Creating a cashless ecosystem in campuses
Slonkit is partnering with educational institutions to build the country’s largest network of digital and cashless campuses. Javed Tapia, Founder, Slonkit, shares the target of having half a million students onboard in a year
Slonkit, the flagship brand of Sienna Resources, is India’s first money management app that enables teenagers and young adults to manage money smartly. Powered by DCB Bank, India’s leading emerging private sector bank, the app is linked to a prepaid VISA/Rupay card. “Slonkit creates cashless ecosystem in campuses through systematic digital transformation process. The students of educational institutions are empowered with an avenue to manage money smartly, practise cashless payments and learn financial prudence using the Slonkit mobile app linked to a prepaid card,” says Javed Tapia, Founder, Slonkit.
Tapia explains that the educational institution is offered a digital platform called Cosmos. This platform helps the institution to seamlessly connect with students, send them notifications and receive updates on fee payments done through the Slonkit mobile app. Cosmos facilitates reports on the payments made at internal merchant facilities such as canteen, stationery shops, etc. The platform also enables colleges to seamlessly communicate with students through notifications on their mobile app.
Slonkit aims to build the country’s largest network of digital and cashless educational campuses. “Our target is to have about half a million students on-board through our tie-ups with educational institutions by the end of March 2020,” states Tapia.
Slonkit provides a unified platform to manage payments and communications with all students along with personalised RFID enabled identity card for each student. “This enables educational institutions to seamlessly manage administrative tasks, communication and internal vendors. It creates a digitally connected campus which opens up a wide range of possibilities in terms of knowledge sharing and collaboration,” mentions Tapia.
The multi-functionality of these customised Slonkit-college, co-branded cards, is a big advantage to the students – from digital payments to in-campus merchants such as canteen and library to online payments or at shops anywhere in India. Furthermore, it acts as an access card and facilitates attendance management. “The Slonkit card is linked to the Slonkit mobile app. The app runs seamlessly on both Android and iOS and can be used by students to load money to the card, create budgets, track expenses across categories such as food, shopping, entertainment, etc., and even recharge their mobile phones. In addition, Slonkit brings exciting offers for students to maximise the value of money at hand,” comments Tapia, adding that Slonkit has ensured the highest standards of safety and security and the card can be suspended in one-click if the card is stolen or lost.
Educational institutions in India cater to an audience which is largely in the age group of 18-25 years. “Hence, they are four times more likely to carry a smartphone than cash,” he points out.
Through digital campuses facilitated by Slonkit, an educational institution can provide flexibility and convenience to its students. It can collect fees easily through Slonkit’s mobile based payment interface. It can also collect miscellaneous fees and enable in-campus merchants such as canteen, stationery shops, etc., to receive cashless payments. “Due to this, a college can operationally free up bandwidth, resources, time and efforts spent on activities such as fee collection. In-campus vendor management and administration will become more seamless. The strength of communicating one-to-one, or with a batch of students through notifications sent to mobile phones can enable colleges to digitise a lot of offline processes. These digital transformation initiatives drive down cost and more importantly, increase efficiency and enable the institutions to focus better on academics and career progression activities for students,” explains Tapia.
The company is targeting state and central universities, private colleges and deemed universities in western, southern and northern regions of the country. Tapia believes the openness of educational institutions to adopt these new-age technologies depends on the region and colleges’ respective requirements. “Some regions are in particular more adaptive to new-age technologies due to their environmental factors and demographics. It also majorly depends on a college’s requirement of new systems, processes and recognition,” he remarks.
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