The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and e-finance company signed 14 cooperation agreements with the Egyptian government around the country, so students would pay their tuition fees electronically, according to NBE vice president Yehia Abu ElFotouh.
Abu ElFotouh explained that during the first phase of the implementation, students will pay their tuition fees through electronic points of sale (EPOS) at their colleges, and also through the bank’s website. The service will be available this week, while at a later stage, payment will be available through phone cash service and ATM machines throughout the country.
In coordination with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and international agencies, the NBE offered an easy process to issue prepaid cards to customers starting from the age of 16. The bank seeks to apply the concept of financial inclusion through adding new electronic services that meet the growing wishes of all segments of society, and to attract new customer segments who were not dealing with the banking system, especially young people, according to Abu ElFotouh.
He explained that the bank offered tuition fees e-payment service at Cairo University at the beginning of the previous school year. The university is convinced that the service offers multiple advantages to students and the university. The service was activated with students of the faculty of political science and economics, and successively in other faculties at the university.
After the success of that experience, the NBE has contracted with 13 other public universities, including the universities of Alexandria, Mansoura, South Valley, Helwan, Menoufia, and Assiut, according to Abu ElFotouh.
According to Hazem Hegazy, CEO of retail banking and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the NBE, the positive signs shown by this service encouraged the bank to proceed with popularising and disseminating electronic payment methods.
He explained that students had welcomed the usage of prepaid cards by using them to pay their tuition fees and complete other commercial and banking transactions.
“About 205,000 students obtained prepaid cards and used them in more than 200,000 transactions varied between online shopping, in-store shopping, cash withdrawal, donations, bill payments, and college fees,” Hegazy said.
In terms of online payment advantages offered by the system, Hegazy explained that it provides a safe and fast mechanism to collect students’ tuition fees electronically and add them immediately to their accounts at the CBE, while students benefit from the prepaid cards in their transactions in a safe and convenient manner. The service provides a good opportunity for the bank to create a database for customers who are able to deal with electronic services and payments, which helps spread them in the local market, leads to the reduction of cash dealing in the market, and promotes the principle of financial inclusion.