University students benefiting from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) can now register for their NSFAS bank account.
Once they register for a NSFAS bank account, they will receive a mastercard which they can use to make transactions and access value-for-money services.
The financial aid scheme believes the new payment solution will allow students to easily access their allowances and have greater control over their money.
NSFAS provides comprehensive bursaries to students from poor and working-class households. The bursary will cover a student's tuition and registration fees as well as several allowances.
Allowances provided to NSFAS beneficiaries include an accommodation allowance, transport allowance, living allowance and a learning material allowance.
These allowances will now be paid directly to students through the NSFAS mastercard. Previously, allowances were paid to the intuitions where the funded students were enrolled or via third-party service providers. The allowance money would then be distributed to students.
The new payment solution also gives NSFAS control over when payments are made to students. This will provide students with certainty that payments will be made.
The NSFAS mastercard provides students with access to value-added services, the ability to make online purchases, tap-to-pay functionality and a virtual card to pay securely at merchants.
NSFAS is calling on students to use their allowances responsibility. They provide students with some tips to ensure they better manage their money. This includes first purchasing goods they need before things they may want.
Cooking meals at home is more economical and allows for long chats about the future.
They advised students to do monthly grocery shopping instead of frequently visiting supermarkets. They added that students should only purchase take-out meals as treat and not frequently purchased take-out.
NSFAS partnered with several service providers to bring the new payment solution to students. Students will be required to register with a service provider based on the university they attend.
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
University of KwaZulu-Natal
University of Venda
University of Pretoria
University of Western Cape
University of Witwatersrand
Walter Sisulu University
Durban University of Technology
Tshwane University of Technology
University of Free State
University of Limpopo
University of Zululand
Vaal University of Technology
Sefako Makgatho Health Science University
Sol Plaatjie University
University of Mpumalanga
University of South Africa
Central University of Technology
Mangosuthu University of Technology
Nelson Mandela University
North West University
University of Fort Hare
University of Johannesburg
Students enrolled at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges began using the NSFAS bank accounts earlier this year.