South Africa’s innovative leading education fund administrator has recently introduced a cashless system in the form of a bracelet to digitise payments for primary school pupils.
Fundi’s bracelet, FundiPay allows parents to load pocket money into a learner or student’s account that is managed through a smartphone app, with transactions made through the child’s rubber wristband.
Speaking at the Education Innovation Summit 2018 at the Hilton Hotel, Sandton, CEO of Fundi, Amasi Mwela says the company saw an opportunity in the high volumes of cash that flow at primary schools and it can also avoid bullying. “Fundi Pay’s payment solution is different in that it eliminates the need for a point-of-sale machine, as transactions are made using the merchant’s smartphone.”
“Our innovative technology enables learners to pay with a tap of their wristbands, cards or cellphone to the merchant’s cellphone or terminal. The payment is processed within seconds and is secure,” he added.
The system, which has already been implemented at primary schools in Pretoria, makes transacting safer and easier, and could be used to boost financial literacy.
“Parents can send money to their children’s cashless accounts electronically. All the parent needs to do is log onto the cashless system and allocate money to beneficiary pockets such as food, clothing, events etc. Alternatively, parents can set up an automatic allocation of funds, e.g set the cashless system to load R100 into every child’s cash pocket daily, weekly, or monthly, says Lucretia Khumalo: Fundi Managing Executive Fund Administration.
“The initial market that we aim to target is primary school and high school students. The activations happen at school and once a school signs up with us and we then give them the watches and provide them with a POS machine that we give to the fees office and the different areas that are choosing to use the facility. Part of the activation process is also taking a photo of the child for a safety feature on the system to ensure that each students uses their own card, Lucretia added.
Similar innovative systems are used in other countries. Some schools in the UK use fingerprint identification to enable cashless payments for school meals. In Russia, payments are made by scanning a child’s palm. India has begun a system that allows parents to pay school fees at pay points, in a step towards cashless schools.