Online Payments for Schools
Online payment processors for schools make fundraising & fee collecting easier for bookkeepers, teachers, and parents. Read on for all the information you need on collecting school payments online.
Why should schools use payment software?
In this day and age, if your school isn’t offering online payment options, you’re doing your entire community a disservice. Online school payments benefit all of your stakeholders:
Have an easy and convenient way to pay school fees, donate to fundraisers, and more. They no longer have to worry about having exact change and an envelope to send to school, or to fear that their child is going to lose that money between home and the classroom.
Can focus on their primary responsibility: teaching! No more having to collect T-shirt fees or lunch money in the mornings during first period; with online payments, teachers don’t have to be the middle-man for school payments any more.
Bookkeepers can have confidence in knowing that all the funds are accounted for properly. With accounting software integrations, online payments eliminate steps from the collections process and offer built-in accountability without cash changing hands four times between home and school.
Athletics & Student Activities
Your athletics and student activities can have an added layer of options for raising funds for their programs. With online ticketing software, you can even reduce the amount of hassle at athletic gates or auditorium doors.
“We no longer have to worry about checks getting lost in students’ backpacks! One of our teachers who has worked on several games loved that she didn't have to fill out the sheet at the end of the night and all I had to do was print out the report and add it to my monthly sales report.”
How can schools start accepting online payments for schools?
If you want to accept payments online, it all begins with selecting a payments processing company. Finding the right company for your school depends on your needs, but a few questions you should ask are:
How long does it take to get a school store up and running?
Can I take payments through my own website?
What are the fees associated with accepting online payments?
Once you find a school payments company you want to work with, you should easily be able to set up listings online to sell anything from football tickets to Homecoming T-shirts. You can even accept school fees online, to the benefit of your families and school staff members.
What is the cost of accepting online payments?
The initial process of setting up online payments and listing items should not cost your school anything. With some online payment processors, you may encounter monthly or annual fees; however, this is not a standard requirement for every company.
In general, you can expect to pay a fee per transaction, usually about 4% plus some change. This is how the payment processor makes money without having to charge you to establish a school store.
Many schools take advantage of the option to pass these fees on to the purchaser; this way, the school can keep all of the money they raise from fundraisers or event tickets. Most families are happy to pay this fee in exchange for the convenience of online payments at school. However, if you prefer, you should also have the option to absorb the transaction fees at the school level, which you can compensate for by adding a little bit extra to the price of the items you sell.
When it comes to cost, you should also consider the cost of NOT accepting school payments online: how much are you losing in revenue because your families and community members don’t have access to online payment options?
How to accept payments online using your school website
If you already have a school website that your stakeholders frequently visit, accepting online payments is just a few steps away. When you find an online payments company to work with, they should be able to give you options for selling physical items, tickets, and fees online.
If your website CMS includes the option to create online forms, you can also add a payment option to those forms. This is ideal for things like school fees: you can have your families fill out their registration and pay their annual fees all in one form.
If you need more options for selling physical items, event tickets, and more—and you want these sales to integrate with a robust accounting software, like EPES, then the best option is to set up a school store and fill it with everything you need to sell. Then you can easily link to this store right from your school’s website. For your site visitors, the process is seamless; buying spirit gear or paying fees is only a click away. For your school users on the back end, everything integrates and all the fees are accounted for.