Safaricom has launched a partnership with the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) that will see them roll out a smart mobile payment system for students in tertiary institutions to get and use their loans and bursaries.
The mobile solution will enable HELB to foster responsible spending with the funds locked and availed to the student beneficiary for the specific Paybill account of their University or TVET institution.
A student’s allowance for upkeep will be transferred into their M-Pesa wallet for use each day.
“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, Safaricom Chief Financial Services Officer.
Students will be able to access the new system via HELB USSD code and the mobile app once it is completed, and from where they will be able to view their loan allocations, balances, statements and make payments.
HELB disburses over Sh15 billion to more than 200,000 beneficiaries each year and part of the loan is normally channelled directly to learning institutions to settle part of the tuition and accommodation fees and the rest sent to the student for upkeep.
The solution launched on Tuesday is expected to make the loan disbursement process more efficient for all parties involved by reducing the logjams during registration given students can now pay via their mobile phones.
The board has promised effective management and monitoring of all such loans during 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,” said HELB CEO Charles Ringera.
The platform allows HELB to trace funds from various sources, which it then aggregates, reconciles real-time and reports to its funders.
This will allow continuing students to receive notifications and use a financial planning tool on the portal while those who have already graduated can be able to track their repayments and generate statements.