As part of deliberate efforts to change the face of service and create total customer experience in the financial services industry, Fidelity Bank has deployed a ground breaking solution for the collection of internally generated revenue (IGR) in Lagos State. Working in conjunction with the state government, Fidelity Bank 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 in making tax payments and remittances to the state government.
According to the Divisional Head, Retail Banking, Richard Madiebo, the introduction of the USSD for the payment of state taxes was an innovative step that enabled the average tax payer fulfill his or her obligations to government conveniently. “This 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,” Madiebo said, adding that tax payers could now make payment efficiently which would eventually lead to a reduction of leakages in the system for the state.
Over the years, Fidelity Bank has positioned itself as a key player in IGR across Federal and state mandates. 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 Licence, Land Registry Automation Processes and web payment platforms.
Speaking in the same vein, the bank’s Head, Enterprise Solutions, Zee Agetua expressed gratitude to the state government for the partnership, adding that Fidelity was committed to helping to improve its IGR position. “We are working to institutionalise 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,” she said.
To get started and enjoy these benefits, the Head, E-Banking, Ifeoma Onibuje explained that customers were 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,” she added.