Need to 'faciliate' payments for online public services
VCN- The implementation of payments for online public services for enterprises has initially achieved positive results. However, there are still many bottlenecks that need to be removed to increase convenience and efficiency and attract more people to participate in the services.
One of the biggest difficulties in deploying e-payments in the public sector is the lack of a consistent
standard among agencies and related organizations. Photo: N.H.
From 2006, the Ministry of Finance has implemented a project to modernize the process of collecting and paying taxes among the Taxation, State Treasury, Customs and Finance agencies (under Decision No. 3414 / QD-BTC issued by the Minister of Finance). Accordingly, the tax collection information system is synchronized among the General Department of Taxation, the State Treasury, the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the commercial banks where the State Treasury opens the accounts. Then, from 2014, the General Department of Taxation has begun implementing payments for online public services for businesses, initially with 4 banks, and till now, there has been 43 commercial banks participating.
According to statistics of the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS), till March 2017, payments of electronic tax services for enterprises had been deployed in 63 of 63 provinces and cities. The number of enterprises registering to use the services of the tax authorities was 560,517 out of 571,437 active enterprises, accounting for 98%. In 2016, the total amount of enterprises paying electronic taxes to the budget through the General Department of Taxation’s electronic payment gateway was more than 476,696 billion vnd. Electronic tax payment services have contributed to saving time and resources of enterprises for tax payment, limiting errors, which has been appreciated by the public.
However, the application and payments of electronic tax have been only applied mainly in enterprises. Individuals and business households accounting for a large portion of taxpayers in Vietnam have not access to this service. Although from the end of 2015, the General Department of Taxation has the policy of deploying electronic tax payment services for individuals, but only in some tax forms such as car registration, motorbikes, land and houses; property transfer tax. Meanwhile, administrative units, schools, hospitals and especially more than 1.5 million individual business households and millions of people paying income taxes have not been really involved in the electronic tax declaration and payment process.
According to experts, one of the biggest difficulties in deploying e-payments in the public sector is the lack of a consistent standard among agencies and related organizations. Specifically, the database system of tax authorities and Customs is often dispersed, so the both parties often spend more time to deploy payment services with units in the banking industry. Even for e-tax services, banks have had to modify the system by adding a lot of unique tax information fields to each new tax. This makes the payment of public services very complex and costs time much but the effect is quite limited.
In addition, because the fields have not unified an implementation point, a public service unit can connect with many banks as well as a bank can connect to many public units for the same service. For example, the General Department of Taxation now has to maintain connectivity with 43 banks to deploy the service or a bank that can connect to some provincial tax/customs units. When upgrading, revising or implementing new taxes, the General Department of Taxation should inform all banks, consuming a lot of social resources as well as extending the time to market services. Likewise, the General Department of Taxation must discuss and work with a number of professional technical points to support the operation of the services as well as supporting the taxpayers.
The “key” of focal payment
From the above information, experts said that in order to “facilitate” public service payments for all commercial banks, it is important to centralize their payment solutions through some intermediaries. These units will undertake the development of payment channels, connecting with commercial banks where people and enterprises open accounts. These payments will also make technical connections to commercial banks, assist in checking and checking operations to ensure that people’s obligations recorded accurately and in a timely manner. The connection with a number of payment intermediaries will also help public service delivery organizations work with certain points, resulting in cost savings in social networking resources and maintenance of service operation resources.
For example, for electronic tax payments, the implementation of tax payments through payment intermediaries will ensure the accuracy of the data on tax liabilities and taxable value before the parties carry out payment and settlement. Therefore, the tax obligations of taxpayers are also reflected and recorded accurately. Thanks to the technical connection among the intermediaries and banks, the core banking system in particular and other banking systems do not have to be adjusted much. Therefore, deployment time is shortened and quick.
In addition, according to Mr. Pham Tien Dung, the chairman of NAPAS, in the world, the demand for speeding transactions with real-time payment transactions is increasing. A number of countries in the world have implemented real-time payment processing systems such as Japan, Chile, South Africa, Brazil, Iceland, Korea, Mexico … In Korea, real-time payment accounts for over 60% of retail payment transactions. This enables the transaction to be conducted quickly, attracting people to use electronic payment services, contributing to speeding up the currency circulation in the economy. When applying to online public service payments, real-time payments will increase the rate of state budget revenue, increasing the efficiency of the use of State funds for revenues and expenditure activities. Also, rapid transaction execution and instantaneous results will save time and money for the people and the Government.
In addition, the diversification of payment channels, payment facilities and the combination of various utility services will also help popularize electronic payment methods for people, including people in rural areas and remote areas. Typically in Ho Chi Minh City, the State Treasury began to collect taxes by POS. Taxpayers with debit cards from any bank can use them at POS at the Treasury to pay their taxes without charges. Some small traders in Ben Thanh market have paid personal income tax through this service in just a few minutes and have been very satisfied with the service. People can also pay other fees such as paying for traffic violations through POS.