August 9, 2020

5 Ways to Successfully Pay for Your Online Degree

by Jens Ischebeck

Online courses become more palatable and more popular by each day with digital tools to gain access to higher education readily available to all. By enrolling for an online course, you can either opt to enhance your personnel skills (e.g. with Udemy courses) or graduate online (e.g. with Coursera courses).

There are many methods through which an e-learner can pay for an online course. Let’s check the probabilities of paying online with the assumption that you are using Udemy and/or Coursera.

The following are the methods that are available for the enrolled students.

Online Banking

Students can pay tuition and other fees through online banking. This approach is convenient since it helps the students make the transactions at any particular time and within location with access to the internet.  

East African students can, therefore, meet the fee cost for their online courses in Udemy and Coursera by creating an account with their respective banks and then transfer the necessary cash. It’s easier for students to check balances and make payments. Online banking is not only appropriate across the current accounts, credit cards, savings and credit cards but transactions can easily be viewed through the online platforms.

The ability to manage online banking accounts ensures students can keep track of the payments they make to their providers. For instance, it becomes easier to search for bank statements and payment history through the internet. It is also easy to create emails and text alerts that give the account information regarding small balances and when payments are due.

The money transfers through internet banking are secured and quicker between the student and the online course provider. Another unique feature of this method of payment is the ability to schedule bills in advance without fear of internet security.

Mobile Banking & Mobile wallets

Various banks across the world support mobile banking services. Students from East African region can pay for their online courses by transferring cash from their mobile devices. Through mobile devices, it becomes easier for people with bank accounts to check balances, deposit cash, pay bills, transfer money, and get cash-back deals from any location and time.

Mobile banking has high levels of security and is very convenient. Therefore, students can conveniently use these services at the right time, without affecting the flow of their studies or the execution of their duties at their places of work. The approach is faster and hence does not lead to wastage of time.

Mobile banking allows the bankers to receive alerts as text messages on their mobile devices. However, these services may incur some charges from their mobile access service provider. The modern mobile devices have the mobile banking apps that only require the users to have a stable internet connection.

For example, iPads, iPhones, and Android phones support the mobile business apps. The mobile check deposits are subject to verification and hence not available for immediate withdrawals. They also have deposit limits, proper disposal of controls, restrictions and terms and conditions.

The transfer of money using the mobile devices attracts some charges. However, it is one of the best methods which students can use to pay for their online courses at Udemy and Coursera due to its convenience.

Credit Cards

Students can meet their fee costs through credit cards. The charges for transferring cash using the credit cards are approximately 2% of the funds being transferred.

Some of the standard credit cards with the East African Students include the Master Card, Visa card, and American Express. The rates charged on transfer of funds vary from time to time. For the case of the Master Card, the rates may vary between 1.55% and 2.6%. For the event of the Visa Card, the rates may vary between 1.56% and 2.3% and between 2.5% and 3.5% for the case of the American Express card.

The above rates are the anticipated average costs. In reality, much more costs are incurred as part of the processing fee, which is highly variable due to some factors. The additional cost may be in the form of discount rates or the American express processing fee.

The discount rate is the percentage of a sale that goes towards paying a credit card processing fee. It involves all the payment given to the card issuer and the network through the interchange fee and assessment fee. For students having the American Express cards, they may be forced to incur extra costs since the processing fee is quite higher compared to other credit cards.

Payments through the credit cards are secure and faster as compared to other methods of payments. It also enables the students to keep track of their payment history through bank statements. As a result, using credit cards remains an advantageous mode of paying the fee of the online course.


PayPal provides secure online payments, without having to waste a lot of time. The payments are made from credits cards or debits cards. For students having bank accounts, they are only required to have an account with the PayPal. Only an email address and its password are needed to make the cash transfers.

Udemy uses this method of payment and hence remains a better option for the students. PayPal is an efficient way of transferring funds, and it allows one to keep track of the payments made.

It is important to note that Coursera does not use PayPal in African countries. For those paying to Coursera, consider using other methods.


Udemy and Coursera have partnered with Payoneer, which is the leading global payment service provider. The partnership offers another flexible and cheaper payment method. Students having a Payoneer MasterCard can quickly make cash transfers to Udemy directly from their local bank accounts.

Before making the money transfers, students are required to sign up an account with Payoneer and then obtain a prepaid MasterCard, which they can receive while in East African countries. This MasterCard is just used like any other debit card.

The cash transfers through Payoneer are quick, easy and safe. The entire transaction takes between one to three business days. After making the payments, the student will receive a confirmation email having further details such as the copy of the identification documents, certificate of the corporation, bank statements among other relevant documents.

The duration funds take before being transferred to Udemy or Coursera may vary depending on the country, bank or the method of payment.

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e-learning, online degree

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