Kenya’s Cardplanet Solutions Launches PesaCard To Eliminate Cash Transactions In Schools


pesacardCardplanet Solutions, a smart card payment startup founded in 2012 in Kenya has launched PesaCard, an electronic wallet linked to mobile money to help parents sent cash to their children at school from their mobile phones to the cards.

Pesacard targets students who stay in boarding schools, a phenomena so common in Kenya. The cards enable a parent to or guardian to sent cash from their mobile money accounts like M-PESA to a child’s PesaCard.

Rodgers Muhadi, Co-founder and electronics and communications engineer PesaCard told TechMoran, ” We saw  a lot of opportunity in the application smartcards, Near Field Communication and cloud-based solutions in identity, loyalty and payments and thought it could help eliminate cash transactions in schools especially among students.”

“Globally there is great interest in the application of NFC. Locally, Bebapay by Google and Equity Bank is a good example,” he added.
According to Muhadi, the firm has been working on a couple of projects but its flagship product PesaCard, has been in the market for about a month now with Nakuru Girls High School in Kenya as one of their early clients.We are however signing up more schools.

Aimed at students who receive regular cash transfers from parents or guardians or other care givers. PesaCard aims to eliminate all cash transactions among students and help parents sent cash directly to students than through teachers and third-parties.

“Students in Kenya are not allowed to use mobile phones so parents give them cash for upkeep instead of mobile money. Some of this cash ends up being spent unwisely by some students. PesaCard will help parents sent the money to their kids directly and safely and be sure that they are using it at the school canteen which has a PesaCard POS and NFC system,” insisted Muhadi.

Like ATM cards, PesaCards are PIN protected and give students a secure way of keeping money. PesaCard also promotes accountability and saving culture among  the students.

Apart from PesaCard, Cardplanet leverages on smart cards and related technologies integrated to the internet to create robust “chip-to-cloud” solutions for identity, payments and loyalty. Their platform can also be used to deliver third party services like branch less banking, government to person(G2P) transfers and retail payments.

PesaCard works simply. Both parents and students have to be registered on the system.
Each parent has an account linked to his or her mobile phone number while each student is issued with an NFC smartcard and PIN number linked to their parents account number.  A parent loads on their mobile money  account then transfers it to the kids PesaCard via SMS. The student can then make payments for goods or services at a PesaCard enabled NFC or POS  terminal.

PesaCard also has web-based  application that allows the school canteen or parent to register and manage the system or check card balances. PesaCard bears the details of the student and also be used as a school identification card.

To have the cards, students are charged a minimal fee while parents pay to load the cards. The school store pays nothing to have the system deployed, students also pay nothing to use as PesaCard also has no transaction fee.

Cardplanet have raised US$4000 round from a seed investor in Kenya but are looking for US$80,000 to US$100,000 to scale to all schools in Kenya.
“We envisage a cashless society.We therefore look forward to replacing everywhere payments are made with electronic money through our solutions,” Muhadi concludes.