Fee Payments In Online & Offline Education
Remitting fees is a major source of concern and frustration for students and parents alike. Fee payments are usually completed manually and frequently involve printing out several paper documents such as payment acknowledgments, challans & payment slips. These are later submitted to the relevant academic authorities for confirmation and storage.
Paper-based procedures like these often result in misplaced or lost documents, errors in payment details that usually take too long to rectify, and mismanagement of documents at the institutional level.
Students typically bear the brunt of such instances – fees aren’t paid on time, and errors in payment details are carried over to the institutional database resulting in further problems, all of which ultimately affect students’ mental health and academic performance.
Additionally, with education increasingly being delivered online, paper-based fee payment methods are quickly becoming inconvenient and outdated.
Edtech businesses, who have been critical in pushing the boundaries of the education sector and digitizing numerous aspects of education, must now help educational institutions digitize other critical aspects of their functioning – chief among them being fee payments.
By integrating with automated recurring payments solutions, the Edtech sector can help schools & universities provide students with a digital and hassle-free method of paying fees securely and on time.
How Paper-based Fee Payments Can Go Wrong
Paper-based methods of fee payments are plagued with several drawbacks that affect both the student body and the productivity of educational institutions themselves.
To examine why let’s look at a typical paper-based fee payment process.
Evidently, these methods of fee payment are rife with obstacles and problems –
Document loss & mismanagement
Paper documents are often liable to be lost or misplaced, resulting in delays in fee payments. Additionally, due to the nature of paper-based documents.
These also result in low productivity rates for academic office workers and further delays.
Occurrence of errors & a lack of avenues for recourse
Manual document processing leaves room for errors in populating forms and collecting data. According to surveys, knowledge workers working with paper documents record error rates of 90% when processing documents.
Additionally, with manual fee payment systems, students often have no recourse when errors are found in their payment details and have to wait for months to get these errors corrected.
Low efficiency & long turnaround times
Paper-based document management is among the most inefficient, with office workers reporting that half their time is spent on just finding the right document. Having to manually receive, store & manage paper records also results in long turnaround times for simple documentation tasks.
High expenses & paper costs
Organizations that rely on paper for major documentation activities overspend by 60-85% according to surveys. These expenses include everything from the cost of paper to storage costs, stationery, courier costs, and management costs.
According to surveys, the average school generates 2800 sheets of paper per student on a daily basis. This translates to nearly USD 200,000 spent annually on just paper. Educational institutions need a digital means to collect and manage payments if only to cut down on their exorbitant paper costs.
With the rise of digital education, paper-based fee payments are both untenable and not scalable; educational institutions require an automated way to manage these recurring fee payments. So how can schools and colleges digitize this process?
eNACH eMandate – Automating Recurring Fee Payments
eNACH-based eMandate solutions are a secure, automated, and hassle-free way for educational institutions to collect and manage recurring fee payments.
eMandates are digital mandates that determine how much money is to be debited from an account periodically and then proceed to debit this money to a destination account (in this case, that of the educational institution).
The debit is preceded by an Additional Factor Authentication (AFA), to ensure security, and all mandates are edited and managed on a single dashboard enabling both the accounts office of educational institutions and students to have better access to and control over fee payments.
eMandate solutions maintain a complete record of successful & failed payments and enable real-time tracking of mandates. Additionally, eMandate solutions are integrated with the Aadhaar, debit card, or NetBanking details of students, allowing for secure authentication before any amount is debited.
Institutions that automate recurring payments using eNACH eMandates can expect to reap a number of benefits.
Reduced expenses & improved efficiency
Educational institutions can expect to reduce their operational expenses by 60-85% by leveraging an eNACH-based fee payment system. Paper & storage costs are significantly reduced by going digital with recurring fee payments, and efficiency is improved by up to 70%.
No delays in payments & lowered turnaround time
eNACH eMandates ensure that payment schedules are automated and fee payments are debited on time. This additionally lowers the turnaround time for academic and accounts offices to process, document & manage payment details.
Hassle-free payments & a digital experience
Students and parents can both attain a measure of relief by having fee payments automated. The usual stressful procedures involving printing out documents, standing in queues, and waiting for confirmation are all done away with and replaced with the simple process of creating a mandate once and authenticating this mandate for fees to be debited.
Providing students and their parents with such a hassle-free digital experience will enable students to concentrate on academic and extracurricular activities rather than having to worry about fees.
Strong controls over fee payments with visible audit trails
eNACH-based fee payments also provide students with strong and comprehensive user controls over fee payments.
Providers of automated payments services offer dashboards for the concerned parties to create, authenticate, track, edit & delete mandates online. All payment activities are also recorded & viewable, enabling easy audits.
The advantages of leveraging an eNACH-based recurring fee payments system are numerous and educational institutions would do well to employ an automated payments solution to enable hassle-free digital fee payments.
Next, let’s look at how such a system would work in the context of fee payments.
eNACH-based Fee Transactions – How They Work
eMandate solutions for automated recurring payments bring together a number of stakeholders including banks and regulatory bodies such as NPCI to comprehensively track, authenticate and clear recurring transactions made between entities.
SignDesk offers an NPCI-compliant eNACH eMandate solution currently being leveraged by several major banks and is a seasoned domain expert in this area.
The entities involved in SignDesk’s eMandate process are as follows:-
Sponsor Bank: The bank that acts as a bridge between SignDesk and NPCI.
Destination Bank: The bank where the customer has an account and has agreed to debit the money with recurring frequency.
Corporate/client Bank: The client bank that receives the credited amount
The eMandate process involves the following steps:-
- The customer registers a mandate at their destination bank through SignDesk
- SignDesk sends a debitsheet request to the sponsor bank
- This debitsheet request is passed to the destination bank via NPCI
- The requisite amount is then debited from the destination bank to NPCI
- NPCI then transfers the amount to the sponsor bank
- The amount passes through a nodal account to the client bank
Here’s a bird’s eye view of this entire process.
In the context of fee payments in educational institutions, this translates into a simple and expedited way for students to complete fee payments and institutions to better manage these payments.
Here’s how recurring fee payments are automated using SignDesk’s eNACH eMandate solution.
Why Edtech Needs To Integrate With eMandate Providers
With Edtech businesses pushing the education sector past new frontiers with offerings that improve learning, lecture delivery, student-teacher interactions and the availability of premium study materials, Edtech now needs to focus on other equally important areas in the education sector.
Fee payments are an extremely important aspect of the education sector and a constant source of both frustrations for students and inefficiency and mismanagement for educational institutions.
By integrating with automated payments solutions, Edtech businesses can offer schools and universities a simplified, secure, and expedited method to remit fees periodically.
Educational institutions need a better way to collect recurring payments and Edtech businesses need to make the requisite solutions available.
SignDesk – Paper-free Periodic Payments With eMandates
SignDesk is a GDPR-compliant and award-winning provider of compliance & document automation solutions for 350+ clients, including 60+ major banks.
Our solutions automate all the compliance aspects of any business’ documentation processes, including – customer onboarding, digital evidence creation, contract lifecycle management, and recurring payments; while maintaining the highest & most stringent data security standards & protocols for client data across the board.
SignDesk’s AI-powered ID verification solution leverages OCR techniques for image data extraction, AI technology for real-time ID verification, and features for facial matching and ML-based fraud detection. Our digital KYC verification solution has enabled several banks and major enterprises to reduce verification expenses by 60-85% and boost audit efficiency by nearly 60%. We were also awarded the Global Banking & Finance Review’s Best Onboarding solution in India for 2020.
SignDesk offers an eSign workflow solution with custom legally valid templates and a range of eSignatures, including electronic, DSC, Aadhaar & PAN-based signatures, and India’s most popular digital stamping solution in use by nearly 85% of all businesses.
We also offer an eNACH-based eMandate solution to automate recurring payments, with physical, Aadhaar & API-based mandates, and options to approve mandates via eSign, debit card, and NetBanking.
Are you ready to automate your onboarding and documentation with AI-powered technology?
Book a free demo with us now!