Absa Bank, in collaboration with Intel and Microsoft, has developed a PC and notebook finance package aimed at tertiary education level students. The new product has been designed to enable students to affordably finance the purchase of a new PC or notebook computer for use in their studies.
International research has shown a high correlation between PC penetration and the income level and local research has shown that the penetration of PCs into higher education in South Africa is still below 4%, due mainly to high interest rates that impact the affordability of a PC.
As a result many students lack the requisite IT skills to empower them while at university or effectively enter the job market.
"Owning a laptop gives students the opportunity to exponentially increase their learning potential – it gives them mobility and access to global knowledge, and literally opens up the world for them,' says Shannon Timothy, head of student banking solution at Absa.
"Power Up Your Lifestyle", a new package from Absa, provides a customised financing option as part of its student loan programme. Power Up Your Lifestyle effectively addresses the digital divide that exists in South Africa, providing an affordable solution to PC or Notebook ownership among students, enabling them to skill up for the future and provide the country with critical and marketable talent.
"Too often, though, the cost of a new laptop is just too high – particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. We want to give students a head start by giving them the option to buy a new Dell laptop as part of an existing Absa Student Loan, or by enabling them to take out a new student loan to finance their purchase," says Timothy.
The financing and repayment option of the laptop will be exactly like that of a generic student loan. Students will be able to finance the computer equipment as part of an existing student loan or by taking out a new student loan solely to purchase a laptop.
Dell, HP and Mustek have been identified as the hardware suppliers on this programme.