Case studies

Wichita State reduces credit card fees and streamlines ACH

By adding new TouchNet solutions to reduce credit card fees and management time, Wichita State gained a host of new payment- and data-related benefits.

A longtime customer, Wichita State University wanted to assess whether adding TouchNet’s Transaction Services would reduce their campus’ credit card fees and the amount of time staff spent on Automated Clearing House (ACH) management. “We concluded that TouchNet would give us those benefits,” says Brenda Coldiron, director of business technology at the Kansas institution. “In addition, the new service provides increased visibility of all our transactions because Transaction Services uses the same batch numbers all the way through.”

Seamless onboarding and one point of contact

When adding Transaction Services, Wichita State switched its payment processing to TouchNet’s parent company, Global Payments. With no set up or implementation fees, the transition was completed by submitting paperwork. Since Wichita State had nine MIDs, the conversion only took a few hours beginning around midnight. “One word to describe the process: Easy,” says Coldiron. “During the data conversion, we just sat back. The hardest part was relinquishing control.”

With Transaction Services, TouchNet serves as the gatekeeper between Wichita State and the processor. “When we have issues or concerns, we go directly to TouchNet, which is a big win for us,” says Coldiron. “It’s beneficial not having to spend countless hours trying to serve as the coordinator between TouchNet, the processor, and our bank.”

Saving money and time with ACH and PayPath

TouchNet now sends ACH files to Wichita State’s bank and responds to any of the bank’s concerns, removing that responsibility from the university. “Whenever there were any issues before, the bank would always call us directly and ask for our supervisors who would usually be in meetings,” says Coldiron. “But now TouchNet has that taken care of, which saves time and coordination.”

Since campus employees no longer have to send ACH files every day to the bank, the university stopped having to pay overtime for employees to come in during breaks and holidays to make these required daily payments. “We were originally a little leery about ACH transaction expenses and how much that would cost us, but as we worked through the numbers, we learned that we would be saving time and money,” says Coldiron. Staff saved about two hours a day between sending files, reconciliation, and any issues on the files that were sent.

For families who want to pay via credit card, Wichita State implemented PayPath, which transitions the credit card fee to the students instead of the institution. Wichita State saved approximately $500,000 the first year. “We were initially nervous about what our parents and students were going to say about the credit card fee, but it was a non-event,” says Coldiron. “We led a marketing campaign where we made sure everybody was aware of the upcoming fee, and we had little resistance. People have generally come to accept that credit card use normally has fees associated with them.”

“One word to describe the process: Easy. During the data conversion, we just sat back. The hardest part was relinquishing control.”

— Brenda Coldiron
Director of business technology at Wichita State University

Only one payment point with merchants

Software vendors that include payment transactions at Wichita State are required to work with TouchNet to become a validated Ready Partner. “The added benefit of making this mandatory is we only have one payment point through TouchNet,” says Coldiron. “The only way software companies can accept payments outside of TouchNet is if they go through a painful exception process that involves proving they are PCI compliant. But we have had very little pushback. If vendors want to be on campus, they are willing to make that move.”

She adds, “I can always depend upon TouchNet’s team of experts. My customer success manager (CSM) will track down anything for me. We’ve really enjoyed partnering with TouchNet over the years as they continue to improve our processes here at Wichita State.”

While Wichita State originally added TouchNet Transaction Services to reduce fees and save time, this solution suite also enables schools to:

  • Accept and manage all payment transactions
  • Allow credit card payments at no cost to their institution
  • Add ACH as a deposit and payment method
  • Simplify sending and receiving international funds
  • Protect sensitive data and manage PCI compliance
  • Unify data from student information systems as well as multiple TouchNet software solutions