Nairobians have had their fair share of payment platforms ever since the County decided to streamline its revenue collection activities.
But before we can look at them, let’s take you back for a minute…
In 2014, Nairobi County sought the services of JamboPay for revenue collection. This was a revenue collection platform owned by Webtribe Limited, and the plan was to extend the County’s, as well as the nation’s journey toward the digitization of services.
The platform agreement was that it would be offering services on a five-year contract. Over its working period, JamboPay managed to streamline revenue collection in the City from more than 136 streams, including car parking services that commanded 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.
New revenue collection system by Mike Sonko
In 2019, however, 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 backed by then Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi to take over from JamboPay.
Nonetheless, JamboPay continued to offer services before the new system was put in place.
However, the County did not do a good job of informing residents about this transition, and some of them were still sending payments to JamboPay even after its tenure had expired.
The new platform was to be accessed via USSD (*235#), which made it cumbersome because JamboPay had an e-wallet where residents could load funds for incoming payments.
The new solution was also marred with a series of technical issues, and there were rumours that JamboPay was reluctant to release some key components that were needed for its successor.
Nairobi County Revenue System (NRS)
To counter these concerns, the County then secured another digital revenue collection system that could be accessed via *647# and was then referred to as the Nairobi County Revenue System (NRS).
It could be used to access services such as parking, land rates, business permits, and market bill management. It also promised features such as mobile money and card processing, and bank transfers – all through an in-built payment platform.
Enter myNairobi App
This is another revenue collection system that is under development.
It has since been mentioned by Governor Johnson Sakaja and will be accessed via *647#. It retains the code put in place by NRS.
In a tweet, the Governor met a team from Safaricom, which appears to be developing an app that will collectively house all revenue collection services.
“This amazing team of developers and innovators from Safaricom PLC and the Nairobi County Government are working hard to deliver to you a seamless customer experience via our *647# USSD as well as the soon-to-be-unveiled myNairobi App. All payments, services, and events in one…” said Sakaja.
The timelines for the launch have not been given, but we hope that this platform will be here to stay.