Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM)
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Knowledge Base of ICT Applications for Public Service

FRIENDS: The Online Citizen Payment
Institution: Department of Information Technology
Theme: ICT for MDGs
Implementation Date: ene 01, 2001
Summary: FRIENDS (Fast, Reliable, Instant, Efficient Network for Disbursement of Services) centres offer a one-stop, front-end, IT-enabled payment counter facility to citizens to make all kinds of government payments in the state of Kerala in South India. The payments that citizens can make at the counters include utility payments for electricity and water, revenue taxes, license fees, motor vehicle taxes, university fees, etc. One important feature is a provision for adding more modules and a queue management system. Client/server architecture, consisting of a network of one powerful server and 10 to 20 normal PCs, is used in each centre.
Impact: It has been calculated that, with FRIENDS, citizens need to spend an average of only 35% of the cost involved in making separate payments at department counters. By saving on travel costs, costs of using agents, and related costs, citizens using FRIENDS centres therefore make an average monthly saving of about US$1 per citizen.
The level of satisfaction could be gauged from the fact that 97.4 % of users prefer FRIENDS to department counters according to surveys undertaken. The increased participation of women customers is also a positive contribution.
Source: egov4dev.org
Project Home URL: http://www.friendscentre.net

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