The events of the past eighteen months have cast a spotlight on the ability of states to support vulnerable citizens during times of crisis.
In Kenya, the official state agency responsible for social security chose SAP to support its growth, enable the expansion of its services to a greater share of the population, maintain the highest standards of quality controls across its operations and enable new customer-centric innovation.
According to the National Social Security Fund of Kenya CEO Dr. Anthony Omerikwa, the lack of integration due to disparate systems across its 61 physical locations created internal challenges. “Initially, each of our 61 branches had their own system, with no integration between departments. We chose to implement an ERP system to bring consistency across all our operations and support our growth as we expand access to our services to a greater share of the population. In light of the challenges created by the pandemic, we also introduced new mobile money payment options to reduce customer travel to banks.”
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is a Kenyan government agency that is responsible for the collection, safekeeping, responsible investment and payment of retirement benefits members/employees in both the formal and informal sectors of the Kenyan economy. The NSSF guarantees its members basic compensation in the case of permanent disability, basic assistance to needy dependants in case of death, and a monthly life pension upon retirement.
Following an external review conducted by KPMG and commissioned by the NSSF board, a number of gaps were revealed in the organisation’s audit controls. “As a vital part of Kenya’s social security for both the formal and informal sectors, we needed to improve our governance, risk and compliance controls across our growing membership base and expanding national footprint. We opted for an SAP deployment as it would be an extension of our existing system.”
The NSSF currently serves five million members and receives KES15-billion in annual collections. The organisation had implemented an SAP enterprise resource planning solution between 2012 and 2013, which included SAP financial modules, supply chain modules, human capital management and payroll modules as well as integration to the broader state social security system.
Following the latest ERP implementation, the NSSF has gained real-time reporting capabilities across the organisation, with improved risk controls and greater alignment with its broader enterprise risk strategy. “We have also improved our ability to detect and prevent anomalies to reduce risk and prevent losses. Our overall financial performance has improved and our board audit committee has real-time access to the total performance of the organisation across all our operations.”
In 2020, the organisation partnered with Safaricom and Kenya Commercial Bank to enable customers on the NSSF Tenant Purchase Scheme (TPS) to make rent and service charge payments through M-PESA. “With this cashless payment solution, members no longer have to travel or queue at banks to make payments, reducing their health risks and delivering greater convenience to our customers.”
According to Dr. Omerikwa, the NSSF Strategic Plan required greater alignment with business operations to ensure ease of doing business with all stakeholders. “The new TPS payment process has reduced traffic into banking halls and NSSF offices, increased service efficiency and customer convenience, reduced turnaround time on service delivery and lowered our operational costs. In addition to payments, the service integration also provides NSSF with the functionality to reconcile tenant accounts and generate reports and statements. Overall it has been a hugely successful project that has enabled us to better serve our customers and meet our important mandate.”
Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director for Central Africa at SAP, says the NSSF’s use of technology to improve the delivery of services to citizens bodes well for the organisation’s growth ambitions. “By putting technology at the core of its operations and leveraging the latest solutions to improve quality controls, the NSSF is well on its way to building intelligent enterprise capabilities that will support the delivery of essential services to Kenya’s formal and informal sector for the benefit of all its citizens.”