By Elijah Odhiambo
Safaricom and HELB have partnered to enable Kenyan students receive HELB Loans directly to their M-PESA accounts.
The Higher Education Loans Board CEO, Charles Ringera said the partnership will empower the loan beneficiaries with more convenience and fine tune the process of accessing Helb services.
“This partnership with Safaricom will empower beneficiaries with even more convenience and greatly enhance their experience when accessing funds and our services,” Ringera said.
”All HELB beneficiaries can now access all our services through the HELB Mini App or by dialing *642# where they can apply for subsequent loans, access their HELB upkeep funds, withdraw funds, view their loan status, access their statements, and repay loans, all from feature phones, an Android and iPhone app,” he added.
The partnership announced on April, 27, saw the organisations launch the HELB Mobile Wallet and HELB M-PESA Mini App.
The wallet will see students in higher education institutions receive part of their HELB funds directly to their M-PESA accounts.
The HELB Mini App will enable beneficiaries of the loan manage their HELB accounts.
The Mini app, that is integrated into the M-PESA super app will allow customers to access Helb loan services by not leaving the app, which further means that they don’t have to download an additional app for the same function.
The app is available for both Android and iOS users and can be accessed from the Services tab in the app.
What you can do with the HELB Mini App
- Access HELB upkeep.
- Withdraw funds.
- Repay loans.
- Apply for subsequent loans.
- View loan status.
- Access loan statements.
Beneficiaries whose phone numbers are currently registered with HELB will next enter their number, at which point they will receive a code that will enable the Mini App and allow them to create a PIN for later access.
In order to connect their numbers and activate the Mini App, recipients who have not yet registered their mobile number with HELB must enter a phone number linked to the same National ID as their HELB account.
The HELB loan recipients will be offered the option of receiving their maintenance part through M-PESA or other mobile wallets. First-year students who apply for loans will have the choice, and later, existing beneficiaries in their second year or later.
Safaricom and HELB are collaborating to include other mobile money services in the wallet for students to receive their funds. This feature will be launched in the next few months.
More than 1.3 million Kenyans have since received loans from HELB. The Board has disbursed over Ksh147 billion since its launch.
Safaricom CEO, Peter Ndegwa noted that through this partnership, they will build and deliver digital solutions that will empower all the beneficiaries enabling them to easily access and manage HELB funds and services on their mobile phones.