Modern education has evolved rapidly, adopting more technologies into curriculums and delivery mechanisms in the classrooms and beyond. The coronavirus outbreak has only expedited this digital revolution, resulting in the largest remote learning experiment and impacting 90% of enrolled learners worldwide.
The education industry goes well beyond the classroom to include:
- Distance-learning programs
- Campus development
- Campus nutrition programs
- Student loan repayment services
- Online test preparation
- Certification services
With more ad-hoc fees needed and a more diverse learning environment expanding beyond a physical campus, the industry needs more efficient payment collection methods.
Although the education sector is no stranger to advancing technologies in the classroom, the adoption of digital processes for administrative tasks and payment procedures has been slow-moving. Traditional payment methods, such as cash and paper methods, are antiquated and inconvenient for students, parents, and administrators.
Impact of Digital Payments in Education
This year, back to school has looked a little different as educational facilities and administration scramble and invest resources into figuring out how to bridge the gap between in-person and remote learning.
Eliminating outdated, error-prone manual methods in favor of frictionless, automated operations benefits school administration, parents, and students. Payment technology enables easy, timely invoicing, fee management, student disbursement collections, and better record keeping.
Digital processes reduce the burden of chasing payments, allow for easier accounting and compliance, offer reduced risk, and are more manageable and efficient than traditional methods—taking the focus off invoicing and outstanding fees and putting it back on education.
Why Digital Payment Technologies are Key to Success for Education
Educational organizations recognize the advantages of digital payment technology to reduce errors by simplifying the complexities of transactions, both on-campus and online. Online payments play an important role in deploying funds appropriately, efficiently, and securely.
The landscape of learning is expanding beyond traditional brick-and-mortar schooling and had a more diverse audience than ever:
- Tech-savvy Gen Z and millennials
- Non-traditional learners
- Professionals enrolled in continuing education programs
As a result, the education industry demands alternative payment methods to accommodate each phase in the education journey. Installment plans, credit acceptance, and remote deposits are in high demand due to increasing tuition costs. Omnichannel methods also offer better management of student loan repayment and remote learning fees.
Digital payment technology eases friction for both learners and educators. With the proper systems and solutions in place, payment management is less expensive and more efficient. Digital methods enable streamlined invoicing and provide better management of outstanding payments. They also allow staff to focus on higher-value activities and better outcomes in the classroom and beyond.
Benefits of Digitized Payments for Education Administrators
Every division of education requires payment collection for fees not covered by funding. Managing a wide range of payments can be challenging for education administrators. Adopting a digitized back-office management system offers various benefits that save time and resources, including:
- Reduction in payment costs
- Better control and visibility
- Faster processing times
- Increased approvals
- More efficient use of staff
In addition to better allocation of resources and funds, innovative payment technology offers a more secure environment. Manual processes expose institutions to greater risk. Processing education payments through a secure online network provides heightened security and maintains a compliant environment.
Digitized Payments for Everyday Students
Whether on a traditional campus or enrolled in remote learning or ongoing advancement, many students are dependent on grants, scholarships, and financial aid to pay a wide variety of bills:
- Student healthcare
- Testing prep services
It can take up to 21 days to deposit funds using legacy methods, which is extremely inconvenient for both the payee and the receiver.
Students of all generations are more mobile-focused than ever. They rely heavily on technologies like mobile wallets, online ACH, and both contact and contactless credit card payments to make education-related payments. In fact, only 5% of millennial students pay tuition with checks. Disbursing students’ funds via mobile solutions prevent the disruption and distraction of waiting for funds to arrive by mail and then clear to their accounts. Digitized distributions also grant lenders the assurance that funds are allocated and spent correctly—which is more difficult to prove using paper checks.
Digital payments enable easier bill management and allow students to focus more on their education. For parents and administrators, digital payments provide much-needed convenience and simplicity.
Technology Allows Growth and Efficiency
The latest payment technologies allow for growth in the education sector. Omnichannel solutions provide faster, more convenient, and more secure payment methods. This allows for flexible payment plans that accommodate a more widespread range of education-related services.
To successfully integrate payment technology with your existing systems, rely on a merchant services provider experienced in the education industry’s needs.
OmniFund offers a personalized relationship, unmatched expertise, and extensive support within a robust platform of versatile payment solutions to automate and simplify payment collection so you can focus on education.
Learn more about OmniFund’s education-related payment processing. Contact us today.