Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
THE Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) together with Steward Bank has launched student identity cards with banking functionalities as part of the bank’s efforts to enhance financial inclusion, targeting over 40 000 students across all universities. The project is expected to spread to other universities and should be complete within the next six months. HIT becomes the second university to launch such a programme with the bank after the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) where an estimated 6 000 students have signed up.
The card combines a student’s bank account details and conventional student identity card offered by the tertiary institution. It means one card performs all functions of a bank card including POS transactions with banking details on one side, while the other side contains the normal identity card information and can be used for all university services such as library access.
Steward Bank’s divisional head, banking and commercial services Mr Zvichapera Katiyo told The Herald Business the bank would spread to other universities across the country. He added apart from enhancing financial inclusion, the programme will also remove the cost of producing student identity cards from universities.
“We have added banking functionalities to the conventional student ID card. Our intention is to cover all universities with this programme,” said Mr Katiyo. “This means students can enjoy convenience of banking anywhere using their student ID cards. They can perform ATM transactions or POS purchases on campus or anywhere. The card is also ZimSwitch enabled,” said Mr Katiyo.
HIT communications and international relations director Mr Tinashe Mutema said students could pay their tuition fees and other transactions at the university using their cards. Meanwhile, the tertiary institution last week held its second annual technovation day, a platform for academics, students, industry and commerce to interact and share ideas as well as provide solutions using technological innovations.
“This technovation day provides an opportunity for networking and building partnerships with organisations within the same sector as well as providing a platform for identifying research problems,” said Mr Mutema.
Apart from financial institutions, manufacturing companies and tertiary institutions, the day attracted over 100 schools. “Specifically relating to high school pupils pursuing science subjects, the day is held to expose them to various innovations and developments within the science, engineering and technology sector with a view to motivate them to be innovators and wealth creators,” said Mr Mutema.
The technovation day ran under the theme “Disruptive Thinking, Big Ideas” a challenge to Zimbabweans to find innovative solutions to its daily problems and create an environment for rapid industrialisation.