Safaricom  and the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) have announced a partnership launching the HELB Mobile Wallet and HELB M-PESA Mini App.

The HELB Mobile Wallet is expected to empower students to receive the upkeep portion of their student loans direct to their M-PESA account. Also, Safaricom has launched the HELB Mini App which is expected to enable students to access their HELB upkeep, withdraw funds, repay loans, apply for subsequent loans, view their loan status and access their statements all from an Android and iPhone app.

All M-PESA customers can access the HELB Mini App under the “Services” section on the M-PESA Super App. Beneficiaries who have already registered their mobile phone numbers with HELB will then key in their phone number upon which they will receive a code to activate the Mini App and set a PIN for subsequent access. Beneficiaries yet to register their mobile number with HELB will need to key in a phone number registered to the same National ID linked to their HELB account to connect their numbers and activate the Mini App.

“This partnership with Safaricom will empower beneficiaries with even more convenience and greatly enhance their experience when accessing funds and our services. 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,” said Charles Ringera, CEO – HELB.

“We are honoured to be HELB’s partner of choice to deliver innovations that meet the evolving needs of their customers in a rapidly digitising world. 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 phone,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO – Safaricom.

All beneficiaries will have the option to receive the upkeep portion of the HELB loan through M-PESA or the mobile wallet, starting with first year students making their first 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.

Safaricom and HELB are also working to integrate other mobile money services besides M-PESA into the wallet enabling students to receive funds through those services. The feature will be deployed in coming months.