Nothing has pushed ecommerce to the forefront of universities and institutions of higher education than COVID-19. While many universities previously saw the importance of leveraging ecommerce for everything from tuition payments to fundraising and more, the pandemic made ecommerce a must-have rather than a nice-to-have.
As higher ed continues to transition into the ecommerce sector, many treasurers and other university leaders are looking for guidance in transforming their campuses in the areas of digital-first and contactless payments. Replacing and reducing in-person transactions not only mitigates the spread of coronavirus on campus, but also enables universities to align with the expectations of their students, staff, and faculty.
Why Ecommerce Matters
According to higher ed institutions, nearly half of college students and their families are opting into paper checks for payments and refunds. This is expensive and time-intensive for institutions to process. On the other hand, electronic methods can help universities automate and secure payments across the entire campus.
Many solutions providers that help universities implement digital payments have seen a steep uptick in clients over the past year and a half. Institutions of higher education are in dire need of more flexible methods of accepting payments, moving money around, and making payments of their own.
The pandemic added pressure to this scenario as universities rushed to accommodate students around the world. Many international students pay tuition for the semester in a lump sum upfront; however, universities have had to remain flexible given the current circumstances. This has included adding payment plans to protect and increase enrollment.
Paper checks also complicate payments on the business side of things, especially when businesses are operating remotely. Check disbursement becomes complicated as more students find housing at locations other than their primary residence.
Managing Ecommerce for Higher Education
Universities and colleges will increasingly rely on electronic payments — and the solutions that facilitate them — in 2022 and beyond. As a result, many turn to payments experts to help them manage a broad array of solutions and implementations. This is where Arrow Payments can help. We specialize in helping institutions within the higher education space implement, integrate, and manage ecommerce solutions, including the following.
TouchNet — TouchNet helps campus administrators solve pain points and make higher education smarter via its suite of payments tools that include:
- Payment Center: Offer a wide range of payment options while keeping your data compliant and secure.
- Bill+Payment: Expand student services and streamline business office operations with our comprehensive payment portal for student accounts.
- Marketplace: Create, manage, and operate vendor storefronts, registration sites, and secure payment pages across campus with easy setup and minimal training.
- Cashiering: Web deposits, funds collected at point of sale, other miscellaneous revenue — manage it via our real-time cashiering system for all payment types.
- SponsorPoint: Eliminate the hassles of routine billing and collections with automated statements, payments, and reconciliation for sponsored students.
- Transaction Services: From transaction solutions to alternate payment methods and multi-source reconciliation, our transaction services simplify payment management.
Transact — Transact helps higher education institutions improve the student experience and streamline campus operations with a dynamic payment platform. Transact Payments, formerly Cashnet, simplifies core areas of your financial services operations including payments, commerce, and bill presentment.
- Integrated Payment Solutions: Integrated payment processing, bill presentment, and commerce solutions
- Campus ID Solutions: Easy, convenient student ID card and mobile credential access
- Campus Commerce Solutions: A feature-rich, convenient shopping experience for your students
Arrow Payments specializes in helping universities and institutions manage these solutions from soup to nuts. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of digital payments and how to best manage solutions across one or more campuses, contact us for a free consultation today. You can also view the press release about our newest partnership with Transact on their website.