With recent developments in technology and mobile money, there are some lucky few who will never know what it is to take ages to get some Government services. That is the crop of individuals that is growing in this age when Government is coming up with initiatives such as eCitizen. As for the rest of us and generations before us, the style of working that is civil service has often times caught up with us as we chase mandatory Government documents. The eCitizen system is a “one-stop government portal where you can access various government services from different government agencies using a Single sign in”.
Along with eCitizen, payments can now also be made via Mpesa Paybill number 20606. With the combination of an online portal and mobile payment, this basically means that citizens can access some services without having to leave their homes or offices. What a departure from the times when people had to physically show up at Government offices, some from far flung areas! It cannot be emphasized enough how much of good news this new development is.
So what do these developments bring with them? Previously, most if not all Government services were paid for in cash.
Reduction of corruption – One of the biggest flaws of the manual system of operation is that people pay in cash and this is a big loophole which corrupt government officials are more than willing to exploit. These are some of the tendencies that have turned government departments into dens of corruption and almost made the whole country synonymous with corruption. The introduction of an Mpesa paybill will certainly seal some of these loopholes and since there is better records, it will prevent new ones from being made and exploited.
Reduction of red tape – There is nothing quite as frustrating as red tape and unfortunately, Government is the one entity best known for that. In the not too distant past before the introduction of Huduma Centers for example, one would almost have to spare a whole day to queue in so many different offices just to make payments to Government. There are/were so many approval levels and the whole system was just an ordeal. Not any more. With the introduction of eCitizen site and Mpesa paybill, so many of these are bypassed and those that exist are simplified into just clicks of the mouse or a few taps of the phone.
Increased efficiency – The very nature of technology is that it makes life easier in terms of general operation, record keeping and speed of things. Applicants of the services that are available in eCitizen are now literally serving themselves and paying via Mpesa so there is elimination of too much files and paperwork and printing of receipts. For the people on the other end, less time is spent sorting through registration and payments since we’re talking about thousands of applications being made every day. This kind of efficiency which is enabled by Mpesa eventually saves the economy money.
Time saving – Many people have spent too much traveling from their homes to their nearest government offices, and some even from far flung counties to the capital city Nairobi. Everyone stands to benefit from the new system and the Mpesa payment method but these people who had to travel long distances must surely be grateful for the improvement!
Increased Security of money – In the new system, hard cash is generally kept away. Applicants for Government services now do not have to walk around with money as they head to the offices and Government too does not have to have stacks of money around the offices within reach of potential thieves. Transfer of money is electronically is always a safer bet and it leaves a clear trail, hence easy to track in case of dirty deals.