Vodacom’s money, m-pesa, links up with Eduloan

Vodacom together with Eduloan, a leading education finance and bursary administration provider is giving students the ability to pay for educational and daily expenses from their bursary cash stipends, by using m-pesa’s mobile wallet.

In the pilot phase, Eduloan bursary students will get their cash allowance deposited into their m-pesa mobile wallet. This will enable them to pay for some of their daily expenses using m-pesa. The plan is to migrate cash stipend students to the m-pesa platform during the month of October 2014.

Eduloan’s existing electronic bursary disbursement system – which is currently enabled by smart card technology – has seen increasing student numbers, as well as an expansion across the various geographical areas, as more institutions and corporates entrust the organisation to manage their bursary funds.

Herman Singh, Vodacom’s Managing Executive: mCommerce, said: “Vodacom’s strategy with m-pesa is predicated on strategic partnerships and alliances. The Eduloan venture is a logical alliance as it brings together the fastest growing mobile payment instrument in the country with one of the largest players in the student payment, benefit and loan industry.”

“The strategic fit is excellent as it draws on the relative strengths of both firms. It allows Vodacom m-pesa to enter the new and exciting market on campus and in schools, and allows Eduloan to migrate to a lower-cost and more feature-rich platform than it would be able to execute on its own. This gives Eduloan the benefit of lower risks as well as improved customer satisfaction,” adds Singh.

The process is simple. Students can open an m-pesa account by dialling *111# and follow the prompts. Eduloan will then deposit allowances or stipends funds directly into the students’ m-pesa account. This gives students access to a safe payment service to make cash deposits, do person-to-person transfers and make purchases using any POS device. m-pesa includes an optional Visa card, meaning that mobile money can be used by students to pay for purchases at any store that accepts card payments. Other new uses of m-pesa include the ability to deposit and withdraw cash at 27,000 ATMs and over 240,000 merchant outlets in South Africa. In the near future it will also be possible to purchase prepaid electricity using m-pesa.

Charlotte Smit, Eduloan’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, says: “Key to Eduloan’s positioning is to ensure convenience and accessibility. This does not only come in the form of affordability of loans, but very much so in terms of access to and fulfilment of funds for students – whether this is in the form of a loan, bursary or cash.’’

This piece was lifted from Tech Financials


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