(Photo source: Helb)
High Education Loans Board (HELB) and KCB have launched a Student Smart card aimed at improving efficiency in the loan disbursement scheme. This comes ahead of the June 2015 deadline to discard the use of Bank accounts to access the loans from the institution.
The Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled card will be on a digital wallet platform hence other than tuition fees, the card can be used to pay for meals, accommodation and pocket money. In addition, the students can access cash through KCB branches, Mtaani and MPESA agents anywhere in the country. The card will also be used as a photo card for student identification.
According to the HELB Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Charles Ringera, the Board has been unable to recall up to KShs. 11Billion over time from beneficiary students and universities with the performing loans equating to KShs. 14Billion. This effort is in line with our goal to maximize loan recovery, reduce non-performing loan, and promote access, equity and equality of opportunity for Kenyans pursuing higher education.
“The automated scheme will provide a smoother procedure in regards to student tuition fees payment process which affects all HELB loan beneficiaries and to find it easier to expand loan services to other colleges,” added Ringera. The Card will have the ability to interface with HELB, the Universities’ systems and the approved banks.
Speaking during the launch, KCB Group CEO, Mr. Joshua Oigara stated that; with the Banks’ reliable card business and countrywide reach of over 240 branches and over 10,100 agents, the Bank will be able to offer convenient means of availing the funds to the registered students in various tertiary institutions. This initiative hopes to enhance convenience, security, accessibility and efficiency as well as accountability process.
KCB Group remains on the lead to offer cashlite solutions, to be innovative and improving consumer experience journey. One of the most valuable contributions the Bank is making is formalizing the financial system. KCB is dedicated to creating pathways to financial inclusion by supporting government efforts through products, services, technology and payments and strategic partnerships.
The initiative comes when government is targeting to fully automate its services and fee collection systems by the next financial year, which starts July, this year. It is aimed to ease service delivery and seal revenue leakages.