More and more educational institutions are embracing technology. This year, kindergartners in an Atlanta elementary school learned how to create PowerPoint presentations before going off to lunch and using their swipe card to purchase their meal. At the end of the day, backpacks are sent home much lighter than in the past, as homework assignments are available online, and messages sent to parents are posted on the school website.
In a recent five-part survey conducted with MasterCard and the National Business Officers Association (NBOA), hundreds of K-12 schools were interviewed regarding usage of online payments. The survey found that 41% planned to accept electronic payments for ALL payments – including tuition – within the next five years. Having the ability to accept credit/debit cards, paper and electronic checks, and ACH transactions in K-12 and higher educational institutions is important – not only for tuition, but for meal plans, books, donations and even tickets for sporting games.
There are also online colleges to consider. ITC, which represents nearly 400 institutions that offer distance education courses in the United States, noted in its most recent member survey that distance education enrollment grew by 6.5% from fall 2011 to fall 2012. And if you are e-learning, you are likely paying for your classes online as well.
Whatever the level of education or type of institution, Bluefin Payment Systems provides a variety of payment products, from POS solutions for the registrar’s office to a hosted payment page for online donations. And our recurring billing feature, where a payment is deducted at a set time each month, is an ideal way to bill for large purchases, such as tuition, over time.
It is worthy of noting that technology in the educational sector is equally important to the educators. This week, at the ISTE Conference in San Antonio, teachers, administrators, technology staffers, librarians and government representatives all came together to learn best in show technology solutions to better prepare students in the digital age. Bluefin’s Linda Chastain attended the ISTE show, not only to provide educators and educational software companies with a secure payment gateway, PayConex, but also to continue to proactively educate herself on the latest technology advances that are important to the educational industry.