KCB Group has launched an ambitious programme aimed at facilitating the collection of taxes in the counties. The revenue collection solution is part of the Bank’s wider initiative to enhance service delivery to citizens in the ongoing devolution process.
The Bank has rolled out the solution in Kiambu County, which is the first of the 15 counties which will have the solution live in the next twelve months. The solution, which is hinged on digital payments systems, is expected to help counties boost their revenue collection while stemming revenue losses. In Kiambu, KCB unveiled the Kiambu County Card, which is part of the Kiambu County Digitika Programme to aid revenue collection and management.
“The era of doing business in the analogue way is long gone and cases of escorting cash in armoured cars has been overtaken by collecting money on the digital platform,” the CS said. “This is a cashless environment and ICT is the game-changer where every citizen has to embrace it.”
During the event, the CS said the launch makes Kiambu County a benchmark. The CS lauded Governor William Kabogo for waiving way-leave charges on infrastructure development, saying this will enhance more infrastructural development that will attract more investors in ICT. “As a result of this decision, I am aware that several private players in the ICT sector will be laying fibre optic cables across the county without being bothered with high charges for their work,” Dr Matiang’i said.
Speaking during the same launch at the Kiambu County offices, KCB Chief Business Officer & MD Kenya Mr. Samuel Makome said the initiative is part of the Bank’s investment in digital payments as Kenya increasingly moves into a cashlite economy. “This solution is aligned to the national agenda of automating all public revenue collections in the country. It allows the counties to plan well within the budget. At a glance, they can account for revenues collected on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis to allow for better allocation of resources and support intelligence expenditures,” said Mr Makome.
“Public revenue collection is an integral component of fiscal policy and administration in any economy because of its influence on county government operations. It is the fuel of every government as it is the main instrument through which government funding is ensured. The way the taxes are collected and how they are used determines the pace at which development of a given county is realized”, Mr Makome said.
Through the revenue solution, the Bank plans to issue 3 million cards to 15 counties in the next 12 months. In addition to the cards, the Bank will also issue 6,000 Point of Sale Terminals (POS) to facilitate transaction on a Near Field Communication (NFC) platform for payment of parking fees, utility bills, licenses, land rates among others.
The solution launched in Kiambu will see the Bank launch similar initiatives in the rest of the county governments in the coming days as the Bank expands its foray in the cashlite economy which is billed as the next frontier for growth in the financial services sector.
The Kiambu County Governor H.E Hon. William Kabogo reiterated the need for an automated revenue collection system that allows for efficiency and accountability in order to track the activities of the various county units and the roles they play.
“Taxes play an important role in the development of a county. Since devolution came into being, county governments have been grappling with the challenge of how to effectively collect their taxes and monitor how the same is utilized. With the coming of this solution from KCB, we are headed for a new era in the payments space and believe that this initiative will unlock the potential in the service delivery agenda that is critical for all county governments,” Mr Kabogo said.
The automated platform which enables receipting, payment through any of the KCB channels as well as auto reconciliation of transactions. The system comes with enhanced features that will enable county staff to securely track the process through the use of the modernized debit cards.