HELB, Safaricom ink deal for student loans’ payment solution
Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has partnered with Safaricom to offer a solution for student loans at the tertiary level.
The inked deal 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 Pay bill account of the recipient’s University or TVET institution.
“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.
The students’ upkeep allowance will also be transferred into the student’s M-PESA wallet for everyday use.
A USSD code will be availed to successfull loan applicants who will use it to view their loan allocations, current balances, statements and make payments.
Continuing students can receive notifications and utilize a financial planning tool on the portal; while those who have graduated can track their repayments and generate statements.
HELB disburses over KSh. 15 billion to over Ksh.200,000 beneficiaries annually. Part of the loan is usually channeled 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 deal between the two will see a quickened registration process for loan application which will now be done via a mobile phone.
“The rollout of this smart solution marks a major milestone in our digitization 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.