NSFAS-funded students can expect to start making use of the NSFAS Mastercard to receive their allowances within the next academic year.
The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is a government bursary that provides students with allowances for expenses such as learning materials, transport, and other living expenses.
The bursary scheme has experienced many issues related to the payment of these allowances such as illegal access, possible payment to ghost beneficiaries, and incorrect and duplicate payments.
To fix this NSFAS has been developing an alternative and secure payment solution which will see students receiving their monthly allowances through a bank card called the NSFAS Mastercard.
This payment solution will make the payment of allowances smoother and prevent delays that students have been experiencing with the current payment method.
NSFAS plans to roll out the NSFAS Mastercard to all of its beneficiaries in the 2024 academic year. The payment solution will be piloted with a small group of students first and then the full roll-out will take place in a phased approach.
The following banks have partnered with NSFAS to make this happen:
At the beginning of the roll-out period, students can use the NSFAS Mastercard for any transactions a standard card can be used for. NSFAS will gather information from these transactions to maximize the deals it can negotiate for its students.
They will also collect information about the purchases students make. This will be used to determine which restrictions should be put in place to stop students from purposefully abusing the card.
The NSFAS Mastercard will be activated for as long as a student is still funded by NSFAS.
Students can keep updated with the rollout process by visiting the NSFAS social media pages, NSFAS has also stated that its partners might be heading to different university campuses to provide more information.