How Kenya went about digitising person-to-government (P2G) payments

September 28, 2017 | Mobile Money | Sub-Saharan Africa | Kenya | Nic Wasunna

Our latest report looks deep into how mobile money has shaped the Kenyan P2G payments journey. The report is based on research conducted by the Bankable Frontiers Associates (BFA), including demand- and supply-side studies of the Kenyan government digital payments landscape.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kenya stands out in terms of both the number of P2G use cases already digitised via mobile money, and total transaction volumes. Over 90% of payments on Kenya’s centralised e-government platform (eCitizen) are made using mobile money today. By studying Kenya’s P2G digitisation journey, we have identified some of the different business and integration models used by mobile money providers and the government, also exploring the perspective of P2G service users. Additionally, the report examines a few specific government agencies and includes mini case studies of their digitisation journeys and outcomes. Finally, we share some recommendations for both governments and mobile money industry players.

The wide use of mobile money for P2G payments in Kenya is not only as a result of its ubiquity. Other factors include the conducive regulatory environment within which the services were launched and are operating, combined efforts of both the government and the mobile money providers to drive acceptance of digital payments, and the availability of multiple ways in which government agencies can integrate into payment systems. With the President’s office and key stakeholders such as policy makers, regulators, government agencies and payment providers all working together, the P2G services developed to-date are helping to improve the efficiency and transparency of internal processes, to create a better user experience, and to heighten customer awareness.

As a result, digitisation has reaped benefits for those agencies which have fully embraced it, whilst challenges still exist for those which have not. There is a strong case for mobile money usage for P2G payments – for its efficiency, speed, adaptability and, most importantly, in light of evidence that mobile money usage has the potential to increase collections and therefore to increase government revenue.

Insights compiled in this report on the implementation of P2G services may be useful for mobile money providers and governments in others markets globally. We hope that the findings and key learnings will spur dialogue between governments, policy makers and mobile money providers in various markets to consider potential approaches to P2G digitisation.

Download the report

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