Kenya: NMS Rolls Out New Payment Short Code in Phases Starting With Parking Services

The newly launched Nairobi revenue collection platform, *647#, will be rolled out in phases, Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has announced.

The new office said that the first service that is currently accessible through the short code, which went live this week, is parking services.

This comes after Nairobi residents complained that they could not access other options in the new platform except for parking services.

However, NMS Director of Strategic Communications Tony Mbarine said that their focus is on parking services this week before embarking on the next service until all are made accessible.

He said the bit by bit roll out has been made deliberately to avoid teething technological challenges like system crash or downtime that occur when many people try to use a system at the same time.

Services that will be accessible to city residents as part of the Nairobi Revenue Service online platform include parking, business permit, land rates, property management and market bill management, among others.

"We are finishing with the parking services this week before we move on to the next service. We have not gone completely out as we wanted to fix any issue that could arise. Once parking services is fully functional, we will launch a sensitisation campaign," said Mr Mbarine.

OLD SHORT CODE

The director pointed out that the new platform will, in the meantime, cover only the functions transferred but over time, it shall cover all the services in Nairobi County government.

This is as the *235# short code, which has been in use since June last year when Nairobi County government parted ways with JamboPay, will be completely phased out

"All we were doing is to make Nairobi residents aware that for the four functions transferred to NMS, we have asked Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to collect the revenue through this platform. The old short code *235# will gradually be phased out to be replaced with *647# at least for the two years KRA will be in charge of Nairobi revenue collection," he said.

Early July, the taxman announced that it is rolling out in phases, a new revenue collection system for all key revenue streams in Nairobi.

KRA pointed out that the new system, Nairobi County Revenue System (NRS), will incorporate features such as integrated customer touch points including USSD, mobile app and web portal offer online services and simplified customer interfaces to cater for different demographics.

PAYMENT SYSTEM

It will also have an inbuilt payment system that enables a customer to make payments on the system through various payments methods including mobile money, cards and bank transfers.

The system had been under development by an in-house development team at KRA since March and will replace the use of Local Authority Integrated Financial Operations Management System (Laifoms) for revenue collection at the county.

City Hall currently relies on Laifoms as the main system for revenue reporting since it parted ways with JamboPay June last year, the *235# USSD, RevenueSure & FleetFix for seasonal parking services and e-Development permit system, a cloud based system used by the urban planning sector, for revenue collection.

In March, KRA was appointed as the principal agent for overall collection of all county revenue replacing National Bank which had been collecting revenue on behalf of City Hall after Jambopay's contract ended in June, 2019.

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