Govt signs contract with Kanoo for e-payment system in family courts

The government yesterday signed a three-year contract with Kanoo Pays to implement an e-payment system within the family courts.

Chief Justice Brian Moree said the government would pay $25,000 annually for two of the three years.

“This new software will provide an electronic platform for making and receiving payments in the family court pursuant to orders by the magistrate,” he said.

“The use of the service platform will be voluntary and certain transactions will attract a modest user fee, which you will hear more about shortly. The benefits for the court users will include the following: more convenient for users in that they will not have to visit the Magistrates Court Complex to either make a payment or receive a payment.

“The transactions will be carried out on mobile devices anywhere where the payer or the payees happens to be. Secondly, the new system, which we call CAPS, standing for Court Automated Payment System, will allow us to do much faster processing of transactions, thereby giving the recipient almost immediate access to the funds.

“Thirdly, there will be almost immediate notification of payments. Fourthly, the users — either the paying party or the receiving party — will not have a bank account to use CAPS. And fifthly, CAPS will provide a much better record-keeping process for those persons to check on what payments are being made, which are delinquent and what has been received.”

Kanoo Pays CEO Keith Davies said the system is designed to allow electronic receipt and delivery of payments required by a court order.

“For persons receiving payments, what this means is that any person who files an action in the Magistrates Court, family court division, can choose to receive their payments either as they currently do — to their bank account via direct deposit — or they can choose to receive their payments instantaneously utilizing Kanoo’s digital wallet, which resides on their cellphone without the need for opening and maintaining a bank account,” Davies said.

“Once funds are received on an individual’s cellphone, they can choose to either keep the cash on their cellphone or use it to pay for goods and services at any authorized Kanoo merchant.”

He said individuals would be able to withdraw cash at any of the more than 37 agent locations throughout New Providence, Grand Bahama, Exuma, Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Abaco, and Long Island.

Davies said fees would range between $1 and $2.50 excluding value-added tax “for making and withdrawing cash payments respectively.”

“Additionally, individuals who have Kanoo wallets may incur additional fees if they load their wallets using a number of different deposit methods, and that will depend on what they choose to use,” he said.

“I wish to point out, however, that individuals [who] receive digital cash payments on their cellphone will incur no charges when using the Kanoo app.”

The chief justice said the government is “focused” on rolling out the system in the family court first “because that was really one of our largest problems.”

“As you have heard from the permanent secretary, there have been issues with regard to processing these payments in the family court,” Moree said.

“I’m pleased that we have with us today the magistrate in the family court, Magistrate Sandra Dee-Gardiner, and we also have, as the registrar indicated, the chief magistrate. They have been on the front line in trying to manage the volume and the difficulties with processing all these payments to ensure that persons get their money in time or within a responsible period of time.

“So, it was a major fraction point for us in the Magistrates Court. So, we thought we would start there because it was the biggest problem, and it also affected hundreds and hundreds literally and possibly, Magistrate Gardiner, even thousands of people.

“So, clearly, it was crying out for a technological solution, and so that’s where we started.”

He said he believes it will “benefit literally” hundreds of Bahamians.

By: Jasper Ward

via the Nassau Guardian

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