Why payments are key for online education platforms

Oct 14, 2020

Educators are relying more and more on digital tools to engage with students. Education platforms that understand how students and their families want to pay online can capitalize on this opportunity.

The consequences of COVID-19 have been far-reaching, and certainly one of the most impacted sectors is education. Globally we have seen schools, universities, and training colleges shut, resulting in educators increasingly turning to digital ways of engaging with the students. And this online relationship between student and centres of teaching extends beyond classes; access to resources, recreational activities, and all administration including fee payments have become digital-only.

But while COVID-19 has accelerated this shift, the trend of educators moving their processes to online platforms has been evident for some time.

In fact, according to Statista, the size of the education software and platform market worldwide is predicted to reach USD $8.3 billion by 2023. Best-in-class web, mobile or cloud-based “software-as-a-service” (SaaS) platforms boast essential capabilities such as streamlining communications, boosting engagement between teachers and students’ parents, managing day-to-day school operations and, of course, delivering the education.

Businesses in the education sector must not only have the right education technology to deliver the best online learning experience for students, but also ensure that integrated payments are a part of that equation to enable students to pay fees and other costs via a seamless digital experience. Highlighted below are key benefits of how integrated payments support education software, which includes offering secure and assorted payment methods, as well as enhancing the user experience:

Integrated payments are secure & global friendly

Diverse payments allow both students and parents to complete transactions using their preferred payment method. In the process of selecting a payments services provider for your business, it’s important to factor in security, considering the priorities and payment habits of consumers. Recent data from our Lost in Transaction: The impact of COVID-19 on consumer payment trends research report unveiled that security is the factor that has grown in importance for the majority of people, with 32% of consumers saying that ensuring their financial data was kept secure from fraudsters was a growing concern. More data from this research can be found here.

In addition to seamless and secure payments, integrated payments support payments in multiple currencies. Providers with specialist fraud and risk management tools can help ease concerns for the processing of international payments. By tailoring payments for international students and eLearning platforms, your business is effectively future-proofed at a time where the industry overall is progressing. This also encourages market expansion, more sales and consumer loyalty, while eliminating frustrating situations for customers like being charged extra fees for currency conversion.

More ways to pay

Assorted payments are an attractive feature for consumers who prefer to be presented with more choices when it comes to paying for tuition, school supplies, software and more. From mobile wallets and online cash to credit and debit cards, the more options, the better. We know that consumer payment preferences are becoming more varied, and that businesses that react to this trend have a competitive advantage through their checkout.

This is even more important for education platforms than the majority of online businesses considering the surge of international students in certain markets. In Canada, one of the most popular destinations for gaining a quality education, more than 2.1 million students enrolled in Canadian public universities and colleges in the 2017/2018 academic year, which represents a 1.9% increase compared to the previous year. Data from Statistics Canada revealed that a total of 15.6% of this growth is linked to international student enrolments. Against this backdrop, education providers should offer students and their families payment methods that are familiar to them and accessible from anywhere in the world.

Further complementing the diverse payment options are split payments and recurring billing functionalities.

Creating an enjoyable user experience

Integrated payments enable businesses to optimise the service they offer to both students and education providers while staying true to their brand identity. A white-labelled payments experience takes care of any customisable elements on your platform to make sure it remains recognisable and consistent to your customers.

The payment system also needs to be easy to integrate into your existing website or platform and be straightforward for users to navigate. Payments providers that offer turnkey solutions can deliver consumers a more simplified and efficient payment process.

Education software and platforms are already proposing new ways to learn to the population. In adapting and addressing the challenges facing the broader education space, businesses can grow and better manage their operations by focusing on integrated payments and partnering with a reliable payments partner.