More than a third of students run out of money before the end of term, with nearly one in five (18%) relying on their scholarship, hardship loan, bursary or bursary to pay rent .

A new payment solution can help reduce the time students wait to receive these payments.

NatWest’s Payit payment solution and university services provider JS Group have joined forces to roll out an innovative solution across the UK university sector, to secure scholarships and hardship funds for students in minutes rather than in a few days.

The new service aims to simplify access to money, helping students alleviate financial hardship with faster payments directly to their bank account and has launched with universities across the UK.

The launch comes as the NatWest Student Living Index* reveals that more than a third (35%) of students found themselves short of money at the end of term – 8% more than in 2021. Nearly one in five (18%) students said they found managing their money stressful. For the 2022 report, 2,964 students across the UK were surveyed, with key financial pressures on students identified.

Mike Elliff, CEO of Payit by NatWest comments:

“Paying for college life will be the primary consideration for many students right now as the new academic year approaches and the cost of living starts to bite. Quick and convenient access to funding will be a priority for some students as they pursue their education.

“With more than a quarter of students in the UK being offered financial support by their university, university finance and administration teams are facing increasing pressure from students who need financial support. quickly access their funds.

Our payment solution can play a vital role in improving the college experience for students at a time when they are feeling the most financial hardship, by transforming the way universities and students provide and receive funding – a process which now takes minutes instead of days. .

“This is an industry first that has the ability to capture intent at the point of withdrawal and gain a broader understanding of how students are spending their much-needed funds. All of this can be introduced to a university in just one month.

With the JS Group estimating that £800-1 billion is distributed to students each year, administrative costs and payment processing time for universities continue to rise.

These payments include a combination of criteria-based awards and application-based payments such as scholarships, digital access funds, hardship funds and endowments, scholarships, and other 3rd party funding schemes.

Payit means universities don’t need to manually collect and verify student bank details. Instead, institutional finance teams simply need to provide details of the beneficiary students and their scholarship.

Using the Payit API solution, through the Aspire Cash** funding platform, JS Group can then create accounts for beneficiary students and send them details on how to access their funds. Students can withdraw their funds whenever and wherever they want, to the bank account of their choice using their smartphone and a two-step verification process.

This innovative approach provides students with real-time access to funds, control over the sending of funds, and assistance with budgeting.

This enables universities to be able to provide a better customer experience for students, benefit from cost savings as it reduces the involvement of a finance team, reduces data security obligations associated with student bank details students and provides the university with the ability to capture more student data and information about students with financial support needs which, in turn, can help better target the allocation of funds.

Peter Gray, CEO, JS Group comments:

“Universities could save between 5 and 15% of their current total administrative costs by adopting this innovative approach to payments.

“But in addition to this substantial cost savings which frees up administrative staff to provide direct support to students, this approach dramatically improves the student and university experience by putting financial control back into students so they can manage their funds. as they see fit.

Kirsten Black, Director, Student Journey at the University of Sunderland, comments:

“We’ve used Aspire Cash this year and the feedback from students and staff has been very positive. The service is easy for students and the university to use, and it’s great to have data and insights on how students use their funds.

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