Students in higher learning institutions will now be able to receive their HELB loan disbursements on MPESA, this is after Safaricom teamed up with the student loans body to launch Smart Mobile Payment Solution. The facility is set to allow students receive their bursary and HELB allocations in a special MPESA wallet that can only be paid to specific Paybill numbers as a way of avoiding misuse.
The new service is definitely going to impact how students receive their allocations and how they ultimately spend the amount. According to Safaricom, Smart Mobile Payment solution for HELB loan allocations is going to encourage responsible spending with funds limited to certain items such as tuition or library fees. Additionally, the amount awarded as loan can only be utilized on specific accounts for which the student applied for a loan, such as University or TVET institution. The amount set aside for upkeep can be transferred to the student’s MPESA account for everyday use.
Speaking on the new service, Safaricom’s Chief Financial Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit acknowledged how technology has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives including availing opportunities that enhance efficiency. Stoyo continued saying the telco was pleased to support Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) in deploying a service that meets the digital lifestyle of students in tertiary institutions.
How students can access Smart Mobile Payment Solution
Learners can access the facility through HELB USSD code: *642# as well as on the mobile app. This will enable them view current balances, allocations, statements as well as make necessary payments. HELB is tasked with allocating loans to needy students across the country every year. Its estimated that close to Ksh 15 billion is allocated to more than 200,000 needy students every year. Under the arrangement, the allocation is usually channeled direct to the learning institutions except for some amount set aside for upkeep.
The new service comes with several benefits including avoiding queues the are frequent during registrations, since learners can pay through their mobile phones. Additionally, there will be effective management and monitoring of all loans throughout the loan lifecycle. While speaking on the launch, HELB chief executive officer Charles Ringera said the launch of the smart solution represented a major milestone in the body’s digitization efforts. He further said the solution enhances efficiency in its operations. Ringera concluded by noting the service will enable students to make transactions within the ecosystem, and suits most students who are now regarded to be digital natives.