The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) provides comprehensive bursaries to more than 1.1 million students attending public higher education institutions in South Africa. These students are required to onboard themselves onto the scheme’s new payment system to receive their NSFAS allowances.
NSFAS pays the students' tuition and registration fees. Students funded by NSFAS also receive several allowances that aim to cover the costs incurred during their studies.
In previous years, NSFAS would distribute student allowances to institutions and would then distribute the money to the intended beneficiaries. However, NSFAS announced their intention to change the process of distributing student allowances and will now distribute allowances directly to students.
Allowances for NSFAS Beneficiaries will be paid directly into the students’ NSFAS bank account. This is in line with the scheme’s Student-Centred funding approach.
NSFAS said paying allowances directly gives them greater control over when payments are made to students while also providing students with certainty that payments will be made.
The Direct NSFAS Allowance Payment System
Students are required to register for the NSFAS bank account to begin enjoying the new direct allowance payment system. Failure to do so can result in delays in the allowance payments.
NSFAS-funded students must complete the NSFAS direct payment onboarding process to receive allowances.
Who Must You Register With For Your NSFAS Bank Account
NSFAS partnered with four financial service providers to bring the new payment solution to students. These partners include eZaga, Norraco, Tenet and Coinvest. Students are required to register with the service provider based on the university they attend.
How To Register For The NSFAS Bank Account
You will receive an SMS inviting you to register for the NSFAS bank account.
Step 1: Click on the link sent in the SMS
Step 2: Enter your ID number
Step 3: Enter your details including your address details
Step 4: Select a security question and provide a unique answer to secure your login details
Step 5: Capture a clear image of your ID
Step 6: Capture a clear image of your ID under your chin
Step 7: Wait for correspondence with an approved SMS with your NSFAS bank account number
Step 9: Collect and activate your NSFAS bank card at your campus.
The NSFAS Bank Card
After completing the onboarding process for the NSFAS bank account, students will be issued with a NSFAS bank card. NSFAS says MasterCard gives students enormous benefits and financial freedom.
Students can use their NSFAS MasterCard to withdraw cash from ATMs as well as selected retail stores. They can also make electronic transfers, make online purchases and enjoy the 'Tap to Pay’ functionality.
NSFAS added that students will receive regular SMS notifications for each transaction, allowing students to quickly identify any suspicious activity. They will also have complete visibility of all transactions and balances via several approved platforms namely online, mobile application and USSD.
They added that these security features ensure that students do not fall victim to incidents of fraud.
NSFAS bank account costs
It was revealed that students will incur a monthly bank charge of R12 for using their NSFAS Mastercard.
Beneficiaries will be charged only R12 per month on their NSFAS bank account, giving them access to use allowances in a manner that suits them.
NSFAS Allowances For 2023 University Students
NSFAS students receive several allowances. This includes an accommodation allowance, a living allowance and a learning material allowance. In some instances, students who do not live in student accommodation will receive a transport allowance.