initiative, Tracom and Ingenico Group addressed administrative challenges by providing a quick and convenient fees collection solution to better anchor cashless habits in the daily lives of Kenyans.â€
While Ingenico Group’s system is said to be “providing smart, trusted and secure solutions to empower commerce across all channels–in-store, online and mobile–“Tracom is a regional payments systems integrator with expertise spanning alternative banking channels technologies, banking automation software, automated cash management, card production, security and personalization, signature capture and e-Signing, among others. Our countries of operation are Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kigali, South Sudan and Sudan.”
Equity Bank, on the other hand, is a Kenyan institution with branches in Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Rwanda. With an estimated eight million customers, Equity is said to be “the largest bank in terms of customer base in Africa and having nearly half of bank accounts in Kenya.”