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Northwestern University Overhauls Payments & PCI With P2PE

Transitioning a large, multi-campus institution to a modern, secure, and cost-effective electronic payment system.

The Overview

NU Seeks a Streamlined Approach for Processing Payments Across Campus

Northwestern University, an elite private institution, needed to transition to a modernized payment system to address specific department needs without interrupting business processes.

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The Challenge

Maintaining numerous payment processing systems became an obstacle to customer experience and security. The University needed to streamline payment processing to optimize financial management structures.

The Solution

After an initial Discovery Project, we created merchant mapping, implemented P2PE and PCI compliant POS devices, optimized reporting and reconciliation, and eliminated security gaps related to cardholder data.

The Outcome

By reducing paperwork and eliminating redundant technologies, Arrow Payments streamlined account management, achieved PCI compliance (and reduced PCI scope), improved speed of payment processing.

I have been very impressed with, and thankful for, the commitment and speed with which Arrow Payments has worked to move all of our campus merchants toward compliance with PCI DSS v3.1 while reducing administrative burden in each area.

Richard Emrich

Directory of Treasury, Northwestern University

The Challenge

Numerous Avenues for Payment Processing

Large universities have multiple avenues for processing payments including the bursars office for processing tuition, dining halls and coffee shops frequented by students and staff, research facilities, alumni associations, performing arts and sports venues frequented by the broader public.

With rapidly evolving payments technologies and systems and a disparate financial management structure, keeping all avenues up-to-date with the most secure, convenient, and cost-effective methods for payment processing is a challenge.

The Solution: Phase One

Discovery Illuminates Institutional Goals and Identifies Needs by Department

In the Discovery phase, our electronic payment experts consulted with Northwestern’s Treasury Office to understand the organizational structure of the institution and its many business units, determine institution-wide goals and needs, and presented a variety of emerging payment technologies.

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The Solution: Phase Two

Gained a Modern Payment Processing Solution and PCI Compliance

Arrow Payments facilitated a seamless transition to a scalable, state-of-the-art payment processing solution — coordinating all third-party, internal specialist, and cross-departmental teams.

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Implemented P2PE

We identified point-to-point-encryption (P2PE) hardware to meet PCI DSS compliance requirements while ensuring all stakeholders’ needs were met.

Installed PCI compliant POS devices

In addition to ordering the requirec PCI compliant point-of-sale devices, our team installed these across campus and integrated them into payment processing systems.

Gained realtime reporting capabilities

Northwestern received a custom integrated payables dashboard offering real-time visibility into transactions occurring across a multi-campus institution.

Eliminated physical and digital cardholder data

In line with security best practices and PCI DSS compliance standards, we eliminated the storage of cardholder data, reducing PCI scope and risk for the university.

Optimized reconciliation procedures

By integrating payment processing systems across the institution, Northwestern simplified reconciliation procedures, saving time and money.

Sunset legacy technology

An integrated payment processing solution enabled Northwestern to reduce reliance on legacy technology, like fax, in favor of more modern, accessible technologies.

They [did] it all – from discovery, identification of key issues, recommended courses of action; to onboarding a new processor and preferred QSA, and providing long-range customer service.

Rich Emrich

Director of Treasury, Northwestern University

The Outcome

More Efficient. More Effective. A More Secure Financial Structure.

By moving the institution towards PCI compliance and reducing the administrative burden for Treasury Management, Arrow Payments has helped Northwestern University save time, optimize processes, and improve security.

By providing ongoing support and maintenance, we continue to manage the complex burden of payment processing and PCI compliance for Northwestern University — enabling their team to focus on revenue, growth, and financial management.

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Arrow team has proven to be an invaluable partner, augmentation to staff, and source of real expertise in this space.

Richard Emrich

Directory of Treasury, Northwestern University

WMU Streamlines University Payment Systems

Learn more about how WMU leveraged Arrow Payments to achieve P2PE and PCI compliance objectives in a cost-efficient and timely manner.

Read the WMU Case Study

Get the Benefits of an Integrated Payment Processing Solution

Join your peers in modernizing payments for a secure, digital-first future.

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