CAIRO, Oct.8 (SEE)-The American University in Cairo launched AUC Coin, making AUC the first cashless campus in the region. AUC Coin is a pre-paid electronic payment system that allows students, faculty and staff to use their IDs as a method of payment for on-campus purchases. Currently 9,000 undergraduates, graduates, faculty and staff members across AUC are able to use their IDs as a mode of payment for on-campus purchases, at most of the major eateries, bookstores and the Copy Center. “Paperless” comes as one of the main digital transformation pillars leveraging technological advancement to redefine the entire AUC experience.
The penetration of AUC Coin, which was launched during Spring 2018, has currently reached 50 percent of the undergraduate student body, 15 percent of graduate students, 40 percent of staff members and 15 percent of faculty. More than 12,000 transactions of almost one million Egyptian pounds circulated in the new system in 3 months. All transactions are real-time based and reported on users’ personal portals and accounts for accuracy and efficiency.
As AUC embarks on the journey towards digital innovation, students have welcomed the change. “I started using the system once it was introduced,” said Youssef Hafez, finance sophomore. AUC Coin also allows users to track and control their spending as they pre-load cash in their account. “It is great. This new form of payment has managed to eliminate the problem of finding change. It is very convenient since I can use my ID to pay not only in the food outlets on campus but in the bookstore as well.”
For vendors, AUC Coin has facilitated their daily transactions. “Once AUC Coin was introduced, many students started using it. Our transactions ranged from LE200 per day to LE1000 through AUC Coin,” said Mohamed Salah, the manager of one of the coffee shops at AUC, “Using AUC Coin has definitely helped in solving the regular cash problem. It makes my work easier and faster.”
Electronic payment offers an option that is “environmentally conscious and more accurate. It also offers more transparency for all the transactions happening across campus,” said Hanan Abdel Meguid, vice president for management and transformation at AUC, who introduced a plan for a digital transformation at the University, “It’s the new wave. The growth of digital economy is disrupting industries all over the world. AUC in its turn, continues to provide students with an unmatched environment, experiencing firsthand what the future will look like, adopting Innovations by both local and international providers that allow students to embrace the change and stay ahead of the curve,” added Abdel Meguid.
The impact of AUC’s innovative ventures goes beyond its campus, as it exposes students to technologies and tools that may not be as readily available outside of the campus, which in return allows them to be creative, innovative and pioneers in markets where these technologies may not exist.
AUC COIN cashless solution is powered by PayMob – a rapidly growing FinTech company– founded by a group of AUC alumni who are working on digitizing Egypt’s cash-based economy through innovative technology. “At PayMob, we believe in the positive economic impact of digitizing payments. Working with AUC has provided us with a unique opportunity to be part of its journey in becoming the first cashless campus in the region, and build a new generation ready for the digital future,” said Islam Shawky, co-founder and CEO at PayMob.