Last editedMar 20232 min read
From school trips to tuition fees, schools must charge and track numerous payments throughout the course of a typical term. It’s helpful to offer a parent online payment portal to make everything run more smoothly. Yet there’s more to the best online school payment systems than a customer login and processor. In this guide, we’ll cover the most convenient and secure payment processing solutions for schools.
Benefits of using an online school payment system
Traditionally, school payments were collected either in person or through the mail, in the form of cash, cheques, and card payments. These would then need to be manually recorded, sorted, and reconciled in the school accounts. All this administrative work is both tedious and time-consuming – not to mention error-prone. The beauty of an online school payment system is that it keeps everything in one secure location. You can sift through payment records with a single click to retrieve student details and track down overdue payments.
An online system is even more useful for making recurring tuition payments. Parents can provide their payment details a single time and then enable fees to be taken automatically from their account on the day they’re due. This ensures there’s no loss of continuity with learning. The school also benefits from a steady cash flow. Your administrative staff benefits from online school payment systems as well, without the need to waste valuable time chasing down late or expired payment details.
What to look for in a school online payment system
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to switch over to an online payment system for your school. Yet each of these offers its own pros and cons, so you should shop around to find the most suitable platform. A few features to look for include:
Multiple payment methods accepted
Security features including PCI DSS compliance
Tuition fee tracking and reconciliation
Automatic financial report generation
Online event registration
Online student onboarding and registration
Cloud-based data storage
Parent online payment portal for self-service
The top four online school payments solutions
Today’s recurring billing software is ideal for handling student and parent payments for your school. Here are four of our top choices when it comes to online school payment systems.
Salesforce is a popular platform for tackling subscription payments. Its Salesforce Elevate gateway is specifically designed for schools and non-profit organisations, making it a great choice for processing tuition fees. With robust CRM tools, you’ll be able to not only raise funds but also store student data, build relationships, and plan events. It can help with payment collection as well as admissions, recruitment, and growth-focused education programs.
Another subscription management tool to consider for your school is Zuora. You can set up several different pricing models to match your coursework, with students choosing the level of service they want. Automate recurring payments to ensure a steady revenue stream. In addition to payment collection, Zuora helps with financial report generation and analytics to help you plan.
Although Chargebee is often used for membership organisations, it’s also well suited to educational institutions. This subscription billing platform can be set up to take recurring tuition fees. Choose from fixed or variable tuition amounts depending on your student needs. Students and their parents can log in to make one-off payments as well, using the customer portal or its accompanying app.
For collecting recurring payments, GoCardless is one of the best options out there. We make it easy to collect regular tuition fees as well as those one-off payments for special events and school meals. Our new PayTo feature is perfect for collecting real-time bank payments for even greater efficiency. Payments are taken directly from customer bank accounts to avoid late fees and missed classes. We integrate with all the billing software mentioned above as well as over 200 other financial partners, so you can create the perfect custom solution for your school. Schedule events, track payments, and manage admissions all from our central dashboard.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.