Secure e-payment system streamlines commerce for students at Washington institution

With the CASHNet® Mobile Payments App from Higher One, purchasing can be done anywhere, anytime at Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University is a private Jesuit institution with 7,400 students in Spokane, Washington. From club events to games played by its renowned men’s and women’s basketball teams, there is always something happening on campus. However, until eight years ago there was no secure, hosted environment where students, staff and visitors could purchase tickets to these events with a credit or debit card. “We also had students studying abroad who had the opportunity to do weekend trips, but there was no easy way for their parents to pay for the trips from the U.S.,” says Linda Wilson, financial systems and services manager.

Wilson’s team searched for an e-commerce site that was wizard-based, allowing the finance staff to easily create digital storefronts and manage the system in house. “Our IT department was stretched very thin and we wanted the ability to edit and maintain in the controller’s office,” she says. Being PCI compliant was also crucial. Higher One’s CASHNet Payment Suite was the superior solution in every category, she says.

CASHNet eMarket allows finance departments to manage commerce operations for any group, club or department on campus. Organizations get individual storefronts with unique URLs, making it easy for consumers to find and purchase exactly what they need. Photos, descriptions and one-click payments contribute to a smooth consumer experience. Simple reporting and auditing make for a straightforward management process on the back end. “We have the unlimited e-commerce license, so we can have as many eMarkets as we need,” says Wilson. And the groups at Gonzaga have taken advantage of this opportunity.

“We have 320 eMarkets,” says Wilson. “All of our clubs, plus off-campus housing and special events like Fall Family Weekend, use this secure way to take in revenue.”

Since the implementation of CASHNet, organizations have seen revenue increases. “Nothing makes it easier to pay than when you can pay wherever and whenever you want,” says Wilson.

The theater department has been selling out shows prior to the performance, which seldom happened when there was no way to pay on the web, says Wilson. The CASHNet mobile app for the iPad has been used by Gonzaga since it was introduced, says Wilson. The app gives students on the go the ability to make payments 24/7. “Students will be standing in line for an event, pay for it on their phone and then show their receipt at the door. They are in a hurry to get into an event and do not want to waste time standing at a box office.”

Having an app that provides quick and direct access to the desired eMarket has changed commerce at Gonzaga, says Wilson. “We can use QR codes to make processing even faster. For example, the theater can add a QR code to the posters that advertise shows that directs to their ticketing eMarket. A student can stand outside the theater, be taken directly to the right eMarket and purchase their ticket instantly.”

One member of Wilson’s staff manages the eMarkets full time. “She takes and prioritizes requests, edits and gets stores online and offline, and adds and deletes categories,” Wilson says. “Developing eMarkets does not require any sort of web training.”

Everyone on campus loves CASHNet and the mobile app, says Wilson.

“The ease of it is really the biggest benefit,” she says. “Everyone wants the convenience of being able to shop with a debit or credit card at any time.”

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