Financial

Mobile payment app for schools expands offering

Read time 3min 20sec
Doug Hoernle, founder of Karri.
Doug Hoernle, founder of Karri.

Mobile payment app for schools, Karri, has expanded to include collections for any local organisation that wants to collect payment from members.

Launched in April 2017, Karri allows parents or guardians to send money to schools for their children's extra-curricular activities, such as school trips or fundraising activities.

The app, created in partnership with Nedbank, also allows parents to view a calendar with all school events and activities listed. They are able to see which of the activities their child is required to partake in. It also features reminders so that a 'civvies day' or 'sports day' never comes as a surprise.

Its founders say since its launch, Karri has had "tens of thousands" of downloads on both the Android and iOS app stores, growing to just under 300 local schools registered on the platform.

Due to the success of the collections platform, Karri will now include collections for just about any purpose or organisation that wants to collect money from its members, such as NGOs, universities and scouting clubs.

Doug Hoernle, founder of Karri, explains: "Karri has provided a phenomenal solution to any school collecting funds for school outings, tours, civvies days and school fees.

"Instead of parents sending envelopes full of cash to their school, they can make a quick, safe and convenient payment direct from their mobile phone.

"The obvious next step was to expand the use of Karri to churches, camps, extramural activities, sports clubs, universities, ratepayers' associations, support groups and even fundraising campaigns. Karri can be used in just about any situation where funds need to be collected from a community."

Because Karri sends a message to members about collection requests, and reminds them to pay when they forget, this has resulted in schools collecting far more from parents than previously, notes the company.

Schools that use Karri include Grey College, Westerford High, The Grove Primary, Rhenish High and Primary, St Johns College, Jeppe Boys High, Bishop Bavin and Our Lady of Fatima.

"Each school active on Karri has 700 to 1 500 parents, and we get between 70% to 100% adoption of parents, depending on how long the school has been active on the app," Hoernle points out.

To start using the app, the school or organisation has to enter into a contractual agreement with Karri. The app is then able to allocate unique codes to each learner/member. Karri sends the codes to the parents/members by e-mail and SMS on the creation of their first event. Instant payment requests and tracking of successful payments are allocated to each user.

"Just like using the Uber app, a user can add their debit or credit card within the app, and then make quick and easy payments directly from their tokenised card."

The app makes money by charging a small transaction fee on all funds collected through the platform. It says there are no hidden costs.

Karri says it partnered with Nedbank to enable all the financial transactions to be processed through the Nedbank banking infrastructure; however, users can use any bank for payments.

"We wanted to meet bank-level regulation and compliance requirements to increase our credibility and ensure secure use of the app. In addition, users can load their credit cards and benefit from their bank's reward programmes when paying. Karri has a useful mobile wallet functionality that we see our parents use as a budgeting tool to make sure there are funds available to pay their school."

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