University Payments Made Simple for Students and Parents
According to Sallie Mae, a significant portion of tuition revenue for higher educational institutions comes from students (27%) and parents (44%), with students struggling more to pay their bills on time. As our team gets ready to head to New Orleans for Ellucian Live 2019, we looked at what’s new in the payments realm for higher education institutions, and what students and parents need to ensure their payments are made on time and with less friction. A recent survey from Aite Group, “U.S. Consumer Payments Experience: A Blueprint for Creating Positive Behaviors,” which surveyed 2,425 U.S. consumers, sheds some light on this topic.
A generational breakdown of the survey shows that more than half (53%) of Gen Z paid a bill late in the last 12 months. As we look at the data more closely, the reasons for this become more apparent. For example, the survey showed that 30 percent of Gen Z finds their bills confusing, and 81 percent of them called, emailed or texted with questions about their bill or account in the last year. Moreover, nearly 35 percent (34%) of this generation forgets to pay their bills, more so than Gen Y (31%), Gen X (26%), Baby Boomers (16%) and Seniors (12%).
So, what do students want?
According to the survey, 51 percent of students said that payment plans would make them worry less about the cost of college. Yet, payment plan enrollment remains low due to the lack of ease and simplicity when navigating various websites to get to the payment plan page. In addition, many payment plans are offered through separate institutions and therefore steer students and parents to a different website that has a different look and feel than the college website that they originated from, taking them longer to make their payments.
With short attention spans – eight seconds to be exact – Gen Z need immediacy, especially when it comes to refunds. The survey showed that 40 percent of Gen Z thought that refunds take too long, compared to 35 percent of Gen Y, 35 percent of Gen X, 36 percent of Baby Boomers and 24 percent of Seniors.
The need for modern payment options
According to the Aite survey, 92 percent of respondents would reduce calls made to the university if they had a secure website that contained all the billing information in one place, and 90 percent of respondents wanted to have their refunds sent to their debit card within 30 minutes.
When asked, what would help reduce late tuition payments, 97 percent of respondents said debit or credit card payments would make it easier to make their payments on time. And, while 40 percent of Americans have not heard of real-time payments, 94 percent of those who knew about it said real-time or faster payments would be beneficial to ensuring on-time payments.
Of the families that have paid their bills late in the past 12 months, 94 percent want to be able to work with a virtual collection agent to settle their delinquencies.
What can higher education institutions do?
By providing students and parents easier and faster ways to pay while maintaining security, higher education institutions can – according to industry data – raise student satisfaction by 24 percent. For example, by offering e-bills that are optimized to the mobile experience, higher education institutions can meet students where they are – on their smartphone.Open rates for text messages sit at a whopping 98 percent according to some studies. By offering text message reminders and text-to-pay options, institutions can further drive on-time payments and reduce delinquencies.
To learn more about the different ways that students want to pay, visit ACI at Ellucian Live 2019 at booth #209, April 7-10 in New Orleans.
Related Blog Posts
How to be a Payments Trailblazer – The Seven Habits of Highly Innovative Organizations
The new Culture of Innovation Index from Ovum and ACI identified segments—from banks to intermediaries to merchants to corporates—at the cutting edge (of innovation) across the payments ecosystem. But what is most notable about those segments that have reached ‘trailblazing’ status is the apparent lack of commonality between them. No one segment, nor one region fosters better innovation. In fact, what’s driving these segments/organizations to be best of breed is their own culture of excellence. The only thing they have in common is their attitude.
Get Customers to Race Through Your Payments Funnel
No matter how good the products, how nice the website and how slick the flow, there are so many reasons why an eager prospective customer does not convert into a paying customer even after they have filled their basket. The buying decision has been made, but so often customers don’t complete the transaction.
Women in Payments: Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Google's head of Retail and Payments Activation for Southeast Asia, Anna Maria Maurieta. Anna works closely with retailers and e-wallet partners across the region's complex and sometimes highly-regulated market—including countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam—making it easier for Google Play users to make payments on Play.
Helping Merchants Protect Themselves: Cybersecurity Tips from a Former White House CIO
In a world full of open technology, the devices that make our lives easier also leave us vulnerable to being hacked, according to Theresa Payton, former White House CIO and star of the CBS series Hunted. Payton recently joined me for an exclusive ACI cybersecurity webinar, sharing expert insights into how merchants can enable growth, enhance the customer experience and prevent greater instances of fraud.
How UPI is Driving India's Shift from Cash to Digital Payments
The Indian economy has traditionally been heavily dominated by cash, while experiencing low adoption of various online payment systems including National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and inter-bank mobile payments. The dominance of cash is evidenced by the ratio of cash withdrawals at ATMs vs debit card usage at Point of Sale (POS)—ATM transaction volume is more than 2x greater than POS.
Transforming Telecom Companies in a Retail World
The recent MVNO World Congress in Amsterdam brought fascinating insights into the changing telecom industry, particularly around the opportunities that lie ahead for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and how they can they can cement their position in today’s fast-paced climate.
Women Must Choose to Rise Up Despite Past, Current and Future Circumstances
Money20/20, Europe’s biggest payments and fintech event, was recently held in Amsterdam and featured Rise Up Money20/20, a global program designed to address the gender imbalance in leadership positions within the financial services and fintech industries. A cohort of 30 female professionals was selected to take part in an exclusive curated agenda, complete with a series of bespoke content sessions, one-to-one mentoring and unique networking opportunities.
How Italian Banks and Processors Can Capitalize on Digital Transformation
The European payments landscape is in an era of significant change thanks to PSD2 and other macro factors, but there is more than one way to deliver real-time and open payments to meet PSD2 requirements and its technical standards. Banks and processors must manage this alongside their own set of domestic challenges and opportunities.
Overcoming Cyber Threats to Payments Security
Recently, Gene Scriven, chief information security officer at ACI, spoke at NACHA Payments 2019 on the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity. Here are a few highlights from his session, including the impacts of cybersecurity breaches, today’s emerging threats and the new strategies to keep your organization safe.
Removing Gender Bias and Enabling Women to Succeed in Leadership Roles
The recent UK Women in Payments (WIP) Symposium 2019 took place in London, recognizing unique leaders who help uplift women in the payments industry. Among those recognized was ACI’s Melissa McKendry, vice president, Retail Banking Implementation Services, who was honored by WIP as the 2019 Advocate for Women.