New Digital ‘SellPay’ App Launched In Gbarnga -To Enhance Tax Payment, Other Services

MONROVIA – Using the Sellpay Money Application, the City of Gbarnga, Bong County stands out to be the first Liberian city to digitize Municipal payment services to enable city dwellers pay municipal taxes, fees, Fines, Permit , etc. via Mobile Money.

The Sellpay Mobile App was developed by a team of Liberians with a float mechanism to digitize Payment to Government, P2G within the informal Sector.

The App is also intended to enable MTN and Orange users within both local government and the informal sector to opt for more services beyond P2P, person to person, and strengthen digital payment in P2G, person to government.

Users can be registered at the city municipal level in local government and pay their Fees, Fines, Permit and tax via MMP2G.

A press release issued states that SellPay is an eCommerce and Mobile Money Platform. The App Mobile was designed to offer low-income households, informal sector, unbanked population of Liberia access to transformative, low-cost, Digital Financial Services (DFS) such an insurTech, mHealth, P2G, Credit Ratings that remains highly liquid, which may become tradable over to the main market.

It is an eCommerce service module emerged from the 2018 Liberia Rapid eTrade Readiness Assessment of Liberia, sponsored by UNCTAD, United Nation Conference on Trade and Development. The Sellpay eCommerce App is a focus to abridge the Liberia eCommerce gap with B2B, B2C especially.

The release said a pilot bond issue was launched in September 2021, with a larger follow up to be launched in December 2022.  Data from the pilot shows that 1000 businesses at the local government level had being digitized, to meet up with mobile money payment services for Municipal Fees, Fines, Permit, Tax, etc.  by SellPay Inc.

By December 2022, such data will be reuse to provide Insurance services, where city dwellers can use their mobile money to buy Insurance premium for their family opting for health care services.

“Using mobile money instead of cash for P2G and B2G has the potential to reduce fraud and increase transparency and revenues for tax authorities. The ability for an official to demand a payment and to dictate that such a transaction takes place in cash, opens a space for corruption and decreases the likelihood of the official being identified or prosecuted,” the release said.

Similarly, in countries where mobile penetration is high, mobile money enables tax authorities to reach many citizens and businesses, and reduces tax avoidance.

For citizens and businesses, mobile money offers a convenient and simplified way of paying taxes by reducing the administrative burden and by allowing remote payments, according to the release which also stated that mobile it allows money providers further expansion of the digital financial ecosystem, and potentially offer revenue growth, and equip customers with the ability to make P2G and B2G transactions via platforms.

The release further said Mauritius reported a 12% increase in tax revenues in the year after mobile payment facilities were adopted, and in Tanzania, adoption of mobile money tax payments has resulted in less tax avoidance, with users who had no history of paying taxes starting to pay property and personal income taxes for the first time.

“We are grateful for such a state of the art project for the City of Gbarnga,” THE Sellpay Group said, and expressed gratitude also to the Lord Mayor, City Council Chair, County Stakeholders, LBDI for affiliating with the project for new account KYC onboarding.

They also thanked the MTN to allow us reuse third party KYC in scaling up Revenue Mobilization, and to do collection and payment in support of local government sustainable efforts.

“In recent months, we have been hearing a lot about P2G (people to government) and B2G (business to government) payments from mobile money providers interested in moving into this space,” the release said, noting that this is the first of its kind to have digital payment services at the local government level which opportunity the group indicated remains open for other cities, township to follow suit.

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