Absa Bank Kenya PLC has partnered with Interswitch, an electronic payments and infrastructure company, to provide financial assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to enable 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. Against this backdrop, 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. As part of the partnership, Interswitch will supply the devices and provide any requisite technical support to customers who will acquire the devices.

Absa Bank Kenya PLC’s Business Banking Director Elizabeth Wasunna said, “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.”

Daniel Kiriungi from Interswitch, had this to say, “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’.

Along with this partnership, and as a further demonstration of Absa’s commitment to the SME sector, the bank has spent the last two weeks meeting with its SME customers across the country to listen and learn from them about how it can help them reposition for recovery and growth. Some of the places toured include Kisumu, Kisii, Bungoma, Kitale, Eldoret and the Coastal region.