World Bank: govts can save with e-payment

GOVERNMENT

-
Image: By BiztechAfrica
World Bank: govts can save with e-payment

Improvements that make government payment programs more efficient, safer and more transparent can cut related administrative costs by as much as 75%. 

As part of its commitment to helping governments modernise in this area, the World Bank is releasing “General Guidelines for the Development of Government Payment Programs”, which promotes best practices and establishes standards for developing and improving government payments programs.

Millions of people in developing countries worldwide receive their salaries, benefits and pensions through government-to-person (G2P) payments. But in many cases, they are not being delivered in a cost-efficient way. 

“Only 25% of low-income countries process cash transfers and social benefits electronically and this percentage is only slightly higher for public sector salaries and pensions,” said Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director, Financial Inclusion Global Practice. “This means that many governments are stretching limited resources, and spending more than they should on paying benefits and salaries.”

The report focuses on cases such as Brazil’s “Bolsa Familia” social safety net program, where the government saved 75% on administrative costs by going electronic.  Bolsa Familia easily brought universal coverage to 12.4 million low-income individuals, representing about 30% of the population below the poverty line. By providing beneficiaries with access to a payments account, G2P programs can also expand financial inclusion for millions of the unbanked by serving as their gateway to other financial services. Programs like "Bolsa Familia" provide a lifeline to low-income families so that they can spend on essentials such as food and education.

More efficient government payment programs not only optimize government payouts, but they can also improve revenue generating activities.  “It is estimated that government expenditures and tax collections, which make heavy use of government payment systems, amount to 15 percent-45 percent of the GDP,” explained Massimo Cirasino, World Bank Manager of Financial Infrastructure. “More efficient electronic payment systems not only save the government money, they can also potentially benefit taxpayers and all other users of electronic payments.”

The guidelines, which also address the operational challenges government payment programs face, provide recommendations on:

•  ensuring that payments and collections support the sound, efficient, and transparent management of public financial resources;

•  making government payment programs safe, reliable and cost-effective;

•  ensuring that efforts to modernize government payment programs accelerate the development of national payments systems and promote financial inclusion.

The guidelines were developed in consultation with the International Advisory Group for Government Payments (IAG), which is composed of public sector officials from various countries, as well as NGOs and payment service providers.  The guidelines are available at www.worldbank.org/paymentsystems.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE GOVERNMENT NEWS

Kaberuka addresses Africa’s infrastructure gap at OECD

African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka made a strong case for the importance of tackling private investment impediments in the African infrastructure agenda during the joint AfDB, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and International Growth Center (IGC) event in Paris. Read More

Kenya inaugurates Universal Service board

Kenya’s new Universal Service Advisory Council (USAC) has been inaugurated by the Cabinet Secretary, Information, Communications and Technology.  Read More

Education Minister: ICT vital in schools

Botswana’s Acting Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mokgweetsi Masisi, has called for an increased uptake of ICTs in all schools in the country.  Read More

Innovation Hub introduces new offices

The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) has opened two new offices to services its wider clientele base.  Read More

Orange, DRC govt sign fibre optic deal

PTTIC DRC Orange and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo have signed a deal which will see Orange take control of the country’s fibre optic platform.  Read More

NCC presents telecoms governance code

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched a Corporate Governance Code for the telecommunications industry. Read More

CBN starts bank verification number initiative

The Central Bank of Nigeria has commenced the first phase of the enrolment of bank customers under its Bank Verification Number initiative. Read More

Botswana, Germany, France in ICT/cultural exchange

The Botswana College of Open and Distance Learning (BOCODOL) is in the second year of an educational exchange that involves students from France and Germany.  Read More

Ghana launches girls’ e-learning campaign

An interactive distance-learning project — Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed) — has been launched at Prampram in the Greater Accra region. Read More

Ghana forging ahead with e-agriculture

Since launching an internet-based platform in February this year to enable agricultural experts, farmers and community members to exchange opinions and resources, the Ghana government has been forging ahead in its quest to digitise the sector. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionSage HR AfricaMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoice

FEATURED STORY

Widening ICT skills gap: Cause for concernWidening ICT skills gap: Cause for concern

Nigeria's FDI gains could be eroded by the widening gap in indigenous skilled ICT manpower, writes Kokumo Goodie.

IN DEPTH

Kenya rolls out e-extension to improve agricultureKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture

In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.

COMPANY NEWS

How the cloud can power entrepreneurship and urbanisation in Africa

Cloud computing is not only fundamentally changing the way business operates, it is also driving a new wave of job creation opportunities, says SAP Africa.