Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 15, 2017 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is in the process of introducing an electronic payment system across all ministries and departments, which will afford persons the opportunity to make payments online, said Attorney General and Minister of Communications, the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr, during the launch of the e-Government Mobile Applications on Wednesday, February 15.
“The Government will be working over the course of the next few months to develop a platform where you can make payments to government via your cellphone and digital devices. And so, by making a platform where the government would accept money and where the ministry of finance will give the green light for us to move forward and be able to have a secure trusted way in which citizens can pay their bills online, is something that we will be working on,” said the minister of communication. “Once that is done, it opens up ourselves to every department and every ministry to be able to have an option in addition to people coming off the street and tendering cash to be able to do so online.”
Minister Byron gave a few examples where the use of the e-payment will be applicable.
“So if for instance you want to get a passport and you make an application online, you can also pay the various charges. Right now to get a passport you have to pay EC $150 in stamps. If you want to do a search at the government high court registry you need a five dollar stamp and so a lot of areas where you need service in the government you have to go physically and pay cash or use stamps or various forms of monetary currency,” he said. “Imagine for instance if a police officer or traffic warden stops you and wants to ticket you on Fort Street, there and then you can pay for that ticket online with your cellphone.
He said that this would allow the government to be more efficient in collecting its revenue, while also giving individuals the convenience to be able to communicate and participate with the government. The communications minister spoke to the number of services that citizens can pay online through the Inland Revenue Department, but noted that such services need to be done across all ministries.
Another upcoming important feature to look for is the introduction of e-participation which would allow for citizens to communicate with the government via the internet and their digital devices. Minister Bryon said that such initiative “opens up as it was the question of our democracy of having people communicate with our ministers, to talk to and hear from ministers”.