Students in institutions of higher learning will start receiving money from the High E*******n Loans Board (HELB) through a smartcard, instead of the usual ways where the money is sent to their bank accounts. HELB and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) have launched a smartcard that will be used to fast-track the HELB loan disbursements.

The card will employ Near Field Communication (NFC), a technology which allows electronic gadgets such as smartphones to establish radio communication when they come into contact. It will be on a digital wallet platform, allowing students to pay their tuition and accommodation fees via the e-wallet, as well as keep money for upkeep.

In a speech read on his behalf by Chief Economist in the ministry of e*******n Mr Isaac Kamande, Cabinet Secretary in charge of the ministry Prof Jacob Kaimenyi lauded the move by KCB and HELB in digitising the way students in colleges receive their money, saying that the initiative is in line with the ministry’s efforts to digitise all payments to seal c********n loopholes in the sector.

“Students from institutions of higher learning will now be able to access their money in a more secure and seamless manner and this is part of my ministry’s effort to digitise all monetary avenues and curb c********n incidences,” said Prof Kaimenyi.

According to HELB CEO Mr Charles Ringera the board has been unable to recall up to Ksh11 billion over time from beneficiary students and universities with the performing loans accumulating to Ksh14 billion. With the card interfaced with HELB, the loans’ body will be able to monitor its former beneficiaries in a bid to recover the loans that have been advanced to the students.

“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,” remarked Ringera.

KCB Group CEO Mr Joshua Oigara noted that the bank will keep on working with several governmental sectors to drive financial inclusion policy in the country. “We are creating pathways to financial inclusion by supporting government efforts through products, services, technology and payments and strategic partnerships. The card is embedded with a student photo, allowing him or her to use it in borrowing books from the library.

So far HELB has partnered with seven banks in launching students’ smartcard and the KCB card is expected to be rolled out to all universities in the next one month. If money is disbursed to your account and you don’t use it in 90 days, HELB will be able to recall it back.

The loans’ body is also planning to issue ultimatums to institutions of higher learning to adopt the use of smartcards by September this year, as part of HELB’s plan to discard the use of Bank accounts to access loans from the institution.

1 COMMENT

  1. i have not received my Ksh yet I was awarded. Then I don’t have the smartcard so what can I do? Help me please notify

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