Stanbic Bank in drive to help parents pay school fees

A poster of Stanbic Bank Uganda's FlexiPay platform, a digital option for paying school fees
Credit: Stanbic Bank Uganda

Interview with Milly Kyolaba, Stanbic Bank Uganda’s head of public sector

How is Stanbic Bank making it easy for parents to pay school fees?
At Stanbic, we are excited about the new year and we also understand that the back-to-school time is a very hectic period for most parents. That is why we have come up with the back-to-school promotion focusing on sensitising our customers and parents on the various convenient solutions and options that are available to them to pay school fees.

To make it easy for parents, Stanbic offers a range digital payment options to pay schools fees. This makes it possible to pay conveniently, at any time, even from the comfort of your home. As a result, you get to avoid the long queues in banking halls.

The Stanbic digital payment options for school fees include: mobile banking at *290#, online banking and using Stanbic agents available across the country. We have also partnered with mobile network operators—MTN and Airtel—to enable school fees payments using mobile money through FlexiPay and SchoolPay.

What are the advantages of using these platforms?
Paying school fees through Stanbic Bank Uganda’s digital option makes it very convenient for parents and guardians because the payments can be made from anywhere without the hustle of visiting a branch and queuing up.

This eliminates unnecessary transport costs, and parents or guardians are able to make real savings, especially our customers who can pay school fees directly from their bank accounts at no extra charge. Just to give you an example: there are no school fees bank charges incurred by Stanbic customers who make payments using our mobile USSD platform (*290#) and online banking platforms.

Users are also assured of secure payments, as our solutions verify each student and school before making a payment. They also receive an instant confirmation of payment with all details (school and student name, amount paid) on their mobile phone with a unique payment number for future reference.

The school, on the other hand, gets the benefit of being immediately notified when a school fees payment is made. In addition, the system allows for automated reconciliations of collections which helps eliminate forgeries and reduces wasteful administrative costs such as paperwork.

How do parents sign up to use the digital banking platforms?
All Stanbic customers automatically have access to our digital banking platforms. Schools are also entitled access to the digital payments and collection solutions of FlexiPay and School Pay. The solutions are absolutely free, and access is enabled within 24 hours.

For our USSD digital channel customers can dial *290# and follow the prompts. This service offering is free of charge and does not require one to have airtime. In case they are not signed up yet, they can still follow the prompts and sign up to access the service. They can always contact our 24/7 contact centre or the designated relationship manager for activation.

We have also rolled out agent banking across the country. With a network of over 1000 Stanbic bank agents, all members of the public can access several banking services. Customers with cash can pay their school fees at a Stanbic bank agent nearest to them without necessarily owning a bank account with us.

What is the advantage of using Stanbic agent banking?
Stanbic has several agents spread across the country and are close to the customer. Therefore, anyone can make their payments conveniently without having to queue at the bank. The common services offered on agent banking are; school fees payments, utility payments, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, and account opening.

Stanbic Bank has over 1,000 agent outlets strategically located across the country enabling us to serve as many customers as possible. All these agents have been adequately trained to provide banking services consistent with that offered in the banking halls.

Is there anything new customers should look forward to as we prepare for the back-to-school period?
Yes, we have an exciting promotion for parents and guardians in our back-to-school promotion. Parents stand a chance to win free prizes when they use their visa card to pay and purchase school items. This promotion will only run at 3 supermarkets starting from Friday 1 February to Sunday 3 February 2019; Capital Shoppers in Nakawa, Capital Shoppers in Ntinda and Game, Lugogo.