Digital Finance in the Education Sector

Education is among the most important tools for breaking the cycle of poverty and providing a brighter future for children. Yet there are 124 million children between the ages of 6 and 15 who are not in school, in many cases because their families struggle with the financial burden of educating their children.

Can innovations in mobile money help change this picture? There are several emerging opportunities for mobile payments and digital finance to transform the way people pay for and access education. For example, mobile money is making it easier to make school fee payments, to access and pay for online and mobile learning courses, and for schools and governments to pay teacher salaries. In addition, financial service providers are beginning to offer a range of digital savings and loan products that could help families manage the cost of education. Together, these innovations may play an important role in keeping more children in school.

This blog series complements the CGAP Working Paper on Digital Finance and Innovations in Financing for Education.

Posts in this series

A student in primary school in Kampala
23 May 2017
Mobile money can make paying school fees easier and cheaper, so why aren't more schools adopting it? Part of the solution could involve a simple app for inexpensive smartphones and tablets.
Mother and child in Uganda
08 May 2017
1 comment
In Uganda, CGAP partnered with a solar company to better understand the education finance needs of rural customers and explore how pay-as-you-go solar companies can get into education financing.
Teacher and students in Liberia
01 December 2016
What if a teacher in rural Liberia could collect her salary instantly and remotely? USAID recently partnered with the Liberian Ministry of Education to roll out the first mobile salary payments, and the preliminary results are extremely promising.
Graph: Paying for school
14 October 2016
The inability to pay fees and other education expenses keeps many children out of school. What is the extent of these challenges, who is affected and what kinds of financial services could help?
Mobile phone facilitates education payments
28 September 2016
For many low-income families worldwide, education can be out of reach. Mobile money and digital financial services have the potential to help families by providing them with better tools that can help them save, plan and make education payments.