Digital Finance and Innovations in Financing for Education

Date Published: 
Oct 2016
Braniff, L.

Digitizing payments in education finance to address challenges for students from low-income families

In the education sector, mobile payments and digital finance are transforming the way people pay for and secure access to their children’s education. For example, mobile money is making it easier for caretakers to pay school fees and to access and pay for digital learning courses; it helps schools better manage their finances, getting tuition payments on time, keeping records updated, and paying teacher salaries; and it helps governments keep the education system running by effectively paying teacher salaries nationwide. In addition, financial service providers are beginning to offer a range of digital savings and loan products that help families manage the cost of education. Combined, these innovations may play an important role in keeping more children in school and delivering on the Sustainable Development Goal for education.

This working paper makes the argument that while digital finance will not solve the many complex reasons that keep many children from attending school or ensuring schools meet a basic standard of academic quality, there are several ways in which digital finance can help families address the challenges they face in paying for education today.