The Midlands State University has unveiled a centralised system that digitalises all services offered to a student, amongst them the e-Sadza system.
e-sadza is a very smart, simple and fast system that flawlessly bills student for meals eaten in the University’s canteen and it serves at least one student per every 10 seconds.
The university’s initiative, proudly powered Changamire, an in house programming system, is a home grown initiative that uses very simple cards with an electronic embedded chip that carries the complete data base of a student including a virtual bank, which automatically draws down the money as the student accesses different services.
The MSU system allows a student to deposit any amount into the virtual student bank account, enabling students to pay for various services without using actual money.
This ensures that students manage their resources more efficiently.
MSU’s ICT director Mr Liberty Dandira said the system was designed at a very low production cost of 40 cents per card, which allowed them to issue the cards to students for free although there is a charge for card replacement.
“By virtue of enrolling, a student gets what we term a gold card, this a standard student ID card that comes embedded with an electronic system that is now serving as a cashless prepaid swipe card at MSU canteen facilities, it also pays and gives access to various services like library and examination seating,” said Mr Dandira
Key among the advantages of the card besides creating a cashless society for students, is eliminating the issues of change and cutting down on time that students spent paying for services.
The card also comes with a pin code that provides security for the owner of the card.
It also brings highest levels of accountability as the system automatically bills the student and credits the university eliminating calculated errors and any need for rigorous audits allowing the authorities to only focus on the main core of their business.
Running on a NFC card reading technology, the system also allows students at any time to top up their accounts using any cash office around the campus, bringing major convenience to them.
To use the card, the student only needs to swipe the card in the card reader at the counter, enter their pin code on the numeric pin reader then places the order.
Upon placing the order, the billable amount is deducted from the card instantly and a meal receipt plus a mini balance statement is then issued.
This works with the full support of a locally designed server that computes the data quickly and updates the whole system.
The system is independent of wholesome operations, allowing independent activities to transact then compile data in the background, instead of pulling the whole database to offer a service, adding so much speed on the serving terminal.
The writer is the editor for TechnoMag, Zimbabwe’s Premier Technology Magazine, more www.technom.ag/6Q or join us on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/technomagzw Email articles[at]technomag.co.