From ‘Dead in the Water’ to Hitting the Deadline: A College’s Payment Journey

Brought in last minute, Nelnet Campus Commerce built a cashiering integration so there was no interruption in revenue processing

Three months before going live with a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system—Workday— Indian River State College was missing one important piece: payment processing technology, specifically a cashiering product for in-person payments.

“We would’ve been dead in the water,” says Amanda Bock, bursar. “The payment technology company [we reached out to] wasn’t even communicating with us. We were three months from going live and wondering what we were going to do.”

To the rescue

Indian River turned to Nelnet Campus Commerce, which had been managing tuition payment plans for the school for years. Although Nelnet did not have an existing cashiering integration compatible with Workday, the companies worked together to solve Indian River’s dilemma.

“They were fantastic,’’ Bock says. “When the cashiering solution we needed wasn’t available, Nelnet Campus Commerce built one for us—and in only three months. They did an amazing job.”

The solution

Nelnet used its newly developed cloud connector, which allows the cashiering client to pass data between the point of sale and the ERP in real time. The seamless integration went live July 1 at all five campuses of the 17,000-student school.

Since then, Indian River has been using Nelnet Campus Commerce to process tuition payments and fees for applications, labs and commencement. Soon the school will process customer payments so additional services such as childcare or box-office sales can be run through Nelnet’s cashiering platform. Grants and club deposits could be processed as well.

‘Amazing support’

“We receive the most amazing support from Nelnet Campus Commerce,” Bock says. “They’re extremely easy to work with, and they’ve always tried to accommodate our needs. They’ve never told us something was impossible.”

An important piece of Nelnet’s solution was its ability to securely accept credit and debit cards plus ACH payments without capturing or storing card information. The only option, with the previous potential cashiering partner, would have been to use a stand-alone terminal, which would have required the school to store information and be out of compliance with the payment card security industry. Also, there wouldn’t have been a way to track payments, Bock says. “It would have been a mess.”

Instead, Indian River now has a cashiering solution that allows the college to continually expand its capabilities.

“We already had a good relationship with Nelnet Campus Commerce, and welcomed the opportunity to work with them for our cashiering needs,” Bock says. “They have been an outstanding partner.”

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