Cash is a crisis in Zimbabwe.

Depending on where you stand on the digital financial inclusion discussion, this could be a great opportunity or a great inconvenience. One thing that cannot be contested is that Zimbabwe is increasingly becoming the number one cashless economy in Africa. As a result, Zimbabwe’s financial sector has been forced or nudged to innovate around digital access to financial services.

Lack of cash might have had a negative impact on the economy, but businesses across the country have embraced the challenge and are innovating on seamless solutions that provide easy and convenient payment experiences.

Lack of Cash for Education in Zimbabwe

One of the sectors that have been severely affected by the lack of cash is education- in particular, school payments. With the cash crunch, school payments have become such a dire need that some parents are resulting to exchanging labour and livestock for school fees.

Besides affordability, schools are also facing the burden of reconciliation and tracking of payment records per student. While there are several digital options for paying school fees such as money transfers, mobile money merchant codes or Zipit, there are no real-time solutions available that can allow a bursar to track a payment as it happens.

This is until now.

A Payment Gateway for Schools

Cellulant has solved that problem with unveiling a one-stop payments gateway that can be used online or using a shortcode. One of the first partners to adopt this is Stanbic bank with their Blue247 platform. With the Cellulant Payment Gateway, Stanbic is offering a paperless platform for schools that make it easy for the institutions to manage payments with ease. Any school looking to address their current payment challenges can easily sign themselves up through the bank. To-date, there are over 200 schools that have signed up to this solution.

Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe offering Payment Platform for Schools

If you are a Stanbic Customer this is arguably the simplest way to pay for school fees. The payment platform is easily accessible on shortcode *247# for parents who then will get an SMS notification immediately after payment has been made. For the school, by accessing Cellulant’s payment gateway, they are able to track any payment for any student. Schools can send out SMS notifications on outstanding invoices, and also acknowledge payment with an SMS receipt.

A Digital Solution in a Country Struggling with a Cash Crunch

By providing such a digital solution- everyone along the value chain is taken care of. The parent finds an easier way to pay for school fees without having to queue for hours looking for cash; the school gets real-time reconciliation; and the student continues to study without interruption.