About 3 in 10 Americans make zero cash purchases each week. The wallets of those who do carry cash usually contain less than $50. Parents are no exception. Paying fees in cash may delay payments and waste everyone’s time. Yet, many schools continue to accept checks and other forms of payment, despite security risks associated with these payment methods. Seventy-one percent of companies that accept checks have experienced fraud or attempted fraud, and returned checks are a common challenge. Some schools have no option for online payments, delaying payments and potentially affecting enrollment. Switching to digital payments can swiftly lower costs, improve the parents’ experience when paying school activity fees, and reduce or eliminate the costs of check processing.
Online Payment Basics
Schools that switch to digital payments should embrace a centralized digital payment system so that all funds route through the same place, regardless of how or when someone pays. A quality digital payment system can still track cash payments, so there’s no need for a piecemeal approach that cobbles together several different apps. With a single system, schools reduce the risk of security issues and lost data.
As COVID-19 wreaks havoc globally, school districts face a new challenge: negotiating and issuing mass refunds for canceled field trips. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued an enforcement notice to airlines that, even during the pandemic, must offer cash refunds for canceled or rescheduled flights within or from the United States. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in Canada has promised students and families that reimbursement for funds they raised for school trips and other canceled events due to COVID-19 will come as well.
Today, half of all bill payments are digital—and that number is expected to reach 75% by 2022. Consumers both want and expect digital payment options, parents and families included. Technology is empowering an increasing number of school districts to go cashless by offering digital payment options for fee collection.
Choosing between fee management solutions can be a difficult and time-consuming process—especially on top of one’s primary responsibilities as a school administrator. ActivityRight is a student form and activity management solution with fee collection capabilities, approval workflows, and many other attributes not commonly found in fee management software. This article highlights key features and differentiators that are unique to ActivityRight to aid administrators in the vendor selection process.
Manual processes and data silos tend to lead to mistakes and inadequate financial oversight. However, when all of a school system’s data is integrated in one location, there is improved data accuracy and less room for error. Integrating accounting requirements into other departments in the school district helps make sure activity fees are accurately recorded and collected. Fees arrive in the bank account faster, as parents can pay directly from a mobile phone, and money is directed to a designated bank account determined by the accounting team. Eliminating cash payments means teachers and administrators no longer need to worry about collecting payments, learning accounting codes, or navigating the general ledger.
What does the modern school system look like? Technology is empowering many school districts today to explore paperless and cashless initiatives by offering digital options for fees, forms, and communication.
School administrative staff faces a number of challenges each day, from chasing down fees and forms to gaining parent approvals. Manual, error-prone processes slow administrative staff down and prevent them from focusing on more meaningful work. There are many ways to ease the workload —it requires having the right plan and resources in place to make it happen. In this article, we share five different ways to help ease the workload of the school’s administration office.
There are endless advantages to becoming a cashless school. From increasing efficiencies and offering secure payment options to improving parent communication, the benefits speak for themselves. For the folks in the financial department at your school or in your district, going cashless solves many of the pain points that plague them each day.