KENYA – Kwale County in Kenya has partnered Safaricom Plc, Kenya’s leading mobile network operator, in the roll out of cashless payments for its 700,000 citizens.

The partnership will see the County accept payment for all services it offers including market fees, cess, and parking levies through M-PESA’s paybill online payment system.

 Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer at Safaricom said the partnership seeks to offer efficiency and convenience in the revenue collection system of the county.

“This partnership will enable Kwale County to serve its citizens more efficiently by easing the process of making payments.

We are also empowering customers to make payments from wherever they are and therefore enabling the County to offer its services remotely and save customers the pain of having to travel to the headquarters,” Sitoyo said.

In addition to providing an efficient payment channel, the county will also be looking to increase revenue collection by automating the collection and the ability to make payments from wherever the customer is located.

In addition, Amos Onduko, Kwale County Executive Committee Member for Revenue said that the payment channel will also increase service delivery and accountability as well as revenue collection.

“We are happy to partner with Safaricom to provide citizens with a more convenient way to access our services. This development will boost Kwale County in our ambition to increase the efficiency and accountability of our service delivery,” he said.

The service which went live in February 2019, will see Kwale become the seventeenth devolved unit to adopt and fully integrate cashless payments through M-PESA.

According to a report by the GSMA, citizens find benefit in paying for government services through M-PESA as it can reduce costs by more than 75%.

This is backed by data from the Central Bank of Kenya, which shows that the mobile phone was the most preferred mode of cashless payment in the country in December 2018, accounting for almost nine of every ten such payments.

According to Safaricom the cashless systems adopted by county governments have diminished leakages and boosted revenues by up to 30%.

Among the counties who have adopted the system include Usain Gishu, Kiambu, Kajiado, Nairobi, Nyeri, Laikipia, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kwale, Vihiga, Kisumu, Taita Taveta, Kitui, Makueni, Kericho, Kilifi and Nandi.