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11 Ways Your Payment Solution Should Work for You and Your Students

8/30/2022 7:00 PM

When it comes to making a payment, fast and seamless transactions are expected by consumers no matter how or where they are paying. Students are no different. Long gone are the days of paying with a check or credit card in person at the cashier’s window or mailing a payment to the business office. Today’s students, parents, alumni, and others expect financial transactions with colleges and universities to be mobile-driven, paper-free, and instantaneous.

Selecting the right payment solution is key to meeting these expectations and providing a consistent, secure, and reliable payment experience. Here are the top 11 features that will ensure a superior payment experience on campus:

1. Easy to Use

Students want to easily make payments when, where, and how they want and receive confirmation immediately. Providing an online, self-service portal with automated alerts achieves this. Bonus points if the solution allows students to schedule payments, view their balance and account activity, and save payment profiles and methods.

2. Financial Transparency

The ability to view the student account balance, bill details, financial aid, and payment activity is a basic requirement of any payment solution. This level of account detail ensures complete financial transparency.

3. International Payments

Institutions should consider international students’ needs. Does the solution offer payment methods accepted in their home country? Can students see conversion rates so there are no surprises?

4. Always Up to Date

Inaccurate, out of date payment data is not a good experience for anyone. A payment solution that integrates with your student information and other financial systems provides 24/7 visibility into account activity. This connection enables students and authorized users to view their account and payment history in real-time.

5. Secure

Protecting sensitive financial information is mandatory, especially as cyber attacks, fraud, and data breaches continue to increase. Ensure your payment solution meets compliance standards and regulations, provides a secure payment environment, and safeguards institutional and student data.

6. Ability to Add Users to Their Account

Many students need to give parents, guardians, sponsors, and others access to their student account. Your payment solution should allow students to add authorized users, giving the additional user the ability to view the student’s financial account information and make payments on their behalf.

7. Payment Plans

For students who want to avoid taking on debt for their education, payment plans are a great option. A payment solution that includes payment plans is an excellent way to help students avoid loans, budget, and spread out their tuition payments, providing a positive user experience. An important feature of any payment plan solution is auto-recalculation, ensuring that when changes are made, accounts are kept up to date.

8. Automation

Automatic bill payment is a standard bank service that today’s students are accustomed to. A payments solution that allows students to set up recurring payments for tuition means they can set it and forget it. This feature saves time, and helps students avoid late fees and account holds. Additionally, a solution offering stored payment profiles eliminates the need for students to rekey information, further streamlining the payment process.

9. Schedule Alerts

Just as with their bank account, students want to set alerts for payment confirmations, statements, and due dates, sent via their preferred communication method. Your payment solution should deliver similar notification options.

10. Tuition Protection

Having to withdraw from an institution due to an unexpected illness could result in significant financial loss. A payment solution that offers voluntary tuition insurance helps students and parents protect their investment in higher education and positively impacts their experience.

11. Single Sign On

Reducing the number of usernames and passwords that students need to navigate their higher education journey is a game changer. Integrating a payment solution with an institution’s student information system gives students single sign-on access to their account, reducing friction in making payments and the frustration of forgetting multiple passwords.

Meeting student expectations at every interaction drives positive results for your institution. Integration with your student information system means student accounts are automatically updated and accurate, reducing the potential for errors. An online, self-service payments solution that provides automation reduces staff workload and simplifies reconciliation, while freeing administrators up to focus on providing excellent service.

Monmouth University unifies and streamlines payment processes with TouchNet

An investment in a fully-integrated payment solution is an investment in a unified campus, bringing together all constituents—including students, family, and staff—under a streamlined and secure user experience.

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