UAE School Fees Can Now Be Paid Digitally With Automated Direct Debit

UAE families can now pay school fees and rent payments through digital direct debits after a regional fintech introduced new services.

The UAE’s first paperless direct debit marketplace, Direct Debit System, has partnered with fellow fintech start-up, zenda, to simplify the payment of tuition and education-related services through an automated, digitised process.

The collaboration will improve the efficiency of payment collection for education institutions, while offering parents the flexibility to pay fees on a monthly basis.

UAE school fees

As other industries accelerate the shift to automation and digitisation, the education sector lags behind, with half of payments still being made through cash or cheques.

The new partnership will integrate zenda’s user-friendly payment app with the paperless Direct Debit System to enable parents to settle school bills with pay-now and pay-later options.

In addition to tuition fees, families can also explore other services, such as transport and meals, to expand their payment options through the app.

The combined technology has been specifically developed to integrate with platforms used in the educational sector to facilitate end-to-end digitisation, improving controls and cash-flow predictability and eliminating the need for manual reconciliations.

At the same time, it provides families with the opportunity to manage household budgets more effectively through customised recurring payment plans.

The collaboration comes as both Direct Debit System and zenda grow their operations in the UAE and beyond.

In the past three years, zenda has expanded across five countries, working with more than 400 schools, and serving more than 100,000 families.

In its home market of the UAE, zenda commands more than 30 per cent of the market share.

Co-Founder Haseeb Ahmed said: “Our aspiration at zenda is to redesign financial services, contextualised for solving specific use cases of the sector, and in creating a one-stop experience for the parent.”

Having officially launched in September 2023, Direct Debit System has already onboarded several notable clients and recently announced a strategic partnership with real estate management firm, Keyper.

The system is backed by the UAE Central Bank and was one of the earliest entities to use UAEPASS, making the entire process paperless.

Founder and CEO Ummair Butt, said: “This agreement with zenda is another important milestone in our mission to provide an alternative to the age old practice of bulk cheque payments.

“Combining four bulk cheques for annual rent and three cheques for school fee payments can amount to over 50 per cent of the average salary in the UAE.

“By settling those recurring expenses through a monthly digital payment system rather than advance paper-based cheques, the 96 per cent monthly salaried people in the UAE can budget better to stay out of debt and protect their credit score.

“Direct Debit is offered at a very low cost to merchants incentivising them to allow monthly payments and providing piece of mind as a safe, legal alternative to cheques.”

Zenda Co-Founder Raman Thiagarajan said: “We are very excited to collaborate with Direct Debit System, a pioneer in offering a fully digital recurring payments platform in the UAE.

“Our services will help education institutions in offering flexibility to their parents, while enhancing their collection efficiency at the same time.”


Arabian Business

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