by Fredrick Ngugi, at 05:23 am, February 09, 2017, Technology

Kenyans to Start Paying for Government Services with Prepaid Card

Kenyans are expected to start paying for government services using a prepaid card that provides a more secure, reliable and flexible payment option.

The new Huduma Card, which is powered by Mastercard, is part of Kenya’s Vision 2030 plan that calls for reforms in public institutions with a view of enhancing accountability, transparency and efficient service delivery.

In a statement sent to Face2Face Africa, Mastercard reiterates its commitment to help the Kenyan government achieve its plan of creating a cashless economy.

“Mastercard is committed to extending financial inclusion for the unbanked and under-banked in Kenya,” says Daniel Monehin, Mastercard’s Division President for sub-Saharan Africa.

“Innovation is central to achieving our vision of a world beyond cash in Kenya and across the continent. We are committed to developing market-relevant payment solutions that enhance the adoption of cashless transactions.”

Speed, Accountability and Transparency

In a country where corruption has proved too big a monster to slay, the Kenyan government hopes to use the Huduma Card program to promote accountability and transparency in the delivery of services in the public sector.

The card allows Kenyans to pay for different government services, including the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) by simply swiping.

Cardholders will be automatically enrolled in these important government services, thus ensuring all citizens benefit from the initiatives, according to the statement.

“This is Kenya’s first multipurpose social payment card with payment functionality and we are excited to see the instant, substantial and positive impact that this will have on the lives of millions of citizens previously excluded from the financial mainstream,” the CEO of Huduma Kenya Secretariat, Dennis Mutuku, says.

The Kenyan government also hopes to use this program to include low-income Kenyans in the mainstream financial sector.

Kenyans will also be able to pay for vital government services without having to wait in long queues to deposit cash. This is expected to improve the speed and efficiency of service delivery in the public sector.

How Secure is the Technology?

Mastercard assures Kenyans that Huduma Card is a secure and reliable payment solution with “multi-layered approach to protecting payments.”

The card uses EMV chip and PIN technologies, which are the global standard payments, to ensure that funds are well-protected even if the card is stolen or lost.

With this layer of protection, cardholders can make payments and receive money conveniently and securely.

The international payment and technology company says Kenyans can use their Huduma Card to pay for goods and services in stores, online, by phone or to withdraw money from ATMs and anywhere else that Mastercard is accepted.

“The prepaid card ensures flexibility, convenience and security, and is easily obtained from one of the issuing banks. Applicants do not require a credit check or bank account to apply,” according to Mastercard.

The card is available at Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), and applicants are not required to pay any fee to register.

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