In Senegal, according to the GSMA, up to 70% of local taxes go uncollected due to fraud and lack of transparency at different stages of the collection process. This missed incoming revenue negatively impacts the ability of municipalities to provide infrastructure and services such as healthcare, schools, and roads.
Samba Sow, a digital financial services expert, decided to address this problem head-on through the creation of SudPay, a digital platform that offers tax collection for local authorities, in addition to social protection payments. Its digital platforms make it easy for municipalities to collect taxes easily and securely, and provide an entry point into digital financial services for individuals and businesses.
During the UNSGSA’s visit to Senegal, she met with Mr. Sow, who explained that SudPay has not only helped municipalities increase their revenues but is also moving into digital social transfers, to help people receive government benefits more efficiently.
“Digitizing tax collection supports local economic development and provides a gateway to financial inclusion for small entrepreneurs. My objective in the coming years is to increase use cases supported by SudPay, notably in the areas of social protection. I also hope to support SME merchants in their journeys to digitize, and through the platform, offer savings and credit services through links with microfinance institutions,” said Mr. Sow.
The Special Advocate also met with Cheikh Aliou Beye, the mayor of Diameguene Sicap Mbaeo, a town of about 130,000. Mr. Beye was enthusiastic about SudPay, telling Queen Máxima that it has increased the amount of money they are able to collect for public services.
“Sudpay helps us collect taxes more efficiently and transparently, supporting fiscal sustainability. The platform provides an entry point to access a broader range of financial solutions, thus supporting the resilience of households and small businesses,” he said.
SudPay has also had benefits for the MSME owners who use it. Maryama Samassa Koma, proprietor of a workshop that makes clothing for African women living in Europe, has used SudPay to pay her taxes.
“SudPay has saved me time and made paying taxes more transparent. Looking ahead, I would like to use fintech platforms such as SudPay to access digital savings and credit products, as well as sell products in online marketplaces, such as those found in France and the United States,” she said. “This will help me grow my business and promote quality employment, and provide an alternative to migrating abroad to find work.”
As more people in Senegal and throughout Africa use mobile phones, tools like SudPay will be critical in helping local governments offer digital services, and connecting individuals with the financial services that can improve their lives.
 Data source: GSMA Mobile for Development - SudPay: https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/digital-grantees-portfolio/sudpay/