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Printed Receipts are an Underappreciated ICT4Gov Innovation

By Wayan Vota on June 29, 2017

I often find that the overall transparency of a country can be seen in its retail transactions. The more that transactions are done using clearly marked fixed prices, usually means a greater level of price and financial transparency at all levels of society.

That’s why I’m impressed by Philippine retail transparency.

In all my travels there, the vast majority of stores had a version of the sign above in their shop showcasing their business license. Cashiers were adamant about handing out receipts, pushing them on you even if you decline them.

This tells me that:

  • Shops are expected to have set prices for everyone
  • Filipinos ask for and expect to get receipts for every purchase
  • Everyone recognizes the need for taxes to fund government services

Now this doesn’t guarantee that taxes are collected everywhere, always remitted to the government, and used efficiently. Yet receipts, especially electronically generated ones, be it from a simple cash register or a slick POS terminal, are an understated ICT4Gov innovation.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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2 Comments to “Printed Receipts are an Underappreciated ICT4Gov Innovation”

  1. James says:

    Thought provoking… I’m trying to figure out the innovation aspect though.

    • Wayan Vota says:

      Innovation doesn’t require something to be wholly new, only new to the system in question. In many countries, receipts would be innovation in transparency and government revenue efficiency. I can also make a care for receipts as a catalyst for citizen engagement, as citizens will then see their own money, in the form of taxes, at stake when they think of government accountability.