Absa Bank Kenya PLC has inked a deal with Interswitch, an electronic payments and infrastructure company, to provide financial and technical assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for them to acquire the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Online Tax Invoice Management System (TIMS) device.
Last year, KRA implemented the Electronic Tax Invoice requirements, which will replace the current Offline ETR machines. As a result, all VAT-registered businesses are expected to comply with the VAT (Electronic Tax Invoice) Regulations, 2020 regarding the implementation of the electronic tax invoice by November 30, 2022.
According to KRA, TIMS allows for real-time validation and authentication of tax invoices. Kenya currently has an estimated 600,000 VAT payers.
Absa Bank Kenya PLC’s Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna said the partnership supports the government’s agenda to increase revenue collections while also enabling SMEs customers to comply with the KRA requirements without putting a strain on their cash flows, given the difficult operating environment.
“We fully understand the difficult times that our SME customers are facing due to the challenging operating landscape, and as their partner for growth, we are committed to continuing to walk the journey with them during this tough phase as the economy begins to recover from the pandemic’s impact and the general slowdown in the macroeconomic circumstances,” Wasunna said.
As part of the partnership, Interswitch will supply the devices and provide any requisite technical support to customers who will acquire the devices.
Daniel Kiriungi from Interswitch hailed Absa for coming out strongly to support businesses to thrive by giving them the necessary support for compliance purposes.
“Our purpose as Interswitch is to Inspire Africa to Greatness through Innovation, Value Creation and Excellence. We believe there is no way businesses can achieve their potential without complying with the necessary regulatory requirements of the land. This partnership thus is in line with our clear goal of empowering businesses to grow to their level best and it’s such a convergence of our purpose to that of Absa of ‘Bringing Possibilities to Life’,” Daniel said.
He said the partnership will make it easier for Absa ‘VATable’ businesses to achieve their aspirations.
“We also express our gratitude to our manufacturers – Total Solution Ltd- who have developed the high-quality TIMS machines that are fit for purpose,” Kiriungi said.
“Beyond financial solutions, we have adopted a holistic approach to SME empowerment where business owners are trained on business sustainability, funding, book-keeping and networking so as to ensure they become bankable. We are also committed to continuing supporting our SME customers with business insights, networks, and expertise to transform their businesses,” Wasunna added.