Education Institutions Need a Payments Solution Now More than Ever

Schools need solutions that save administrators time and resources and give parents and students easier, more secure ways to pay than accepting cash or checks.

Today’s modern world includes many commerce conveniences that have filtered their way into everyday life, even to the world of education. The education system, just like many industries, is in the midst of a shift towards embracing technology to help simplify its processes. Payments is part of the solution that can help schools and universities achieve their strategic growth and keep pace with the technology trends.

Every school needs to accept some type of payment from students or parents. There might be some different payment situations based on if the school is public or private; however, for the most part, institutions will need to take payments for services like school sporting events, student tuition, after-school care, and even lunch programs.

Just like merchants today, schools are seeing an increase in the demand for a more convenient and simplistic payment experience that favors the use of credit cards or even mobile wallet options. In turn, the schools accepting those payments want a system that accurately tracks and manages those payment transactions.

Here are some reasons why education applications need integrated payments and why ISVs should allow their app to integrate with educational systems.

Inefficiencies for Both Administrators and Parents

Long gone are the days of sending a young child to school with money or a check. For most parents, this is not an ideal scenario and even opens up some concerns for mismanagement of sensitive personal information. Some find that a safe alternative is to make payments directly to school representatives in the front office. For the administration, accepting in-person payments by accepting cash or check means wasted time and resources by issuing receipts and delivering deposits to a physical bank location. By having schools and universities upgrade their payment acceptance methods; students and parents will have a simplified payment experience and the administrators within the education industry will not be tasked with cumbersome record keeping and money management.

Security Concerns of Cash

When dealing with cash, there are inherent risks that are associated. Well-documented are cases of embezzlement around cash payments for K-12 student fees and programs. Being able to minimize risks from the get-go helps parents know their money is getting where it’s intended. ISVs have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate their value by offering an application that features a seamlessly integrated payments solution that delivers safety and security.

Preference of the User

While most students in the K-12 system might not have as much immediate interaction with payments (often parents are making payments on behalf of the students for their participation in clubs, after-school events, etc.), there are a growing number of college students who are directly responsible for managing payment responsibilities for their various needs (books, tuition, meal plans, etc.). So, in the college system, these institutions would be wise to determine how their customers, the students, like to make payment. Perhaps using a mobile wallet is most convenient or maybe setting up recurring payments for their tuition is the most hassle-free scenario. These institutions should be making solutions available that are not only easy for administrators to use, but also for the students.

The education system is ripe for an integrated payments solution that meets the demands of administrators, and the parents or students that are making the payments, alike. ISVs can tap into a largely underserved segment by offering simplistic and customizable payment solutions that schools need. Aligning with a partner that has identified the unique needs of the educational system and offers a bundle of customizable solutions, will help you increase your market share and drive value for your customers. 


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Pat Ward
Pat is in his second decade in the Payments Industry. Throughout his career he’s focused on creating long-term and profitable partnerships with best-of-breed Independent Software Vendors. Since joining North American Bancard (NAB) in 2014, Pat has been instrumental in building out NAB's Integrated and Semi-Integrated Partner Programs, and for bringing some of the best POS companies into the NAB Family.