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IWU’s 8 ½ Steps to Campus Payment System Success

Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan University changed its campus payment strategy and saved $500,000 per year.  Zach Whitesel, Director at IWU explains how. 

1. Kiss maintenance fees goodbye
Using campus payment system software can often mean hefty licensing and maintenance fees. Zach avoided these unnecessary expenses by only paying for the payments received. IWU found a usage based pricing model.

2. Say farewell to card payment processing fees
IWU incurred $500,000 in expenses each year by absorbing card payment processing fees. Zach discovered an option that accepts card payments at no cost to the university. The families that wanted to pay with a card paid a fee for this service to cover payment processing expenses.

3. Offer free options
When introducing a service fee for cards, the university also provided a free option. Families can pay with ACH (also known as eCheck) for free. Charging a service fee decreased card payments, but it did not increase paper payments. After introducing the service fee, some families shifted to paying with ACH.

4. Keep tuition low with the savings
IWU invests the savings to improve academics, while keeping tuition as low as possible.

5. Bring it all together
IWU saves time with one campus payment system for payment plan, tuition and non-tuition payments. In a short time, the university can launch payment pages for events like its charity golf day.

6. Have your cake and eat it too
Make students and staff happy. Zach and IWU didn’t settle for a strategy that would only please students or staff. They found a solution to save staff time and make paying easier for families.

7. Automate, automate, automate
Before switching to a new system, Zach’s team had to manually receipt payments into Ellucian Colleague. With its new strategy, the receipting happens automatically.

8. Speed it up
Students paying on the first day of class require immediate posting of the payment. Snapchat created an expectation among students that they can do everything in real-time.

8½.  Connect to Colleague in real-time
IWU accomplished this with ease, so we only call it a half step. IWU selected a campus payment system with the deepest integration into Ellucian Colleague. As a result, the university provided real-time confirmation to students and eliminated manual receipting.

Offer a first-class experience for fall enrollment. Zach will be telling IWU’s story at Ellucian Live.