Oklahoma Wesleyan University streamlines and modernizes payments process
Seeking to modernize and streamline business operations, the leadership of Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OKWU) has taken significant steps to improve the university’s payments and reconciliation processes with the implementation of a new payment platform.
Seeking a new platform
The private institution in Bartlesville, Oklahoma enrolls approximately 1,200 students across all programs. Over the past several years, it had become clear that the payments platform OKWU had long used had become inadequate. The university relied on a complex web of different systems to handle student payments as well as other transactions such as application fees, enrollment deposits and alumni donations.
IT Administrator Alex Johnson says that having so many different systems, platforms and spreadsheets had become costly, chaotic and confusing. “We needed to make reconciliation simpler and easier,” Johnson says. In addition, the university was in the process of implementing a new SIS and needed a payments platform that was compatible. “The payments platform we were using wasn’t up to the task,” he says. “We needed a new system that was cost efficient and could easily integrate with our new SIS.”
OKWU leadership found what they needed with ACI Speedpay from ACI Worldwide®. ACI Speedpay offers convenient digital payment plan options, as well as security for all types of campus payments. “ACI rose above other options we looked at, in terms of its functionality and the user experience, and ACI’s ability to settle all cards and ACH payments the next business day was a huge advantage that we knew would save us time and money. In addition, they were willing to work with us to make sure their system integrated seamlessly with our new SIS,” Johnson says.
Incorporating a mobile ID
Another appealing feature of ACI was its new mobile ID. OKWU had been printing student, faculty and staff ID cards in-house for years. “It was expensive to operate and maintain the ID card printers, and we needed to upgrade. We decided a mobile ID made sense because just about every campus user always carries their smartphone with them, so they are far less likely to lose a mobile ID than a card. Plus it’s more secure and convenient, and there is heightened interest in contactless solutions because of the pandemic,” Johnson says. “We looked at different options, and ACI’s mobile ID had everything we needed. Having it be a part of the payments platform made it that much simpler for us.”
Johnson says the implementation went smoothly, and was completed within 60 days, ahead of an already aggressive schedule of 90 days. ACI Speedpay went live in September 2020. The reception from campus users has been very positive. “I was surprised at the level of excitement about the mobile ID in particular, from students but also from faculty and staff,” he says.
OKWU will only be adding features and functionality in the near future, as it fully implements the new SIS. “We will be integrating more payments and transactions into the ACI system and our SIS, including enrollment deposits and fees, as well as donations from alumni or community members,” Johnson says. “Ultimately, this will make reconciliation seamless. It’s already a big improvement and will only get better.”
To learn more, visit www.aciworldwide.com/highered