COVID19 has disrupted ways of doing business across the world, and by the same standard, schools have been affected by low student turn-ups and most of all limited ways for a parent to pay School Fees. Now, with MTN Mobile Money, School fees payments have been made easier in Uganda as most parents appreciate the comfort of dialling a single MTN shortcode to pay school fees without risking to visit a bank for payments.
According to MTN Uganda’s general manager mobile financial services, mobile money provides sophisticated and secure payment solutions for educational institutions to collect and manage fees transactions. Also, parents, guardians and students benefit from the convenience of paying their school dues from any location in real-time.
“Our MTN Mobile Money platform is designed in such a way that parents and guardians can pay school fees for their children safely and securely without having to leave their homes, work places or offices. It also limits the exchange of currency notes which elevates our endeavors against the covid-19 pandemic,”Said Mutana
Although this innovation has been around for a while now, this covid-19 crisis makes it even more useful as it limits human contact which remains key in the fight against covid-19.
Jacinta Mukebezi who has been working from home since last year was impressed at how seamlessly she paid her son’s school fees last week as schools reopened their doors for Primary Four and Five pupils.
“I was worried of having to drive all the way to the bank, queue in the line yet I had a busy week. I simply called the school for my son’s student code and in a matter of minutes, I had paid his school fees without having to leave my house or drive to the bank,” Said Mukebezi
Like Mukebezi, many parents encounter several inconveniences to their schedules while paying school fees for their children. Other parents have to commute miles to the nearest bank, thereby foregoing a great portion of their daily commitments for the day which in turn impacts their income, in addition to the money and time lost in transport to and from the bank.
However, a GSMA study about Mobile Money use in Uganda revealed that Mobile money has the potential to extend the limited nature and reach of the formal financial sector.
Besides helping to organize the hitherto chaotic scene of domestic money transfers, mobile money can improve the national payments system by providing innovative ways to meet the transaction needs of ordinary people
For instance, Emmanuel Mafabi, a tomato farmer in Manafwa district doesn’t have to leave his farm to pay school fees for his four children, but instead relies on mobile money as his go to payment method.
“I pay their fees in small instalments. So if I had to go to the bank, it would mean many days of me not tending to my farm. After selling my tomatoes, I simply deposit the money on my phone and pay school fees,” He says, “Infact during school fees time, I gladly ask my clients to pay me through Mobile Money so that I simply pay school fees without touching the money.”
Catherine Akello who pays school fees for two of her nieces in Lira lauds MTN MoMo school fees platform for making the process easy for her.
“I don’t have to run around looking for bankslips nor do I risk sending money to my alcoholic brother who simply wastes the money. I directly pay to the school and that way, my nieces can attend school,” Akello says
Winnie Nansamba, a school bursar says that this mode of payment is convenient and easy for schools to work with since the notifications are captured online: “It is easier to track payments on this system as opposed to looking through stacks of paper.”
How to pay school fees using MTN Mobile Money
Mutana explains that; to pay school fees, a customer can dial *165*4*3# and selects a payment option. Once dialled, a customer is also prompted to enter the student code, which is provided by the school administration. Upon entering the code, a customer receives a prompt with the student’s name, class, and the amount due.
Once the amount due is received, a customer can then enter the amount they wish to pay and finally a secret mobile money pin to confirm payment. Once payment is received by the school, the customer then receives an SMS showing the amount paid and the balance on their account.