Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has today partnered with Safaricom to offer a smart mobile payment solution for students of tertiary institutions to access and utilise their loans and bursaries.
The partnership will go a long way to aid HELB to promote responsible spending as the fundswill be 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.
This means that students will be able to easily receive their upkeep funds straight to their Mpesa wallet for daily usage.
“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.
To be able to access and transfer the HELB funds, students will use the HELB USSD or the mobile app through which they will be able to see their HELB loan allocations, Current balances and even get statements.
Through the platform, students will also be able to make payments through the app.
HELB disburses over KSh 15 billion to over 200,000 beneficiaries each year. Part of the loan is usually send directly to the learning institution to settle part of the tuition and accommodation fees while the rest is sent to the student for upkeep.
READ: You Can Apply For HELB Compliance Certificate For Free Of Charge
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.
HELB also is planning on investing in artificial intelligence (AI) to serve their customers an adoption similar to Zuri from Safaricom. This will help HELB to efficiently serve more students.
Last year, HELB scraped the Ksh.1000 HELB certificate application fee that was usually imposed on non HELB beneficiaries when applying for the crucial document.
The move also comes a few days after most Universities retracted their plan to increase university fee. Most stakeholders had viewed the move us uncalled for considering the fact that HELB was not going to raise fund allocated to students.
Safaricom pioneered commercial mobile money transfer globally through M-PESA, the most successful service of its kind anywhere in the world. Launched in March 2007, M-PESA now has over 24 million active customers and over 173,000 M-PESA Agent outlets countrywide.