Last week, the FrontlineSMS:Credit team returned to one of our favorite cities in Kenya, Kisumu. This time around we were ready to install PaymentView at Josana Academy and Safe Water and AIDS Project (SWAP). Josana Academy is the very first school using PaymentView, and SWAP is the first organization to make use of PaymentView’s “Targets” functionality (more on that later). PaymentView is a prototype based on version 1 of FrontlineSMS – we are currently looking at building this functionality, with improvements, onto Version 2. More on that in a future post. Our first visit was to Josana Academy, where we met the head teacher, secretary, bursar, and IT support person. The first step was to install PaymentView on the secretary’s computer, as she will be the primary user. Next, we trained the secretary, bursar, and IT support person on how to use the software. Josana Academy will be using PaymentView to enable easier processing of fee payments made via mobile money. Josana is a private primary school, so fees are collected every term. Currently, parents who live far from school and/or cannot easily access a bank branch will ask the school if they can pay via M-Pesa. These payments are either received by the secretary or bursar, or they are received by a child’s classroom teacher. Once a payment is received, the receiver must go into town to cash out and then deposit the money into the bank. PaymentView will streamline this process by enabling all payments to go to one, centralized place. This new process minimizes the number of trips to town made by the secretary or bursar, and prevents teachers from having to make trips to M-Pesa agents for withdrawal.
Josana Academy will also use PaymentView to send out notices to parents via SMS. The current process is time-consuming, as the secretary, must type up a notice and print out copies for all 477 students at the school. She normally prints multiple notices on the same sheet and must then cut the pages into multiple small sheets. The students are responsible for bringing the notices home to parents, and, as we imagine happens in every school in the world, notices are left behind or lost and never reach parents. By sending out notices via SMS directly to parents, Josana Academy can ensure that parents are receiving important messages, while saving the school time, money and resources.
Read more here.