If you live in Kenya, you probably know Safaricom as the leading mobile network operator and provider of M-PESA, the popular mobile money service. You might also know eCitizen, the one-stop-shop for all your government services. But did you know that Safaricom also offers a range of digital solutions for county governments and citizens?
In this blog post, I will review Safaricom MyCounty, a new platform that enables all 47 counties in Kenya to digitize all their services in one place, providing a single, citizen access channel. I will also share my experience of using the app as a resident of Nakuru County, one of the counties that have integrated with Safaricom MyCounty.
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What is Safaricom MyCounty?
Safaricom MyCounty is a platform that allows users to access and pay for county services, such as parking fees, land rates, business permits, market cess, utility bills, and more. The platform also includes revenue management systems, a citizen reporting and engagement tool, and solutions around agriculture, health, and SME programs.
Safaricom MyCounty is available as a smartphone app (Android and iOS), a web portal, and a USSD short code. Users can also access county services and payments through a mini-app on the M-PESA Super App.
Safaricom launched MyCounty in April 2023, with Makueni County as the first county to integrate with the platform. Since then, more counties have joined the platform, including Nakuru County, which I will focus on in this review.
How to use Safaricom MyCounty?
To use Safaricom MyCounty, you need to download the app from Google Play Store or App Store, or visit the web portal at www.mycounty.co.ke. You can also dial *888# from your Safaricom line to access the USSD menu.
Once you open the app or the web portal, you will be asked to select your county of residence. This will link you to the specific county’s services for processing of requests. You can also access services from other counties by selecting them from the menu.
For example, if you select Nakuru County as your county of residence, you will see the following services available:
- Parking fees
- Single business permit
- Land rates
- Property rates
- Market cess
- Utility bills
- Health services
- Agriculture services
- SME programs
- Sema na Governor (Speak to Governor)
- Emergency services
To pay for any of these services, you need to enter the required details, such as vehicle registration number, plot number, business name, etc. You will then be prompted to confirm the amount and pay using M-PESA. You will receive a confirmation message and a receipt for your payment.
To report an issue or engage with your governor, you can use the Sema na Governor feature. This allows you to send a message or voice note to your governor or county officials. You can also listen to online radio channels that broadcast county news and updates.
To request for emergency services, such as fire brigade, ambulance, police, etc., you can use the Emergency Services feature. This allows you to tap a button and call the relevant service provider directly from the app.
What are the benefits of Safaricom MyCounty?
Safaricom MyCounty offers several benefits for both county governments and citizens. Some of these benefits are:
- Convenience: Users can access and pay for county services anytime and anywhere using their smartphones or feature phones. They do not have to visit county offices or queue for manual payments.
- Transparency: Users can track their payments and receipts using the app or the web portal. They can also report any issues or complaints using the Sema na Governor feature.
- Efficiency: County governments can improve their revenue collection and management using the platform. They can also monitor their service delivery and performance using analytics and reports.
- Innovation: County governments can leverage Safaricom’s expertise and infrastructure to offer digital solutions for various sectors, such as agriculture, health, and SMEs.
My experience of using Safaricom MyCounty
As a resident of Nakuru County, I have used Safaricom MyCounty several times to pay parking fees and utility bills. I used the mini app inside the M-PESA app to do this and it is pretty straightforward.
The payment process is fast and secure. The receipt is sent instantly to my email address and you also receive an SMS with the same.
As mentioned, Makueni County is the first county to integrate into myCounty with plans to gradually include all 47 counties in the coming months. This digitization push is bound to ease the lives of Kenyans, making them more accessible and to even boosting accountability.