On Tuesday, July 2, 2019, the Fendall Campus of the University was a scene of jubilation when authorities of Lonestar Cell MTN launched the ability to pay university tuition via the Mobile Money platform.
The platform, launched in partnership with Mwetana Consulting and Technology Group (the company behind the UL’s online registration platform), will enable students pay fees without having to endure long queues.
Prince D. Chesson, Lonestar Cell MTN Product, Services and Channel Development Manager, told the audience of students, faculty and staff, as well as representatives of the technology sector, that all students can easily pay fees no matter where they live from the campuses.
Chesson said that digital payment options are becoming the norm for many people in Liberia.
He said mobile money gives customers an easy and safe way to send money to family members and friends anywhere in the country. Customers can even pay for goods or services without having to carry cash around in bulk.
“We recognize the educational system as the foundation for the empowerment of Liberian youth, who we believe are the future leaders, and drivers of the economy. We are excited to enable easier access to education through our mobile money system,” Chesson added.
“To enjoy freedom and ease the burden of payment of fees, all students, guardians and sponsors need to do is to make sure that they are registered for mobile money, and their accounts have funds available,” he told the jubilant students.
According to him, Lonestar Cell MTN Mobile Money has again proven that it is the most dominant force in the financial sector space by successfully integrating with the Mwetana School Solution, which will allow students to seamlessly pay their fees via MTN mobile money from anywhere and at any time.
Chesson recalled that last year, President George Weah supported the university by ensuring the modernization of the registration and enrollment process. “This project was implemented by our own Liberian Company, Mwetana Consultancy and Technology,” he said.
He said MTN Mobile Money is a fast, simple, convenient, secured and affordable way of transferring money, making payments and doing other transactions by using a mobile phone.
Chesson said MTN Mobile Money has exposed over 1.6 million people to digital financial services since its inception in 2011.
Currently, he said, there are over 4,308 active agents that have at least one person working for them, thus contributing toward the reduction of unemployment rate in the country.
Chesson informed the students that their agents’ network is spread across the 15 counties, thereby supporting the Central Bank of Liberia’s (CBL) financial inclusion strategy.
In June, 2018, Lonestar Cell MTN launched the payment of taxes via MTN Mobile Money; not satisfied, the entity engaged authorities at the Ministry of Education, and developed an entire payment solution via MTN Mobile Money at no cost to the ministry. This project was launched in August, lat 2018.
Chesson said the platform has significantly resolved the hurdles that students from government-owned schools faced in paying their tuition and other fees initially, and over 20,000 senior high students paid their fees through MTN Mobile Money.
“Today, we are excited to accomplish another milestone by being the first mobile financial services institution to integrate with Mwetana for the successful payment of university fees. No need to stand in long queues just to pay your school fees. You can visit any agent location, deposit funds onto your mobile money wallet and pay your fees seamlessly,” Mr. Chesson added.
Earlier, UL Vice President for Administration, Mrs. Weade Kobbah-Boley, expressed gratitude to the two companies for such innovation. She said with the launch of the platform, the students will no longer stand in long queues to pay school fees.
“The long registration lines have been reduced to no more line, because this platform has made it easier for the students to pay, but we will still use the United Bank for Africa (UBA), and Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) for payment so this is just an added advantage for the students,” she said.
“With the introduction of the technology, the plenty paperwork and long queues have been gotten rid of, to the extent that we are on the verge of seeing a paperless university,” said Mwetana CEO Vivien C. Jones. Mr. Jones established Mwetana in 2006. He has over 30 years of experience in the ICT sector.
He assured the public that Mwetana would work with dedication and commitment to make the project a success.
“We cannot afford to fail, because if we do, we will be spoiling the image of Liberian companies, especially those in the ICT sector,” Jones said.
He assured the students that the new program will be easier to use, but they should be willing to accept the change that is coming in the world of technology.