With the technological era upon us, it’s no wonder more and more people are voicing their desire to get off old-school payment methods that don’t meet their needs anymore. Between online school payment solutions, credit cards, checks, e-checks, and bank transfers, there are dozens of ways you can get parents paying for your student’s education easily and securely.
Today we’re going to compare four different school payment methods, two of which are outdated, and two other payment methods which parents find useful.
Outdated School Payment Methods
Checks: Checks are still preferred by many parents and schools because they’re essentially free to send. The problem is that it can sometimes take weeks (and even months) for them to get paid. This means you’re tying up cash flow until the check clears, which could mean a hold-up in purchasing materials needed for your students. And guess what? Many parents don’t even bother to send a check anymore!
Cash: While cash is still acceptable, it can be very problematic in some cases. Many parents don’t want to mail cash, and with good reason. It can be misplaced or get lost in the mail. Not only is cash or money order a hassle for parents because it means visiting the bank to get some ready for you, but schools that use them as their primary school payment method are often targeted by fraud and theft.
Now we know what you’re thinking, “How am I supposed to get parents to pay quickly and efficiently?” This is the exact reason you need to implement school payment solutions.
Useful School Payment Methods
Credit Card: There are so many benefits to accepting credit cards as a primary school payment method. For one, they’re accepted pretty much everywhere, and because they’re so widely used, it’s easy to set up a merchant account to accept them. Secondly, both parents and schools love them because they’re quick and easy to use. Lastly, the process is handled quickly online, where you don’t have to worry about mail being misplaced or lost.
Electronic Checks: E-checks are the preferred school payment method by far because they’re just as secure as any traditional check, but they’re processed much faster. Most e-checks are deposited into your account in just two business days. If you deposit them on or before the day they’re due, chances are they’ll be credited to the appropriate account even later that same day. Plus, with e-check payments, there’s no need to print checks and mail them back and forth, which means it’s cheaper for you to process. Electronic checks are almost the same as credit cards, except parents often prefer them because they can avoid seeing a fee altogether. Not only that, but some banks include incentives like gift card giveaways just for signing up with their bank. The best part? Your school gets paid quickly and easily online without any risk of checks being misplaced or lost!
Why Online Payments Are Best for Small Schools
Online payments are best for small schools because they’re quick, secure, and easy. You can accept payment from almost anywhere at any time, which means you’ll never miss out on a payment again! What parent couldn’t use that?! Not only can a school take a credit card online but an e-check or even a direct bank account transfer (for those parents with bank accounts). Both schools and parents prefer online payments because it not only saves time but also reduces costs.
How to Set up Online Payments for Your Small School
If you’re thinking about setting up online payments for your small school, there are a few things you should be aware of. First, if you go with PayPal or another online payment service, they will most likely require a merchant account. This is an additional monthly fee that you’ll have to pay per month to accept credit cards and e-checks. If you’re okay with this, fantastic! If not, don’t worry about it. We’ve got more online school payment solutions for you that may work better for your situation.
The second thing to remember is that setting this up is not something you’ll want to do when you’re stressed out. If your school isn’t getting paid, it’s tempting to make the decision quickly without considering all of the options available to you. Don’t fall into this trap! It would help if you took the time to explore your online payment options, determine which one will work best for your school, and learn how to set it up. There are many payment options to consider. Your school may want to use an online app school payment method or school payment portal. This might take you a few days, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you’re still using paper checks (or even e-checks) to accept online school payments, it’s time to stop! Using these payments is bad for your school and the parents who will have to wait even longer for their funds. Luckily we offer free online school payment options that take just minutes to set up and will be best in helping you meet and exceed your financial goals.
SchoolCues is an all-in-one school management system for small schools with limited budgets and resources. Our solutions include admissions and enrollment, online payments, student information systems, gradebook, communications, parent engagement, donations and fundraising, alumni management, and more. Schedule a demo with us today.