Parents and guardians are coming to state that paying school fee by means of mobile money is safe and convenient as it can be made anywhere —and with the pandemic, the corona virus they highly opt for it as with using digital payments reduces the spread of the deadly virus.
The outbreak of the virus saw educational institutions closed until the government finds effective solutions for the virus. Now, the schools are gradually opening and will see students and school staff follow Covid-19 Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) including; social distancing, wearing masks, and hand sanitizing.
Schools re-opening following their closure, parents and guardians have to make school fees payments for their children —and this is where digital payment methods such as Mobile Money. Bearing in mind that the pandemic is not yet behind us, paying school fees through a digital platforms provides more than just convenience but it is also a safety measure that is well in line with the Covid-19 SOPs. Thus, Mobile Money payments come in handy as they limit the movement of hard cash that could potentially spread the virus as cash moves from one hand to the other.
The General Manager of Mobile Financial Services at MTN Uganda, Mr. Stephen Mutana —today Mobile Money technology provides sophisticated and secure payment solutions for educational institutions to collect and manage fees transactions.
Mutana added that parents, guardians and students on the other hand are afforded the convenience of paying school fees from anywhere at any time without having to worrying of going to queue in banking halls especially during these times when social distancing is still critical in the fight against the deadly virus.
“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. Through mobile money we see that it limits the exchange of currency notes which elevates our endeavors against the Covid-19. And although this innovation has been around for a while, Covid-19 makes it even more useful as it limits human contact which remains key in the fight against Covid-19.” Mutana explained to PC Tech Magazine.
Parents like Jacinta Mukebezi is impressed at how seamlessly she paid her son’s school fees.
“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.
A study by GSMA stated that the 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
Emmanuel Mafabi, a farmer in Manafwa district, says, “I pay their fees in small instalments through MTN mobile money. 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.” Mafabi adds that he also gladly asks his clients to pay him through Mobile Money so that he can be in position to pay school fees without having him touching the money that could have the virus.
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 bank slips 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,” she 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,” Nansamba said.
How to pay school fees using MTN Mobile Money
The parent, guardian or the student themselves dials *165*4*3# and selects a payment option. You are prompted to enter the student code provided by the school administration and upon entering the code you receive a prompt with the student’s name, class, and the amount due.
You should then enter the amount that you wish to pay and then confirm making the payment with you mobile money PIN. You will later receive an SMS showing the amount paid and the balance on their account. The school is also notified about the payment.
Those who wish to pay school fees using the MyMTN App can simply log into the app, select pay bill and go ahead to school fees and follow the prompts thereafter. After payment is effected, you get confirmation SMS with details of payment, which can be sent or presented to school for reconciliation.
Mutana notes that this method of payment can be used across all levels of education from Primary schools to tertiary institutions.
“I urge parents and guardians to confirm their children’s student’s codes from the schools before making payments. I also remind you to safely guard your Mobile Money PIN,” Mutana says.