Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has today partnered with the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to roll out a smart mobile payment solution for students of tertiary institutions to access and utilise their loans and bursaries.
The solution will aid HELB to promote responsible spending with the funds locked for specific allocations, such as tuition or library fees only accessible to the specific Paybill account of the recipient’s University or TVET institution. The students upkeep allowance can now also be transferred into the student’s M-PESA wallet for everyday use.
“Technology today is not only revolutionizing every aspect of our lives but also creating opportunities to enhance efficiency and accountability. We are pleased to support the Higher Education Loans Board to deploy a solution that suits the digital lifestyle of students in tertiary institutions,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom.
Students can access the system through HELB USSD and the mobile app once completed from where they will view their loan allocations, current balances, statements and make payments.
HELB disburses over KSh 15 billion to over 200,000 beneficiaries annually. Part of the loan is usually channelled directly to the learning institution to settle part of the tuition and accommodation fees while the rest is sent to the student for upkeep.
The solution will create efficiencies for all stakeholders by reducing queues during registration as students can now pay through their mobile phones. There will be effective management and monitoring of all loans throughout the loan lifecycle.
“The rollout of this smart solution marks a major milestone in our digitisation journey. It not only enhances efficiency in our operations but also enables us to step up the experience of beneficiaries, who are digital natives. The solution will allow the student to access and make transactions within the solution’s ecosystem,” said Charles Ringera, HELB’s Chief Executive Officer.
The platform grants HELB visibility of funds from various sources, which it can aggregate, reconcile real-time and report to its financiers. Continuing students can receive notifications and utilise a financial planning tool on the portal; while those who have graduated can track their repayments and generate statements.