CITIZEN-ORIENTED SERVICE FROM INNOVATIVE AZERBAIJAN: physical call – digital result: provision of tax services via 195 Call Center using Asan İmza
Being a relatively recent innovation and standing in the service of the society, the technology of mobile digital identity (Mobile-ID) pursues to facilitate interaction between the population and government institutions effectively eliminating fundamental barriers such as red tape and bribery.
Basically it is meant for easy and secure access of a certain e-service by a user simply with the use of a mobile phone, notwithstanding user’s physical location. Even though in plenty of cases the user directly interacts with the e-service, the advanced specifications of Mobile-ID technology allow certain service providers to set up an infrastructure to lead its users through the process of benefiting services without directly contacting the service itself. One of such examples is the activity of 195 Call Center operating under Ministry of Taxes of the Republic of Azerbaijan which uses this groundbreaking approach while providing some tax services to taxpayers in the country.
The efficiency of the process of tax filing can suffer from limited computer/Internet literacy of taxpayers and probability of making mistakes in this connection, occurrence of queues when submitting documents in paper and other factors, thus resulting in loss of time and appearance of certain problems.
The innovative e-service introduced by 195 Call Center with the involvement of Asan İmza (Azerbaijani Mobile-ID technology) provides an optimal solution to the abovementioned limitations. Using this service, a taxpayer, without a need to use PC/Internet, or even Smart Phone can apply to Call Center over the phone where a call center operator will ask the applicant his/her Mobile ID number and sends through the system a confirmation SMS (authentication PIN request) to that number. By authenticating SMS (entering Mobile ID authentication PIN on the mobile phone) the applicant confirms his/her identity in the system.
Then, the applicant by turn chooses the type of service (for example, declaration of taxes) and provides to the operator the data that should be entered into the system. The operator inputs the required data and then sends the user an SMS showing tax liability that will occur. After the applicant is familiarized with the content of the declaration to be signed, the call center operator finally sends via the system a PIN2 signing request to applicant’s mobile phone to sign the declaration. By signing the declaration via Asan İmza, the taxpayer confirms the transaction and thus the document is accepted in the system. Additionally, the log of the whole transaction is automatically sent to the taxpayer’s virtual cabinet in the Internet Tax Office.
Two clicks and your declaration filed just through a simple call!
Picture 1. Declaring taxes in Azerbaijan via 195 Call Center using Asan İmza (Mobile ID)
Currently, the following services are accessible to taxpayers at 195 Call Center with the use of Asan İmza: filing all types of tax declarations, registration of a physical entity with the tax authorities, application for opening a bank account for businesses. In order to use these services 195 Call Center can be reached both by mobile phone or landline, but transactions should be confirmed/signed using the mobile phone with an Asan İmza SIM-card in it.
Investigations have shown that such a unique format of rendering e-services to the community through a call center integrated with mobile identity has been first ever introduced in Azerbaijan and it has vast number of advantages. First and foremost, it is an irreplaceable tool for the people with limited financial knowledge and lacking basic computer skills who would need qualified assistance in filling in and submitting their documents. Such format of interaction between the government and citizens also enables saving budgetary resources – this way the government avoids receiving documents wrongly filled in and, thus, is free of caring about extra investments in human resources for double checking of received documents, forms etc. Here it is worth to mention that using of this method in Azerbaijan resulted in an increase of trust towards the tax authorities – businessmen witness their government serving them in a most convenient way with no additional costs at that, and helping them declaring their taxes with close collaboration with the state instead of turning to consulting companies for using their paid services.
This inimitable experience of Azerbaijan represents an extremely useful service for the countries with population having low financial/digital literacy as well as the states where people have limited or no access to the Internet/online services.
Several African states have already shown their big interest to implement Asan İmza technology to increase people’s participation in financial services and as the best tool fighting corruption and bribery in their countries.
It is important to note that this model is not intended solely for government services, but can be quickly and successfully paired up with whatever service requiring personal identification as well.