University Students can now conveniently receive their loan disbursements through M-Pesa, thanks to a recent partnership between the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and Safaricom.
In April 2023, the jointly launched the Helb mobile wallet and Helb M-Pesa mini application.
The introduction of the mobile wallet aims to facilitate direct transfer of the upkeep portion of the loans to students’ M-Pesa accounts. Additionally, the mini app enables students to effectively manage their accounts.
By using the app, students can effortlessly access their Helb upkeep funds, withdraw money, repay loans, apply for subsequent loans, check their status, and access statements, all through Android or iPhone applications.
Charles Ringera, the CEO of HELB, expressed his excitement about the partnership, stating that it empowers beneficiaries with enhanced convenience and access to their funds and services.
He highlighted that all HELB beneficiaries can utilize the HELB Mini App or dial *642# to access various services, regardless of whether they own feature phones or smartphones.
“Through this partnership, we will build and deliver mobile and digital solutions that will further empower all beneficiaries with more convenience by enabling them to easily access and manage Helb funds and services on their mobile phones,” Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa said.
The rollout of the Helb mobile wallet and mini app will initially focus on first-year students applying for loans. Subsequently, it will be gradually extended to existing Helb beneficiaries in their second and later years of studies.
To access the HELB Mini App, all M-PESA customers can find it under the “Services” section on the M-PESA Super App.
Beneficiaries who have already registered their mobile phone numbers with HELB can enter their phone number to receive an activation code and set a PIN for future access. For those who haven’t registered their mobile numbers with HELB, they need to enter a phone number linked to their National ID to connect and activate the Mini App.
Safaricom’s Chief Financial Services Officer, Esther Waititu, recognized the significance of this partnership in supporting HELB’s vision of providing universal financing for Kenyans.
Going forward, all beneficiaries will have the choice to receive the upkeep portion of the HELB loan either through M-PESA or the mobile wallet, starting with first-year students during their initial loan application.
This option will gradually be rolled out to existing HELB beneficiaries in their second and later year of studies, allowing them to switch to receiving their upkeep on the mobile wallet.
HELB is also working to integrate other mobile money services besides M-PESA into the wallet enabling students to receive funds through those services.