As part of deliberate efforts to change the method of service delivery and create total customer experience in the financial services industry, Fidelity Bank has deployed an innovative solution for the collection of internally generated revenue (IGR) in Lagos State.
The Bank, working in collaboration with the state government, developed the tax collection/payment solution via its Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) channel (*770#). The solution, which is first of its kind in the industry, is in response to some of the challenges faced by taxpayers in making tax payments and remittances to Lagos State Government.
Speaking on the initiative of the bank, the Divisional Head, Retail Banking, Richard Madiebo, said that the introduction of the USSD for the payment of State taxes remained an innovative step that enables the average tax payer fulfill his or her obligations to government conveniently.
Madiebo explained that the new payment option “is borne largely from our desire to always provide easy and convenient payment channels to the semi-formal and informal tax markets in Nigeria”, adding that tax payers can now make payment efficiently and this would eventually lead to a reduction of leakages in the system for the State.
It would be recalled that Fidelity Bank has, over the years, positioned itself as a key player in Nigeria’s IGRs at national and sub-national levels. For instance, the Bank successfully deployed easy and convenient payment solutions in Anambra, Abia, Imo, Kano and Sokoto Sates through Point of Sale (PoS) Terminal Tax Collections, Automated Electronic Motor Vehicle License, Land Registry Automation Processes and web payment platforms.
In her remarks, the Bank’s Head, Enterprise Solutions, Zee Agetua, commended the State Government for the partnership, adding that Fidelity is committed to helping to improve its IGR position.
“We are working to institutionalize a robust and efficient revenue collections and payments culture through our partnerships with State Government agencies and departments through the years. This is borne out of our conviction that the revenue collections market has indeed huge potentials with increased digitization”, Agetua said.
To get started and enjoy these benefits, the Head , E-Banking, Fidelity Bank, Ifeoma Onibuje, explained that customers were simply expected to complete account opening and registration process by simply dialing *770# on the phone linked to their account, choose the tax payment option and conclude their transactions.
In addition to this, all registered users can easily transfer and withdraw funds, buy airtime as well as pay utility bills.
“User safety is also key to Fidelity Bank. We have incorporated an ‘instant blocking’ feature to the platform such that a customer who feels that his or her code has been compromised can disable the service immediately using any other phone”, Agetua added.