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Digital transformation has been a prominent topic among colleges and universities for the past several years. The conversation became even more prominent after the onset of the pandemic. The idea of a “cashless campus” is one that several universities have taken to heart. The result has been a movement to enable digital payments for everything from dining halls to bookstore purchases and tuition. 

We look at some of the reasons why colleges and universities should hyperfocus on digitizing the student experience in 2023 and beyond. 

Cash Has Been Dethroned

The idea that “cash is king” is no longer true – at least not on campus. Students rarely carry cash and prefer instead to use digital payment options. This means that university merchants can benefit greatly from catering to these payment preferences while also reducing the costs and risks around cash management. 

Today’s college students are much more likely to carry a smartphone than cash. This makes mobile payments and mobile wallets crucial considerations for higher education. Making the shift to offering more digital and mobile payment options can go a long way to reducing attrition rates. This shift can also improve payment processing efficiencies while lower operational costs. 

Data Rules

While digital payments offer a more streamlined experience for students and staff, they also afford the university more data – data that can be used to boost revenue. Partnering with a unified payment provider can help universities tap into robust data that can be analyzed for important insights and value. These insights can optimize conversions while also reducing the cost of payments. 

The key is to understand what you want to know. Payments data can be very nuanced, and if you’re unable to collect and analyze the data quickly and in a meaningful way, the value is lost. Many universities may not even have access to actionable payments data. In fact, roughly 41% of merchants don’t harvest actionable insights from payments data. Working with a payments consultant can help ensure that you are using everything at your fingertips to maximize revenue and minimize costs. 

Mobile Student IDs

We’ve written a bit before on mobile student IDs, and they’re gaining momentum. Tying student access into the same device they prefer to make payments with is a no-brainer. Students nearly always carry a smartphone or smart device, so integrating that with a secure way to navigate campus can be a win-win for everyone involved. 

Gone are the days of toting keycards around campus to swipe your way into buildings. It’s much easier for students to simply use what they already have – a smart device – for everything from door access control to paying for meal plans. 

Hitting Your Digital Stride

Digitizing the student experience is an ongoing process that requires coordination among many different moving pieces. From mobile student IDs to digital payment acceptance, working with a team of professionals that have a deep understanding of campus digitalization can be hugely beneficial. 

Arrow Payments can aid you in digitizing payments while ensuring you remain PCI compliant and secure. Our team of experts has deep experience in all things digital payments, and we can help you put together the perfect ensemble of payments technology and solutions built for your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

Thought Leadership

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