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Imagine it’s year 2025. As you walk into a university building’s doors, you are greeted by an “Alexa-esque” voice that greets you by name and displays your schedule for the day. Brushing past some students on their virtual reality headsets, you run to the cafeteria and pay for your morning coffee fix with an NFC-enabled wristband. Suddenly, a notification pops up on your smart glasses reminding you to finalize tuition payment reconciliation. You enter your information with 3 clicks on your phone and slide to process. Within seconds your general ledger is updated and receipts are sent. All set.

The scenario described above may seem distant, but it’s closer than it appears. Before we know it, university students, parents, and employees will be expecting an entirely new set of futuristic solutions to enhance their lives. How will campuses evolve to meet their dwellers’ needs?

Guiding the path

It’s no secret. Students, parents, faculty and staff alike are demanding technologies that give them control and convenience. Besides for staying out of the way, higher education institutions are tasked with guiding the path to possibilities. We’ve seen payments go from cashless to contactless, regional to global, and slow to real-time. What’s next?

Industry experts would agree that IoT, cloud, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning will make the list. Some dark horses include blockchain and augmented reality, but what’s missing is an indication of how these will be used.

Therefore, we can only predict the foundations, as opposed to the applications, of where innovation is headed.

Chasing ghosts

Knowing that the future will be instant, secure, and convenient can be daunting, but it offers critical hypotheses as to what’s next in university payments.

For starters, you can cross off siloed POS and CRM systems for dining, athletics, donations, alumni relations, and more. With integrated state-of-the-art technologies, software systems will be able to reconcile transactions across cross-functional areas. When payment information is needed for exchanges, contactless platforms will allow merchants to charge predetermined payment “personas” that are unique (and secure) to each student or employee.

Similarly, everything on campus will be integrated. After the future conjures up a better buzzword for “enterprise resource planning” (ERP), you can expect payment networks to be interconnected to ensure real-time transactioning and advanced processing.

The future of payments is here

This begs the question, how do I start future-proofing my university? Simple. Although there is no silver bullet, there is a Team Arrow Payments. Our job is to keep a pulse on the unmet needs of students and university employees while finding the best third-party payment partners for your higher education institutions.

The best part is, we’re just a 30-minute phone call away.

Thought Leadership

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