IntelliMali: Helpful Resource and Guide for Students 2023 

IntelliMali Helpful Guide for Students.

IntelliMali was established to relieve pressure experienced by Chief Financial Officers and Financial Aid practitioners such as NSFAS at South African Higher Education institutions and has grown substantially from this original base. 

It focuses on distributing funds to higher education institutions in South Africa by becoming the most trustworthy agency that donors can trust with their money.

Most organizations cannot administer allowances that need to be paid to recipients of the allowance. Allowances fall within a range of categories: Tuition, Accommodation, Books, Food, Cash, Travel, Clothing, Fuel, Entertainment, and more.

How Intellimali works

Intellimali and the client or funder enter into an agreement which enables:

  1. Recipients to access a convenient and straightforward way to purchase all their necessities and manage their allowance, loan, or bursary funds.
  2. Merchants to experience efficient transactions, increased turnover, and painless end-of-month reconciliation processes; and
  3. Funders to experience a significant reduction in administrative time and effort in the comprehensive management of allowances.

How to log into Intellimali

To access Intellimali login,

  1. Navigate to
  2. Click on Account Log In.
  3. Enter your ID Number.
  4. Enter your PIN.
  5. Click on the Login button to access your dashboard.
Intellimali login.
Intellimali login.

​How to register your bank details on Intellimali                                              ​

The bank details option only becomes available once a cash allowance has been allocated to your account. Intellimali does not require your banking details if no cash allowance is allocated. You will receive an SMS to confirm your bank details once a cash allowance has been allocated to you.

  1. Log into the Intellimali student portal at with your Identity Number and PIN.
    • If you have not received a PIN via SMS, please ensure that your cell phone number is correct. If it has changed, please update your student profile on campus.
    • If you are not able to log in, your account may be disabled or locked out. To unlock your account, email or call Intellimali at
  2. Once logged in, Click on Accounts -> Account Details options from the navigation bar.
    • Please check that your email address is correct. You will receive a verification email at this email address. If this is blank, please fill it in.
    • If it is incorrect, please send an email to with the correct email address so that it can be updated.
  3. The allowance loaded will be shown, and below that, the Banking Details section appears. This will be blank if your details have not yet been entered.
  4. Fill in the required fields (Account Holder, Bank name, Account Number, Account Type). If you have a Nedbank account, please use “Cheque” as the account type even though it is a savings account.
  5. Once this is done, click the Save Changes button at the bottom left of the page. Once you click this button, a warning will appear. NB! DO NOT click on the “Delete Pending Verification” button.
    • Please wait for the email and remain signed in to your profile.
    • If you have not received the email within a few minutes, check if your email address is correct.
  6. You will receive an email with a verification link. Open your email and click the verification link to complete the bank details registration process.
    • You must be signed in to your account before clicking on the verification link.
    • Once verified, the warning will disappear.
  7. You will receive an SMS on your registered cellphone number to confirm that bank details have been updated.
    • The SMS is to notify you that your bank details have changed. This is only a concern if you do not change your bank details.

How to check Intellimali balance

There are three ways to check your IntelliMali balance

  1. To check your Intellimali balance via USSD code, dial *120*44431*student number# and follow the prompts.
  2. Alternatively, you can log into the Intellimali student portal, My Intellimali ( After that, you can check your balance in the Intellizone.
  3. Another option is to visit an Intellicard merchant and ask for a balance inquiry. The merchant will then ask you to swipe your student card and enter your PIN. The point of sale machine will print out a slip indicating your balance.

See Also: How to check your NSFAS Wallet Balance.

Do I need a separate card to use Intellicard?

Intellicard is either incorporated into your student card or provided as separate care (depending on the university or institution) and remotely activated. If your student card is stolen or lost, and you need a new one, this will not affect your Intellicard account.

How do I know if I am registered for Intellicard?

Your university or institution will inform you of this when your allowances are loaded onto the Intellicard system. You will also receive an SMS with your student PIN and a welcome email. If you are unsure about whether or not you’re currently registered as an Intellicard user, feel free to give IntelliMali a call or send an email.

 Can I apply for an Intellicard account?

If you receive an allowance through a loan or South African bursary award, your institution will apply for an Intellicard account for you. You may apply directly to Intellicard for allowance management if you have a private sponsor.

What are the differences between the allowance types?

The vital thing to be aware of is that portions of your bursary are sometimes transferred directly into your bank account. In contrast, others are divided into food, book, stationery, or other allowance categories.

In some cases, Intellicard facilitates the transfer of cash payments, but our system primarily focuses on these other allowance categories. 

These categories don’t require a transfer to your bank account; they are accessed with your student card by swiping your card at an Intellicard merchant. If you are unsure whether you have a cash payment coming to you or an Intellicard allowance, ask somebody at your financial aid office. You can also view your available allowances on this student portal.

How long will it take to receive my cash allowance?

Your funds should be available to you within a maximum of 7 working days from the time they receive an instruction to pay it from the institution. For students receiving cash every month, funds will be transferred on the 1st of each month, and you can expect to have the funds available in your account within 24 hours.

See also: SASSA SRD Status Check Guide.

What might cause my cash allowance to be delayed?

There are several possible causes for delayed payment. Firstly, speak to someone at your financial aid office and make sure they have sent IntelliMali instructions for your payment. IntelliMali can only begin processing a student’s payment once the tertiary institution has sent this instruction. 

If this is not the problem, make sure that you have given your banking details and that they are correct. Lastly, it could be that they’ve received your payment notification from the institution. However, it is still being processed, as there is a maximum turnaround time of 7 working days from this notification.

How do I add or update my banking details?

Click on the “Update details” link inside this student portal. Fill in your banking details, and click “Update.” You will then receive an email with a link that you need to click to verify these changes. Make sure you have entered the correct details; otherwise, someone else might end up with your cash allowance.

Where can I use my Intellicard?

Allowances can only be used for their stated purposes. So a book allowance, for example, can only be spent on books. 

In most cases, there are designated merchants, so your book allowance may be limited to a few book stores selected by your institution. Your institution will inform you to use your Intellicard or check the merchant list.

What should I do if my card has been lost or stolen?

If your card has been lost or stolen, it is essential to disable it as quickly as possible. It can be re-enabled later after the problem has been resolved.

How do I disable my card?

You can disable your by calling or emailing IntelliMali or disabling it via the student portal. Disabling your Intellicard will not disable your student card; you will still be able to use your card for things like entering a lab. 

You will also still be able to log on to the student portal and view your account details. However, it does mean that you will not be able to make purchases with your student card until the card has been re-enabled.

How do I re-enable my card?

To re-enable your card, contact IntelliMali via email or telephone.

How do I perform a transaction on Intellimali?

You perform a transaction almost the same way you would a debit card transaction. Choose what you want to buy, and hand your student card to the merchant, who will swipe it through a point of sale machine. Then you will need to enter your student PIN (the 5-digit code sent to you when you were added to the system). 

Lastly, you will need to sign the slip printed by the machine, and the transaction will be complete.

Is it possible to get a refund on purchased goods?

Yes – if the merchant agrees to the refund, they swipe your card and issue you a refund, and your allowance will immediately be credited with the refunded amount. For partial refunds, the merchant will refund the total amount of the original transaction and process a new transaction for the corrected amount.

How do I find out how much money I have left?

There are several ways to do this. Firstly, you can go to any Intellicard merchant and ask them to perform an inquiry. As with a transaction, you will be required to swipe your student card and enter your student PIN.

The point-of-sale machine will print out a receipt displaying your available balances. Another way to see your balances is to log in to the student portal (see below). Another way is to dial *120*44431*student number# and follow the prompts to view your balances.

How much will Intellicard cost me?

As a student user, the Intellicard is free: You get the card for free, it’s activated at no cost, and purchases, refunds, and inquiries you make using Intellicard will cost you nothing.

What is my student PIN? How do I get it?

Your student PIN is a five-digit numeric code that you enter when you make a purchase and log in to your student portal. It will be sent to you via SMS when your information is loaded onto the system. It is, therefore, vital that they have your correct cellphone number.

What if somebody discovers my PIN?

If your PIN is discovered, you should disable your card as quickly as possible. You should never tell anyone your PIN.

I’ve forgotten my student PIN; what can I do?

If you have forgotten your PIN, click on the “I’ve forgotten my student PIN” link below the login form or from the “Students” dropdown menu.

My allowances appear to be wrong; who should I talk to?

Suppose you are expecting but haven’t yet received an allowance, either in the form of a cash deposit paid into your account or an Intellicard allowance (i.e., Books, Food, Stationery, etc.). In that case, your first stop should be your Financial Aid Office. 

The institution will send payment instructions for students, and only once they have these instructions can update your allowance amounts, so it’s a good idea to speak to them to see if your payment instruction still needs to be sent. If you have any other problems with your allowances, don’t hesitate to contact IntelliMali.

I want to change my cash allowance into an Intellicard allowance, or vice versa. Is this possible?

You will need to speak with somebody at your financial aid office. Unfortunately, IntelliMali cannot decide how bursary or loan funding is allocated – This information is received from the institution. If they agree to transfer one or more of your allowances, they will let IntelliMali know, and your allowance will be transferred.

Does my Intellicard need to be renewed?

Your Intellicard account will be automatically maintained while your bursary or student loan is active.

When can I use my Intellicard?

Your institution will determine a start and end date during the academic year your Intellicard will be active. If you are unsure of these dates, check with your institution.

How do I get a voucher number if I use a cell phone?

With your cell phone, dial *120*44431*student number*pin#. For example, if your student number is “2015031234” and your PIN is “23436”, dial *120*44431*2015031234*23436#. 

This will give you a voucher number that is valid for 5 minutes. You may save this number as a contact on your cell phone for quick access.

How long will it take to receive NSFAS cash allowance as a Unisa student?

Funds should be available within a maximum of 14 working days from the time a study fee account is debited with Intellimali transaction, monthly living allowance of R290.00 will be transferred on the 1st of each month and students can expect to have the funds available in their account within 24 hours.

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    • Hi Namhla,

      From the Intellimali student portal, click on the “Update details” link and change your email address.


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