MUSCAT, DEC 29 – All the fees for government services will be collected electronically starting from January 1, 2020. This follows a directive from the Ministry of Finance that all government agencies in Oman accept only electronic payments for their services and products they provide to citizens and residents. In a statement, the Ministry of Finance, said, “Starting on January 1, 2020, all the ministries and government entities should collect payments only through an electronic system and stop collecting payment in any other form.” According to the statement, the government will bear the one-per cent commission of the fee paid to the banks and would not pass the same to the users.
While urging for strict adherence to the directive, the statement said, “It is to safeguard the interest of the general public.” The directive is issued with reference to earlier circulars issued by the Ministry of Finance with regard to the use of the electronic payment gateway in receiving payments through the commercial banks in the Sultanate. “With e-payments government will be able to save on the operational costs of online transactions. Currently, the one-per cent commission, which does not exceed RO 5, is already enforced by some government agencies that use the electronic payment for collection of fees,” the statement said.
Payment gateway The e-payment system is increasingly becoming the usual way to collect bills or fees on behalf of any organisation. The National e-Payment Gateway provides an operational component of the e-Governance infrastructure and full e-commerce facilities that allow secure online payments (e-payments). The e-Payment Gateway supports multiple acquiring banks and operates as a critical shared service within the e-Governance architecture masterplan in Oman. A part of the efforts to promote e-Governance, the Ministry of Health (MoH) implemented cashless transactions at public healthcare systems in 2017.