At a Glance
Madison School District
Improve tuition payment and credit card processing efficiency.
EZ-CARE2’s e-invoicing and online payment processing
- 80% reduction in time spent processing tuition payments
- Eliminated security challenges with storing parent credit card data
- Provided parents convenient method of making their payments at anytime, without the need to interact with administrative staff
- Excellent rate of immediate acceptance and use
The Madison School District in Phoenix offers both preschool and Before and After School programs to over 1,000 families in eight different schools. They are well known for their active learning environment and academic achievement.
The Madison School District and their account manager, Quisha Ryan, were looking for a way to improve their efficiency of processing credit card payments, as well making it easier for parents to pay tuition at their convenience. The school district was already accepting credit card payments, but processing them required parents to either call or visit the accounting office during office hours of 8:00 to 5:00. The other option was for parents to provide the school district their credit card information to store, so that their payments could be initiated each payment date. Either way, it was extremely labor intensive.
Quisha noted, “I had to manually enter the credit card numbers and payment amounts into our credit card terminal, and then post the payments to the parent’s ledger. With as many as 500 credit cards to process every billing period, processing would take me two days to complete – it was as bad as it sounds!”
This process was prone to errors, and Quisha also recognized that physically storing credit card data was a security issue that is increasingly frowned upon by credit card companies (and parents). In addition, parents didn’t know the exact payment amount since it may have included extra charges such as late pick-up fees, field trip charges, etc. This sometimes led to declined payments, which required follow-up with the parent.
Madison School District chose to implement EZ-CARE2’s e-mail invoicing and online credit card payment system (Click-to-Pay). Quisha stated, “Now I can quickly and easily send all our parents their invoices by email each billing period. The invoices make it easy for them to see exactly what their charges are and the balance due. Then they just click the Pay Online link in the email, which takes them to our online payment form.” Parents then simply enter their credit or debit card information and their payment is immediately and securely processed in real-time. If they mistype something or the card can’t be processed, they’re notified instantly and can correct the issue immediately. Quisha also noted, “They can use whatever card they want to pay with each time, and even split the payment between two cards. Best of all, their payments are easily and automatically posted to the appropriate family ledger in EZ-CARE2 – without any additional data entry.”
After a successful test in October 2007, Madison rolled out Click-to-Pay to all their families in November and the results were immediate and dramatic. Quisha describes, “We sent out the e-invoices at 9:45 in the morning and then I just watched as the money rolled in! By noon we had already received 35 payments and collected $7,000. By noon the next day we were up to $19,000. Posting the payments was virtually no work.”
“All I have to do now is review the payments in the online review system and approve them for download into EZ-CARE2. What used to take me two full days every billing period was reduced to one hour – an over 80% reduction in work!” adds Quisha. “Once Click-to-Pay was fully operational, we notified our parents that we would no longer be storing their credit card data for processing. This eliminated all that manual effort as well as the security risk of maintaining their sensitive data.”
When asked about parents’ reaction to the new system, Quisha noted, “It’s been extremely positive. Parents seem to really like receiving the email summarizing their charges and the convenience of paying online. Parents also like being able to make their payment whenever it’s most convenient to them. Usage is growing each month and we expect that shortly 80% of our parents will make their payments via Click-to-Pay.”
When asked if there were any challenges, Quisha said that “we only had email addresses for about 75% of parents, but it wasn’t hard to get the additional ones when we announced that we would be sending invoices by email and allowing online payment. There were also a few parents who use email systems like Yahoo who had our e-invoices caught by their spam filter, but having them add our email address to their address book eliminated that issue.”
Summing up her experience, Quisha said “It has really been a fantastic win-win by significantly reducing my workload while also making it easier and more convenient for our parents. We just love Click-to-Pay! “