BSP Group General Manager - Retail, Daniel Faunt, said that as a more convenient alternative to attending to BSP's branches to pay children's school fees, BSP continues to focus on providing digital payment solutions for its customers, which includes the provision of EFTPoS terminals to schools as well as through its Mobile Phone USSD service.
Mr Faunt said this is in response to an article in the Post Courier dated Friday 5th February, 2021, quoting a parent, calling on banks to provide EFTPoS machines to schools for ease of payments.
"We understand the challenge of making school fee payments at this time of the year and have implemented a number of digital solutions to provide parents with convenient options rather than having to go into BSP branches. The provision of EFTPoS terminals to schools continues to remain a focus however is reliant on the schools embracing the opportunity to change. We continue to work with the schools to enable a larger number of schools to be on boarded as EFTPoS merchants. With almost 8,000 schools in PNG, Mr Faunt did point out that it was not economical for every school to have an EFTPoS terminal, nor was telecommunications in more rural areas always of sufficient bandwidth to permit a terminal to operate effectively.
"We have also developed a more innovative payment solution to address this issue by including school fee payments on our BSP Mobile Banking USSD platform. It is more convenient, faster and easier for parents and guardians. The platform provides a convenient School Fee Payment solution for parents or guardians to pay their school fees without visiting a branch and eases reconciliation processes for schools," says Mr Faunt.
BSP's Deputy General Manager - Retail Sales & Customer Service, Peter Komon, further explained on a recent FM100 Talkback Show appearance on how parents can make instant school fee payments anywhere, anytime via BSP Mobile Banking through registered schools who have become a BSP Mobile Banking Merchant.
"We have enhanced our service on the USSD code *131# to meet our customers' needs around this time by offering a convenient channel to pay school fees. Parents can now pay their fees to schools using the respective school's Merchant Code. So instead of having to go to a branch, or the school to make an EFTPoS payment, parents can use BSP Mobile Banking whether at home or at work," Mr Komon said.
"We worked with a number of schools to pilot the service last year, and are happy to advise that we have been able to get the major tertiary institutions such as Divine Word University, UPNG, UNITECH, IBSU and PAU registered for 2021," Komon added.
Over 130 schools across the country have been invited to register as Mobile Merchants, with more than 70 now registered.
BSP is encouraging more schools to register for the service and aims to onboard all 8,000 schools in the country over the next 6 months.
"When we onboard schools, we cover how reconciliation of payments will be done. Both the parent and the school receive electronic payment confirmations in writing. Parents can also be assured that that the schools participating as Mobile Merchants will accept payments made via BSP Mobile Banking platform," explained Komon.
Don Mak, a customer in Lae recently used Mobile Banking *131# to make School Fee Payments to St. Pauls Lutheran High School.
"I trust your Mobile Banking Service and I use it often to send bucks for my wantoks. Since your Mobile Banking is a trusted and efficient service, it would be good if other schools start accepting school fee payments through Mobile banking as well," said Mak.
A student who used this service to pay her school fees last year while at the Divine Word University, Edwina Eugino said she found the service very convenient.
"My recommendation to others would be to use mobile banking as it is much safer than walking to the bank at this busy time of the year where the bank lines are long and as a student who also has other commitments to do in order settle in for the academic year, mobile banking saves time and is very convenient. I was told of the service by the BSP Madang team who assisted with the code for DWU," said Ms Eugino who will be graduating from DWU this year.
Full list of our Registered Schools and their respective Codes can be found on the BSP website https://www.bsp.com.pg/Personal/Ways-to-Bank/Mobile-Banking/
Schools who want to register as a BSP Mobile Merchant can contact BSP Customer Call Centre on (675) +3201212 | 7301212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile Saturday Banking for School Fee Deposits only will take place this month starting this Saturday 6th February for selected Branches around the country.