GOING CASHLESS is the next target for city colleges after the University Grants Commission issued a circular asking educational institutes to move away from cash-based transactions and adopt online payment modes. While some colleges had already switched to the online payment mode for collecting fees, now they are looking at ways to make other transactions — such as canteen payments, parking fee and journal fee — online.
The University of Mumbai has forwarded the circular to all its affiliated colleges to follow the apex body’s guidelines.
“The colleges will have to go cashless. Some colleges such as Welingkar Institute of Management have already adopted ways to go cashless. Others will have to follow suit,” said Registrar M A Khan.
K C College in Churchgate, which started accepting online payment for tuition fees from this academic term, is planning to enable cashless transactions at the canteens. “We are in talks with the canteen contractors to switch to Paytm or similar applications,” said principal Manju Nichani.
“Today’s students are very tech-savvy. They will have no problem adapting to the new system of transaction,” said Nichani, adding adopting the online payment method had made the fee payment process convenient for the parents and the management. “Parents don’t have to stand in queue and we don’t have to deposit collected funds into our account,” she said.
Similar plans were on at Nagindas Khandwala College, Malad. “Last April, we adopted the SBI wallet method of receiving fee. Only some small fees, such as journal fees, were collected through cash. But now that, too, will be collected online,” said principal Ancy Jose. The canteen in the college, too, will soon get Paytm app, said Jose.
Jose said while most students could easily switch to cashless transactions, around five per cent students from the economically weaker sections of the society would face problems. “However, they will get used to it too. When we switched to online fee collection, some of them didn’t know how to make payments. We asked these students to deposit the fee in other students’ accounts and then transfer it to our wallet,” said Jose.
One counter of the canteen at St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao, has introduced Paytm. “This is a great move, although not many students are opting for it yet, owing to the time it takes for one transaction,” said Shaun Vaz, a third-year student of the college.
Vishwas Sirwaiya, principal of Wilson College, said the management will decide on which mode to opt in the next couple of months. “There are plans to develop a new software, but now, we are learning from other colleges’ experiences,” he said.
Meanwhile, Khan said the MU had already switched to cashless transactions for its employees. “Apart from salaries, which are already deposited in the accounts, parking fees, canteen fees and other payments will also be done online,” said Khan.