NatWest’s payments solution Payit and university service provider JS Group have formed a new partnership to speed up the process of getting funding, such as grants and bursaries, to students in the UK university sector.
The aim of the new service is to reduce the time it takes for universities to get funds directly into students’ bank accounts, from days to minutes.
It comes after the latest NatWest Student Living Index revealed that 35% of students have found themselves running out of money by the end of term – 8% higher than in 2021.
Almost one in five, or 18%, of students rely on their grant, hardship loan, bursary or scholarship to pay their rent.
The 2022 report, which surveyed 2,964 students across the UK, identified that 18% find managing their money at university “stressful”.
JS Group has estimated that between £800 million and £1 billion is being issued to students each year, including a combination of criteria-based awards and application-based payments, such as bursaries, digital access funds, hardship funds and endowments, scholarships and other third-party funding schemes.
The group’s partnership with Payit will mean universities no longer have to collect and verify student bank account details manually and, instead, institutional finance teams will need to provide details of benefitting students and their award.
Powered by the Payit API solution, through the Aspire Cash funding platform launched by JS Group to support the issuance of student funding in the UK, JS Group can then set up accounts for those benefitting students and send them details of how to access their funds.
Mike Elliff, CEO of Payit by NatWest, said: “Our payment solution can play a vital role in improving the university experience of students at a time when they are feeling the financial strain the most, transforming the way in which universities and students deliver and receive funding – a process that now takes minutes and not days.
“It’s an industry-first, having the capability to capture intent at the point of drawdown and get a broader understanding of how students are spending their much-needed funds. All of which can be introduced to a university within just a month.”
According to Peter Gray, CEO of JS Group, universities could save between 5% to 15% of their current total administration costs by adopting the service.