Oftentimes, higher education institutions view payment experience as a behind-the-scenes operations matter. The truth is, innovative payments can foster positive relationships between universities, students, and parents by improving satisfaction and injecting convenience into the process of paying for school.
That said, universities face plenty of obstacles in streamlining payments and providing modern options. They can be overcome, but it requires a keen eye for progress and an ability to adapt to modern technologies. We’ve put together some considerations to help colleges and universities cater to their most important people.
Create a Mobile Payment Experience
Higher education must embrace mobile. Why? Because the bulk of today’s college students are digital natives and expect to be able to do anything and everything from the convenience of their smartphone.
Things like digital billing statements, online notifications, and mobile student IDs are table stakes for universities across the country. University payment experiences should be digitized. That means enabling contactless payments where possible and ensuring that online payment hubs are responsive to both web and mobile screens. Mobile-first design is the name of the game.
Let’s be honest – higher education payment experiences are not always the most streamlined or straightforward. Often, students and parents must navigate between payment pages and websites to make a tuition payment or set up a payment plan. This can include multiple URLs, login credentials…and headaches.
Higher education institutions should aim to simplify the process through a unified, secure, easy-to-navigate payment hub. This provides students and parents with a single source of tuition truth. It also adds ease by offering just one place to navigate to for bill payments and other tuition actions. It limits confusion and can ultimately improve efficiency, and staff spends less time on the phone with confused (and frustrated) parents and students.
Make it Personal
Personalization is non-negotiable. Digital-savvy students expect a customized, omnichannel payment experience that caters to their preferences and behaviors. When it comes to payments, many universities have a long way to go in this realm.
Personalization in payments can span a number of things, including communications, the payment experience, and troubleshooting. Consider how messaging and billing can be personalized, including how to enable students and parents to tailor alerts and bill delivery. Empowering students and parents to personalize their own payment experience can go a long way to keep people happy.
The Need for Speed
Another must-have is fast payments. Today’s students expect speed and convenience. As real-time payments gain traction, traditional payments will play second fiddle to this more agile, instant option. For students, real-time payments can also reduce stress around late payments and the associated late fees or penalties.
Keep the Payment Experience Secure
At their most basic level, payments must be secure. Secure payments foster positive, trust-filled relationships with students and parents by reducing the anxiety they might feel about their sensitive payment data. Modern payment systems will incorporate the latest and greatest security systems to guard against cyber security threats and payment fraud. In turn, both the university – and its students and their parents – can rest easy knowing that all payments are secure and protected.
For more information about what your college or university can do to build better relationships with students and parents through payments, contact us today for a free consultation.