A difficult education payment process can affect not only the student experience, but also a student’s ability to stay enrolled at an institution. Creating a frictionless payment process is worth the effort, as it saves you and your students time, money, and frustration. By building a seamless process that is easy to navigate and clearly considers the payers’ needs, you promote trust and alignment between your institution and the students you serve. Here are a few steps you can take to achieve this:
- Provide convenient and secure payment options
A streamlined payment experience needs to be full of convenient options that your students are familiar with using. You can make payments easier for your students by offering a variety of payment methods, ensuring they can find one that best suits their needs. It’s also important to partner with a payment processor who takes security seriously—for your institution and your students. Be sure to check the processor’s security reports and see what certifications they have obtained.
- Provide flexible payment plans
One way to measure the success of a payment plan is by examining whether it keeps your students enrolled and engaged. In order to do this, a payment plan should be flexible so that it fits your students’ needs. Start by helping your students figure out the best payment plan for them through either a budget calculator or worksheet. A good payment solution should allow you to then make a custom payment plan based on these calculations, and even support the ability for multiple payers to contribute to the same account. Ideally, you can also use a built-in engagement solution to monitor and reach out to students before they ever miss a payment.
- Give payers visibility into their payments
Transparency is enormously important in building payers’ trust in your institution, and in eliminating misunderstandings before they happen. To achieve this, you need to provide payers with ongoing visibility throughout the payments process. Real-time payments tracking, payment status updates, and reminders of upcoming payment due dates are all features that help create insight into the process for payers. Likewise, your institution should also be able to view the statuses of incoming payments, as this can help you better assist your payers and keep your business informed.
- Deliver dedicated support
Due to their size, importance, and infrequency, education payments can be intimidating to students and their families. Payers who have little to no experience making these payments may have a lot of questions about the process. Give them access to the right kind of customer support. Consider whether you can provide around-the-clock, multilingual assistance via multiple channels. Do you offer support via the channels your payers want to use, including phone, email, and live chat? If providing this level of support may impede your own job responsibilities, consider partnering with a payments processor who will become an extension of your office by providing world-class support services for you.