Never have schools and colleges faced such historic financial and logistical challenges as they do now. But innovative payment solutions like Intelligent Rate Pricing can help lessen the financial burden, while offering a variety of other benefits to students and educational institutions.
No More Credit Card “Swipe” Fees
Intelligent Rate Pricing eliminates the payment processing costs that are charged by credit card companies like VISA, MasterCard, and American Express. Those fees, which typically range from two to three percent on every transaction, are reduced to zero. That immediately generates substantial sustained savings for colleges and universities that no longer have to pay those hefty “swipe fees.” That applies to tuition, housing, dining hall, and all other campus fees payable by credit card.
Increased Fairness and Transparency
In the absence of Intelligent Rate Pricing, the vast number of students who do not pay by credit card wind up unfairly subsidizing the cost of processing fees incurred by others who pay with credit cards. That’s because educational institutions generally recoup those costs by adding a service fee to every invoice – a practice also used by utility companies and government agencies. But Intelligent Rate Pricing ensures revenue neutrality, to promote payment equity and enhance trust and rapport with students.
A Fully Automated Solution
Each time a credit card is used to make a payment, special plug-in Intelligence Rate Pricing software instantly identifies it as a credit card transaction. Then it passes the processing fee along to the person paying, as a line item surcharge clearly identified on their receipt. The educational institution retains 100% of the amount billed. The process is fully transparent, safe, and secure, and sensitive transaction data is safeguarded with tools including encryption, tokenization, and Level 3 PCI compliance.
No Special Training or Infrastructure Needed
Intelligent Rate Pricing can be fully integrated to accommodate multiple payment sites. Those may, for example, include other campuses within the same school system or other points of sale such as bookstores, student centers, and dining halls. Students can make payments 24/7, 365 days a year with a touchless digital platform, a process that’s ideally suited for COVID-19 health and safety best practices. A secure online portal also lets them track their account with clearly displayed fees, payments, and balances.
Other Value-Adding Features
A capable payment system will work with all popular payment methods, including mobile wallets, wire transfers, debit cards, and 3rd-party payment apps. Universities with foreign students are also able to conveniently accept payments in numerous currencies, and automatically convert those currencies to U.S. dollars. It’s even possible to use secure recurring billing. Set up the recurring payment schedule once, and it will automatically generate invoices each month or semester, reducing redundant administrative labor.
Of course, electronic invoicing provides a “paper trail” without the paper, eliminating the need for physically secured storage space. Switching to electronic versus mailed invoices shortens the revenue collection cycle, too, especially now that the postal service is experiencing unprecedented mail delivery delays. E-invoices also facilitate automated cloud-based backup. That enables instant searches of financial records, customized, real-time reports, and secure sharing with authorized parties such as administrators, auditors, and accountants.