Beng Ching (left) and Jude stewarded an initiative to promote the GIRO payment option for student fees; with resulting cost savings channelled to bursaries
Jude Ang
Deputy Director
Office of Finance
Soong Beng Ching
Associate Director
Faculty of Science

OE heroes: Paying It Forward with GIRO

With a student population of more than 40,000 and the growing trend of NUS students paying for their fees with credit cards, the University incurred over $1 million in credit card transaction fees in 2018.

This spurred the Office of Finance (OFN) team to think out of the box and promote GIRO payment as an option for student tuition and hostel fees. With no transaction fees and fixed deduction dates for GIRO payments, OFN and the Faculties will be able to generate cost savings and eliminate the need for sending fee reminders to students. The team worked with DBS and OCBC to implement GIRO application for students who have accounts with these local banks, and the service with DBS and OCBC went live in July 2019 and January 2020 respectively. GIRO payment was also promoted through multiple channels such as student guides, banners and the student finance website among others, to increase awareness of the incentives for students to sign up for GIRO. Students who sign up for GIRO also enjoy the convenience of an online application with instantaneous approval from the bank.

Jude Ang, Initiative Owner (IO) and Deputy Director at OFN shared that the increase of student fee payments through GIRO enabled the University to save on credit card transaction fees and pledge a $10 donation to support financially needy students, for every successful GIRO transaction. “This project led to a 115% increase in GIRO sign-ups for Semester 1, AY2019/20. We will be contributing approximately $73,000 to a bursary fund that will support students with bursaries ranging from $900 to $3,500,” he shared.  

The team faced multiple challenges of working with internal and external stakeholders, and meeting tight timelines. Nonetheless, they overcame these hurdles quickly through collaborating closely with the Development Office, Registrar’s Office and the Student Service Centre, and updating each other regularly on project requirements.

Soong Beng Ching, Co-IO and Associate Director at the Faculty of Science expressed his appreciation for the support they received from project partners when working on their common goal of benefiting the student community. “I am heartened to know that the convenience and enhanced user experience of the online GIRO platform will help students to save the time and effort of making payments every semester and the University’s cost savings from credit card transaction fees can go towards supporting financially needy students during their time at NUS.”

oe-heroes-paying-it-forward-with-giro-team (1)

The GIRO payment team (from left): Jude Ang, Deputy Director (OFN); Tan Fong Yan, Senior Manager (OFN); Tan Eng Yee, Associate Director (OFN); Soong Beng Ching, Associate Director (FOS)

OE is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.


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