IN an effort to save money, the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will from next year start depositing funds straight into students’ bank accounts.

NSFAS, which is under administration, said yesterday that it’s working on new ways to eliminate all third parties from their payment options.

From next year, NSFAS will stop paying students at Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges their allowances through the NSFAS wallet and institutional disbursement services. Instead, the allowances will be paid straight into their bank accounts.

This year, (NSFAS) migrated students from 38 of the 50 colleges to the NSFAS wallet system.

“This migration will eliminate third parties in the payment channel as part of NSFAS’ strategy to fully implement the student-centred model of paying allowances directly to the students. In 2019 NSFAS replaced the anti-competitive voucher system with cash allowances to ensure empowerment of students to manage their own finances.

“By integrating innovative ways of allowance disbursement, the scheme employed technological solutions which put student’s needs, safety, and efficiency at the centre of operations,” said administrator Dr Randall Carolissen.

He said that depositing the money directly into students’ bank accounts would reduce fraud and scams.

“Recipients of NSFAS disbursements will have the added security offered by administered accounts.

“The direct payment system is convenient and allows a student to be in charge and have access to their allowance 24/7 with no limitation or additional tedious bureaucratic processes. NSFAS urges students who would like to enrol at a public TVET college in 2021 to open bank accounts in preparation for the roll-out of allowances through bank accounts.”

The banking tender for the project was currently out for tender, he said. For those using the wallet system, will in the interim measure use a new USSD to get their funds. From this week, they have to dial *120*176# USSD to access their wallet.

“The next phase of the direct payment system through bank accounts will be rolled out to students at universities to create uniformity and further efficiencies.

“NSFAS is a firm believer in student independence, growth and most importantly cutting-edge innovation,” Carolissen said.