As a school administrator, you have probably spent a lot of your time collecting school fees. Most schools in Africa still collect payments in cash. However, using online payments is far more convenient for both you and for the parents paying the fees.
Here are the top five reasons why online payments are ideal for schools to collect fees:
1. Fewer late fees
Sometimes parents or students are late in paying their fees. This can be frustrating for an administrator who then has to keep track of late payments and send reminders. It can also prevent the school from getting the necessary funds to pay its staff and run its educational programs. When using online payments, there are often fewer late payments.
Parents or students can pay online, and no longer have to mail in a check or pay in-person. To minimize the chances of a late payment, send a statement by email, before the payment is due, with a direct link to the payment portal. A simple payment process will encourage parents to pay on time. In addition, you’ll usually receive the funds within 72 hours, as opposed to waiting for a check to arrive in the mail, cashing it, and waiting for the funds to clear in the school’s account.
2. Flexible payment options
Limited payment options can deter or delay a parent from making a payment. Online payment systems open up a wide range of payment options, including email transactions, and website transactions through a school fee portal.
Payment methods available include mobile money, credit cards, and digital wallets. These options allow a parent to pay conveniently from home or using a mobile phone. You can also allow parents to pay their school fees in multiple installments instead of one lump sum. Of course, such as system also allows for offline payments at your school or by an agent.
Parents who are able to choose their preferred payment type and pay in more than one installment will be more likely to pay on time. Make sure to work with a good PSP, who can offer an array of popular local payment options in a single, integrated platform, so that the payment process is streamlined and transactions are easy to manage.
3. Increased security
Security is an important aspect for anyone making a transaction online. Cardholder information is sensitive and can be used for fraudulent purposes if its gets into the wrong hands. By working with a PCI DSS level one certified PSP, you are ensuring that cardholder information is kept safe, through meeting the highest security standards. This will give parents the confidence to use the online payment system, with the knowledge that their transactions are secure.
4. Increased convenience
The automation that comes with online payments makes the payment process a lot simpler for you, as the administrator. You can create an online account for your school in a few steps, with real time account activation.
After this easy set-up, managing the systems is easy too.
In a centralized online payment system, you can create a database of students, each one with a unique ID so you can easily identify who has paid. This means fewer staff hours are needed to count cash, process check payments, and follow up on those who have yet to pay their fees.
To add a transaction to the system, you can input it manually, or from a file such as an excel, csv, or similar. Online payments can be added automatically through a direct integration using the PSP’s API.
Parents can make payments using a central campus school fee portal. Every online transaction will be followed by a real time confirmation for both you and the parent, by email or SMS.
You can view and track all previous transactions from the system’s notification board, and analyze payment trends, which is ideal for financial planning. Using online payments also saves you money, as you don’t need to buy paper and ink to print statements, or stamps to send the statements by mail.
The added convenience of online payments will improve the user experience. Parents will appreciate the speed and ease with which they can make a payment - and this may even encourage extra donations.
5. Added support and service
Once you’ve set up an online payment system, the PSP will be able to provide you with an array of services to support you in managing your school’s online account. There will also be support for parents when they make payments online. In addition, some PSPs may offer educational activities for you and the parents at your school, so you can learn about the payment options available.
Overall, online payments are great for schools looking for an easier and faster way for parents to pay their fees. With just a few clicks, a parent can make a secure online payment with their preferred payment method, and the money will appear in the school’s account soon after.