While cashless transactions have long been popular in city campuses, several educational institutes are now introducing smart cards, which can be used not just to make payments, but also to mark students’ attendance.
At least three institutes, the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), Bombay Scottish School, and Jamnabai Narsee School, are introducing the smart cards this week. With this, students can mark their attendance, gain access to restricted areas and pay for canteen meals using just one card.
The facility has pleased parents, who say they can now monitor their wards’ expenses. “I think this (cashless cards) is an excellent idea. Children won’t have to remember to carry cash for their daily needs, and we will be able to check their spending. It is also a safer option, as the children will no longer be carrying money with them,” said Yasmin Bhadha, whose daughter studies in Jamnabai Narsee School.
“Students can register the card through the college administration and then recharge them using credit/debit cards, net banking or cash, like one reloads an e-wallet,” said Vishal Maru, head of merchant services of Worldline India Pvt Ltd, which has created the cards. Several other schools, too, are planning to upgrade their identity cards into e-wallets.
Ashish Tibdewal, CFO of Vibgyor High, said, “We will re-program the existing school IDs to hold money, which parents can top up through the online fees portal or at the school. This plan will reduce the stress of managing cash for the students, the administration and the parents.”
Pilot runs in two of the schools of the Vibgyor chain have been successful and the management will introduce the cards across the board in a few weeks.
Students too have welcomed the initiative. “We can use e-wallet not only to pay for food, but also for laundry services on campus. It is so much more convenient than cash,” said Rahul Chavan, a first year student at SPJIMR, Andheri.