Choosing a payment processor is an important step toward the success of a school. Payment processors put the school in control of their payments. However, there are common mistakes that schools make that hold them back from moving forward in our technologically-advanced age. When choosing the payment processor for you school, consider your options, ask questions and make sure you avoid these 5 common mistakes.
Mistake 1: Worrying about secure transactions
Schools are often nervous to use a payment process due to security risks. Don’t let this hold you back. In the credit card industry, all merchants are encouraged to be PCI compliant and follow rigorous security measures that not only protect your clients but protect you. To be PCI compliant, means you are safeguarding private customer information as well as private district information.
Mistake 2: Fear of losing access and control of your funds
Something to keep in mind when choosing a payment processor is to remember that you are not losing control but gaining more control. Rather than having payments, checks and cash scattered amongst your desk, you are allowing all that data to be in one place – online. With a payment processor, you are enabling yourself to be more organized, efficient, and in control of your money than ever before. Improved internal controls and payment management gives you improved control and efficiency.
Mistake 3: Concerned of the cost
We understand that budgets can be tight, and you might want to go with the least expensive processor. However, you need to look at the processor as a whole. Consider how much time processing and tracking payments through the system will save you. Will it cut back on reconciliation time? Will it cut back on manual errors? Will it be more convenient to parents and help result in more on-time payments? If you factor in the hours of labor it will save for your staff, you may realize a quality processor with a slightly higher rate may truly be the cheapest option for your district. Often times, if you are working with a good company, they are allowing you to choose the best processing fee system that fits you and your school. They extend flexibility to the school in order to foster your business relationship.
Mistake 4: Choosing a processor that does not integrate with your SIS
When choosing a payment processor, make sure that it easily integrates with your current Student Information System (SIS). A good payment processor will integrate with systems, such as Tyler, PowerSchool, Skyward and more. By taking advantage of this opportunity to have a processor that seamlessly integrates with your SIS, you are creating a streamlined, efficient and convenient process for both staff and parents.
Mistake 5: Issues with using multiple systems
A common myth is that by enabling a payment processor, you are having to deal with multiple systems and this could wreak havoc. Your district may already use multiple systems, some of which might take payments, and you may fear that adding one more system will be overwhelming. However, schools need to understand that many payment processors can handle many different transactions and can fulfill many different needs, such as fundraising, ticket sales, field trips, registrations and more. By using a payment processor, you could potentially eliminate the use other unnecessary systems and enable your school to use one system for all your payment needs.