School fees payments digitalized
As the cash situation in the country remains constrained, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe continues to innovate around digitizing all their transactions. School fees season has inspired the bank to add 60 more schools to the already existing 69 schools on their mobile banking platform, an initiative which has been running since September 2017.
Most parents previously relied on cash payments for school fees, however with the prevailing shortages other options such as RTGS and POS are becoming more popular. Stanbic Bank’s digital school fees payments and collections solution is aimed at easing the time-consuming and costly process of lining up in banking halls to pay fees.
Patson Mahatchi who is the head of personal and business banking explained how the bank’s partnership with various early learning, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions is set to benefit customers and the various schools on their mobile banking platform.
“The foundation of this initiative is the relationships we have with different educational institutions which we have leveraged to benefit our personal customers when it comes to payment of tuition, and the schools are guaranteed of a systematic collections strategy”, said Mahatchi.
The school fees payment transactions on this platform are priced at a cost that is 87.5% cheaper than that of making an RTGS and the school fees are collected at no charge to the school.
“Our aim is to simplify banking and our pricing on this specific set of transactions is sensitive to a lot of factors for both the customer and the school. For example, when the customer makes the payment from wherever they are in the country, both the school and the parent get the benefit of being immediately notified by a system alert and SMS respectively. Once the school receives the notification, they are able to print a receipt for the student off the system. In addition, the system allows for automated reconciliations of collections which helps eliminate forgeries and reduce wasteful administrative costs such as paperwork. The school is able to extract various forms of reports on the fees collected and the system also tackles the challenge of reconciliations for the school as each payment bears sufficient student details.” explained Mahatchi.
Financial institutions have been working on digital solutions to ensure that their customers can always access their money following the cash crisis which has been distressing the country for almost two years now.