In a bid to digitize its revenue collection exercise, Nairobi County sought the services of JamboPay, a revenue collection platform owned by Webtribe Limited to extend the nation’s journey towards digital services. The platform was put in place on April 24 on a five-year contract. Over its working period, JamboPay has been instrumental in streamlining revenue collection in the City from more than 136 streams, including car parking services that command the lion’s share of the revenues. The platform grew and integrated additional features such as an e-wallet for improved service delivery. For instance, the online wallet allowed users to load their accounts and make a payment without incurring extra processing fees.
JamboPay Expiry Date
In April, JamboPay’s contract expired. Plans to extend its operations hit a dead end after City Hall announced that it had developed an in-house revenue collection system to take over from JamboPay.
We have come to the end of our contract with NCG. Consequently, we have stopped our e-revenue collection services for Nairobi.
— Danson Muchemi (@dmuchemi) June 8, 2019
Before the new system was rolled out, JamboPay agreed to serve the city for another month as the County made final touches on the new product. The extension, ended last weekend as reiterated above by JamboPay’s CEO Danson Muchemi, prompting City Hall to launch the new platform.
— Danson Muchemi (@dmuchemi) June 9, 2019
It also appears that the County did not a good job informing city dwellers about the transition because as of yesterday (Monday), customers were still sending payments to JamboPay, and have since paraded their complaints on social media platforms demanding a reversal of funds.
Furthermore, it should be noted that the County dropped all possible JamboPay replacements from a series of local firms, perhaps because the City was developing an in-house solution.
Enter the new platform
To begin with, the new revenue collection system by the County is not as robust or feature-packed as Webtribe’s. It is still based on USSD, so users will need to punch in a code (*235#) on their phones to make a payment. Payment will be processed singly and attract processing fees for each transaction, unlike JamboPay’s solution that offered a wallet that could be loaded once (with a single transaction fee) for future payments, making it a money-saving feature.
Secondly, the platform is still marred by technical issues after users reported a series of problems when making payments. The difficulties, which include delays and unprocessed commands crept in on launch day are yet to be ironed out, but City Hall says it will resolve them in a timely manner.
The current USSD parking system for Nairobi county by @MikeSonko is full of Loops….. Because of Inherent GSM security flaws…..
— Butula's Finest (@SamMacoha) June 11, 2019
It is a triple tragedy for Nairobi motorists who after spending hours in traffic and making several rounds looking for parking are forced to part with extra fee.#NairobiBackToAnalogue
— That classy nurse (@missking254) June 11, 2019
Nairobi's new Parking service is down. Many are now stranded.
— Nner® (@Jarnner) June 11, 2019
Some of the issues have been attributed to JamboPay’s reluctance in handing over some crucial components required for the new platform such as a paybill account and a USSD code that customers have become accustomed to.
Lastly, City Hall, which has since been accused of frustrating JamboPay for its in-house solution, opted to end outsourcing payment systems after obtaining its own software and tools for the exercise. We hope the system will be optimized as soon as possible to stop the complaints.