Case Study: African Leadership Academy

African Leadership Academy

School Advisor Case Study

Interview

3 Reasons Why African Leadership Academy Chose ALLXS As Their Cashless Payment Solution

The African Leadership Academy had three challenges to solve and a cashless payment solution was their solution. To find out what these challenges were and to find out more about ALLXS (the company they chose), we chatted to Nolizwe Mhlaba from the African Leadership Academy. Here’s what she had to say.

CASE STUDY INTERVIEW

Q.

Why did you implement a cashless system across your campus?

We needed to solve three challenges. First, reduce cash on campus for increased campus safety. Second, enable ventures in our entrepreneurship program to trade. The system provides a platform for experiential learning which exposes students to business tools such as product management, analysing financial data and online trading. Third, invest in a partnership where the features developed could then be affordably available to other schools. We’ve successfully achieved all of these aims. Educators come from all over the world to learn from how we’ve implemented our cashless entrepreneur economy.

Q.

What are the benefits that you experienced from creating a cashless campus?

The cashless system has fostered growth and improvement in a number of areas of campus life, including safety and learning outcomes. As expected, we have seen a sharp decline in the incidence of theft. In addition, much like a banking system, a cashless system provides visibility into the volume of money circulating on campus, outside of the institutional fees paid. The system further lends itself well to data collection and analysis: for instance, on students’ and staff members’ spending patterns. Through use of their digital accounts, students sharpen their financial literacy and management skills, and more confidently participate in on-campus trade. Within their ventures, they can develop their own products and services, allowing for innovation and creativity on their part, and demonstrating this talent to external guests. Moreover, they gain hands-on experience of tracking and managing revenues and profits in a manner that helps prepare them for such activity in the future, should they start their own businesses.

Q.

How did you manage to solve your challenges using the ALLXS platform?

The introduction of the single wallet, accessible in many ways (phone; web, card, kiosk), is helping us keep up with FinTech. Additionally, through the platform, money moves in and out of the system easily with credit cards and bank transfers from anywhere in the world. Moreover, students experience safe, private, peer-to-peer transfers. Approvals and controls for procurement are now in place for student run ventures through school finance.

Q.

What challenges did you experience in managing your entrepreneurship program?

Adoption of technology / change management. If things don’t work, students quickly work around/outside what you planned. That’s life. FinTech has moved so fast. While we were implementing cards, mobile wallets came along. It’s hard for a school to keep pace. As a boarding school, there are not enough “buyers” in the market, as we don’t have parents coming all the time. We are excited about our new e-commerce plans. Interfacing school procurement / finance controls and trying to create a real simulation. It’s achievable, but requires real buy-in from school finance to enable. The resources / time investment required to manage the economy from beginning to end.

Q.

Why did you choose ALLXS as your technology partner?

We were very clear on what kind of partner we needed, as we’d already implemented another solution as our original pilot. The key factors were: An existing customer base in schools - they had to understand schools; Being very mobile-friendly/mobile-first; The solution had to be cloud-based - we didn’t want infrastructure on campus; We wanted a company led by entrepreneurs, who would share belief in our work. ALLXS is run by a deeply entrepreneurial family with a long history in SA of building small businesses. They “got” what we were trying to do, and have invested a lot of their own time and energy into the partnership - we’re not just a client to them.

Q.

What are the biggest benefits you have seen from implementing the ALLXS Anzisha Ecosim?

The ALLXS Anzisha EcoSIM has fostered a greater sense of safety on campus and trust within the community, as seen in fewer reported cases of theft. Moreover, the system has added more transparency to financial processes and greater visibility into on-campus economic activity. It is exciting to see the Student Enterprises grow in their knowledge and entrepreneurial skills through experiential learning.

Would you recommend ALLXS to other schools?

Yes, we are confident in the flexible and responsive nature of our partnership. ALLXS has built and modified a platform to help us meet our goals. While there remain some areas for development, we are excited for the possibilities that come with a customizable product. Importantly, ALLXS’ wide range of offerings makes it possible to grow with a product into areas of innovation for your school.