An online service to request & receive academic transcripts
An online payment, and transcript request and delivery system to replace existing paper-based applications.
Pitch us on your solution
In Bangladesh, a significant amount of time of students is being wasted to submit an application for withdrawing academic transcript. The process includes going to the resident bank of the respective university to make payment and submit a paper-based application.
We are providing an integrated system to make payment and submit the application online. This integration brings all parties such as the bank, the office of the exam controller and the applicant under one single platform.
Our novel solution streamlines the entire process and removes a tremendous amount of paperwork and travel time. It not only changes the lives of the Bangladeshi student by providing a seamless way to track and receive their transcript on time but also the lives of the general people by reducing carbon emission caused by using a gigantic pile of papers.
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What is the problem you are solving?
All graduating students withdraw their transcripts at least once in their lifetime, sometimes, even more, when they apply for a job or higher studies. Similarly, the university authorities would like to provide as many transcripts as requested by the students. However, the university administration fails to cope with demand due to the lack of interactive systems between both parties. We address this gap by harvesting internet technology and online payments.
Our solution would directly impact all students who go to universities in Bangladesh. As of now, our pilot project is only available to a limited number of students. However, there are about 125 universities in Bangladesh without our service or a comparable service. That means that about 1.2 million students would be benefited from our service if we could roll it out for all universities. This number can also be increased if it is extended to schools and colleges as well.
Who are you serving?
This will directly address the problem faced by all graduating students in any universities in Bangladesh. We were a few of those students who faced this difficulty when we attempt to collect our academic transcripts after finishing the degree. Therefore we know this need as a first-hand experience. Our online solution for making payment and withdrawing an academic transcript addresses the need urged by all general students. Additionally, our third-party transcript delivery system comes with a tracking number that provides peace-of-mind to all users.
What is your solution?
Our integrated online solution is provided to the students to make payment and submit an application to withdraw their academic transcript. It’s a web-based solution where an applicant provides their necessary information requested by the university authority. We then verify their information and place the request to the respective department of that university. An applicant pays their transcript fees online using any credit or debit card. We are authorized and directly connected to all major payment gateways available in Bangladesh to execute such transactions. All applicants received a tracking number via email and mobile SMS after a successful transaction. The university authority also gets notified of any requests placed by an applicant.
Moreover, we have added third party courier services (DHL, FedEx, etc.) for delivering student transcripts nationally and internationally. Currently, university authorities do not send transcripts to students’ given addresses. Since students need to send their transcript to many places especially to foreign graduate schools, we have added this feature so that they can send it straightway to graduate schools by paying service fees through our e-Payment system.
Unlike other payment service providers in Bangladesh, we are aimed and dedicated to facilitating e-Payment service only to academic organizations. We have already piloted our project with Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh (http://www1.sust.edu/epayment/) which has been happily accepted by the students and the authorities.
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Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Sylhet, Bangladesh
In which sector would you categorize your solution?
Our solution's stage of development:Growth
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
This type of e-payment service in educational sectors in Bangladesh is not as common as it is in the USA. We have introduced it for the first time in Bangladesh. We connected banks, students, courier services and the university administrations under one single platform and proved how a tedious paper-based application and old school style payment system can be replaced with the all-in-one online system. This not only helps an applicant to submit an application instantly but also allows the university administration to process way more application than before. This user and environment friendly ecosystem also reduced the use of papers to zero. Now we would like to extend our service to reach as many educational institutes in Bangladesh as possible.
Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?
I have been always involved in outreach and community-engagement programs since my college life. When I lived in Bangladesh, I developed a mobile SMS-based application system for students to submit their application as part of their undergraduate admission and enrollment. Traditionally, the student had to travel to different cities to submit their application form for their desired universities. Since the internet was not available to mass people during that time, I was motivated to mitigate this hurdle faced by students using a different technology. Since cellular service was much more reliable in Bangladesh then, I developed an SMS-based application system so students can apply for different colleges around the country using their cell phones. This application gained significant recognition around the country and was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. This experience really motivated me and reinforced how technology could be a driver of social good. When I came across this transcript problem faced by my classmates and friends, I formed Criss Cross Computers to provide a solution to that problem. My team received tons of positive feedback from the users after running our pilot project for the past few years. By now, we know this is the solution everyone wants in other universities that we have been serving to a specific group of people.
Select the key characteristics of the population in Bangladesh your solution serves.
In which countries do you currently operate?
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?
We have been serving approximately 1000 users in the past few years through our pilot project.
If we roll out our service to 90 universities in Bangladesh, we'll be serving around 120000 users in one year and 600000 in about five years.
Adding schools and colleges under this service would keep increasing the number too.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
Currently, our system is designed only to provide e-payment services for academic transcript fees for SUST. We are aiming to extend our e-payment for all sorts of fees (including admission fees, semester fees, convocation fees, and so on) for students within one year.
Eventually, we are planning to roll out a complete e-payment service for all sorts of fees to the rest of the universities in Bangladesh.
What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?
The majority of the administrative job in public universities in Bangladesh are done in old school style and people are hesitant to accept new technologies to execute their daily jobs. So the major obstacle for us to convince them to embrace our service.
How are you planning to overcome these barriers?
As soon as they realize that the same paperwork can be done online which is much faster than the current process, they accept it which we already observed at our current service area. Additionally, we are in the process to offer our service to the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh who can eventually introduce this to all of their member universities.
If you selected “My solution is already being implemented in Bangladesh,” please provide an overview of your current activities in the region.
The online transcript service has been up and running only for the students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh. Both the students and the administration have been happily using this service. We have already served more than 1000 students in the past years. When an application is submitted online, the university administration can see it instantly via our web portal. Similarly, when it gets ready, our team goes there and pick it up and send it directly via courier services to the address given by the applicant. People also found it very useful when they had to send a transcript to a foreign university as we provide a DHL tracking number for their application.
Select an option below:For-profit
How many people work on your solution team?
4 part-time staffs
1 full-time staff
For how many years have you been working on your solution?
About 5 years
Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?
We experienced the problem first hand while we were there as student. Therefore, we know the type of solution for this particular problem everyone was looking for. That gave us the unique opportunity to fill the gap for everyone with our service. Additionally, we are a highly qualified team consists of Full-time researchers, Software engineers with industry experiences.
We have got hands-on experience in Software and web application development using the latest technologies including HTML5, CSS, NodeJS, GoLang, MySQL, Postgres, RESTAPIs, Docker, Kubernetes, GCP to name a few.
With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?
We partnered with Dutch Bangla Bank Ltd., Brac Bank, and bKash to provide payment services to our clients. According to our agreement, we provide a service fee to all our partners on all transacted amounts.
What is your business model?
Basically we make money by incurring service charges. We have schools, colleges, medical colleges and universities where students need to pay course registration fees, late fees, transcript fees, commencement fees, etc. These fees can be paid through our service. Therefore, students will have to pay a service charge to acquire our service which would be a reasonable amount. In our pilot project, we are in small profits and our defined service charge in the pilot project is lesser than the current bank fees. Moreover, students will be able to send their transcripts directly to other schools or to their given address by using our third-party courier services. They should also be able to monitor their application status online. At present, students need to go to the university physically to collect their transcripts. On top of the physical visit, there are other bureaucratic hassles they face. But if they go through our e-Payment service and pay the service charge then our company makes it much easier for them to send a transcript to their given address. Besides service charge, eventually we will introduce other paid services like subscribing academic results and updates, parents and students can be notified by SMS for those updates, etc.
What is your path to financial sustainability?
We have been trying to offer this service centrally to the government so that they can offer it to other universities and both of us can share the revenues.
Why are you applying to the Tiger Challenge?
By teaming up with Tiger Challenge, we can get the recognition and additional operating costs as funding to reach out to all major public universities in Bangladesh to introduce and promote our current service.
What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?
With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?
We would like to partner with the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh as they are responsible for formulating higher education policy and quality assurance to meet the international standard and advise the Government accordingly. Being a strategic partner, they could play an import role to introduce this concept to all major universities in Bangladesh.