Mobile Money pilots for School Fee payments
Developing Effective Private Education Nigeria (DEEPEN) is partnering with financial service providers to roll out mobile money pilots to help schools and parents improve their cash flows. This is as a result of DEEPEN research on ‘Schools as a Sustainable Business’ which revealed private schools’ challenges in accessing formal finance and provided previously unavailable information on the sector.
Mobile Money enables parents to pay schools fees using their mobile phones. The phone number serves as the user’s account number and the platform for saving and transferring money. Users can also deposit and withdraw money via several agents and ATM locations.
DEEPEN has partnered with Stanbic IBTC Bank and the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) to pilot the scheme in low-income schools in Alimosho, the most populous local government in Lagos state. Representatives of DEEPEN and Stanbic Bank have been meeting with school owners and parents to enlighten them about Mobile Money and register them as users.
Specifically, the scheme provides parents the flexibility and convenience of paying school fees using their mobile phones. It also facilitates improved revenue for low-income schools, helping them build their financial history towards accessing longer-term finance. Other benefits for both parties include the safety and security of transactions and reduced payment default.
DEEPEN has been engaging with financial services providers to stimulate the provision of affordable services and products around education and the Mobile Money scheme is the first of such services. The programme will support existing and potential service providers to offer tailored product pilots and increase both schools’ and parents’ longer-term ability to handle their finances more effectively.