Dec 13, 2021 | International Payments

How to achieve efficiencies from merging your domestic and international payments processes

As the education sector continues to globalise, international students continue to represent a growing proportion of most institutions’ student body. It is forcing many education institutions around the world to look at ways of embedding their existing domestic payment experience with that of their international students.

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Having two separate processes to receive a growing section of incoming payments is both inefficient from an operational perspective and inconsistent from a student payment experience and institution branding perspective.

The solution is to combine the domestic and international payment processes which drive operational efficiencies by eliminating duplication of effort through consolidated reporting and reconciliation. It improves the experience offered to both international and domestic students by providing a consistent, reliable payment journey.

We have heard from our education institution partners that they increasingly have a requirement to embark on a ‘one approach’ strategy to receiving payments. How can education institutions realise efficiency gains from this approach while also delivering a quality payment experience for their students? Read on to find out how.

1. Implement a simple process to collect student payments from home and abroad.

Channeling your payments through one system will drive efficiencies and save time by consolidating reporting and reconciliation processes, allowing you to focus on more strategic priorities.

2. Provide a consistent payment process for your students.

Offer the same payment flow to all your students to ensure there is consistency in their experience, simplifying signposting on your website and making responding to student queries easier for your team.

3. Streamline your reporting and reconciliation processes.

With one payment process, you can receive just one reconciliation file each day for all your incoming student payments making it easy to reconcile against each student account. Fewer systems to use and login details to remember makes it more efficient for your team to manage their workflow.

4. Make it easy for your students to pay.

Simplify payments for students by creating a simple payment journey by offering the most convenient and trusted payment options students know and trust. Give your students the option to pay in their chosen currency using bank transfer, online payment or credit card. This will make it simple, easy and affordable for students to pay your institution whether they are from home or abroad.

5. Eliminate out of date processes.

Offer a state-of-the-art online payment process for all your students so you can eliminate out of date, inefficient methods such as cheques and cash. You can also avoid exposing your institution and your students to the risk of fraud by removing practices such as offering cash payments and publishing your institution bank details on your website.

6. Track and reconcile payments from domestic and international students.

With one easy system to manage student payments, you and your students can easily track the status of payments for complete visibility at any time. This enhances the student experience and reduces the number of incoming enquiries to your team.

7. Integrate with your existing systems.

Partner with a payment provider who can provide flexible integrations with your existing processes to further streamline your operations. Typical integrations can be set up using API or web integration with providers such as student record systems, accommodation booking engines, ERP systems, payment aggregators. As well as efficiency gains for your institution, these integrations also offer a more personalised experience for students as data can be prepopulated to reduce data entry, making it even easier for students to pay your institution.

8. Eliminate inefficient duplication of effort: multiple systems and reports.

Receiving multiple reconciliation files from different providers or systems creates duplication and inefficiencies in your processes and workflows. Reduce this wasted effort by combining your payments from home and overseas students so that you have only one payment file to reconcile to your accounts.

Western Union Business Solutions has been supporting education institutions around the world to manage their payments. Our incoming solution WU® GlobalPay for Students now enables institutions from the UK to streamline their domestic and international receivables through one intuitive, student-friendly portal which offers students convenient payment and currency options from home and abroad.

Contact us to find out how we can help you save time, money and resources and help deliver a best in-class payment experience to your students.

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