School Payment Gateway

Although education was among the last sectors to include payment gateways on portals, the practice is growing. Many institutions of learning are gradually integrating online portals with the use of an encrypted gateway. To help your school now and in the future, you should too. 

This article discusses what a school payment gateway is and how to set up one for your institution. With a top payment processor like PaymentUSA, you can quickly begin the process and have an active and secure gateway to process all transactions. 

What is a School Payment Gateway?

To understand how a payment gateway for schools works, it is essential to know what a payment gateway is. 

A payment gateway consists of a channel that aids in reading and transferring payment details between a customer and the merchant’s bank account. Its basic function is to capture the information, send it over securely, and ensure the merchant receives funds. 

Schools use online and in-person formats. For online payment processing, the gateway is a cloud-based software connecting the customer, parent, or guardian to the merchant’s bank. For in-person payment, the software is designed into a physical card reader (point of sale) system that allows processing when a card is presented. 

How does a school payment gateway work?​

As easy as it sounds, school payment gateways are quite complex to implement. For the client or student, it is simple and straightforward. The payment gateway involves the following parties:

  • The card company that operates and manages the card. It could be Visa, American Express, or Mastercard.
  • The cardholder – customer making the payment.
  • The merchant – the institution  accepting payments.
  • Issuing bank – the banking institution that holds the cardholder’s account and authorizes payment to the merchant.
  • Acquiring bank – the merchant’s bank where the account is active. 

Here’s a summary of how a payment gateway for schools operates. 

  1. The cardholder reaches the checkout page of the online payment portal and inputs their data, or  uses the point of sale terminal the merchant provides.
  2. The data travels to the issuing bank via the card network, confirming the availability of funds. This ensures the cardholder is not paying above the limit or the account has insufficient funds. 
  3. Once the issuing bank confirms the payment, the payment switch reroutes the transaction to the card network for easy identification and processing. 
  4. The card network confirms the transaction, informing the issuing bank to release the funds and sending the confirmation status back to the checkout page. This usually comes with a reference number with authorization or decline status. 
  5. The payment gateway also relays the information to the acquiring bank to send money from the issuing bank to the merchant’s account. 

It may look strange and complex on the backend. On the front end, the process is swift, and your clients only need to wait a few seconds before getting a response. 

Because the customer has to use their card details,  they need to be sure you’re presenting a reliable payment gateway portal. You should only rely on legitimate platforms like PaymentUSA.  

How to Set Up a School Gateway for Payments

Depending on your budget and objective, there are different methods available to choose from. Before we discuss how to set one up for your online school portal, let’s look at the three types that are available.

Hosted (off-site payment gateway)

When customers make a payment, the site collects and sends the information to the payment processor’s servers for clearance. This is the most common payment gateway available. Besides its popularity, it is also a great way to avoid the maintenance costs of a data center for storing clients’ data.

Redirect Gateway

Here, the payment page redirects the customer to the payment processor’s page, like PaymentUSA, for payment clearance. 

Self-hosted (on-site payment gateway)

The self-hosted gateway occurs on your servers, making you responsible for the safety of the customers’ data. 

Setting up your payment gateway platform is possible using PaymentUSA’s platform. In addition, you can also add other currencies apart from USD that you want to accept. 

Here’s how to set up the payment gateway platform. 

  1. As we have explained earlier, you’ll need your own payment gateway structure. For this, a dedicated server is needed to host it. This can either be yours or from a third-party platform. 
  2. Select your payment processor.  This can be an independent payment processing company or financial institution. Whichever option you choose, you’ll need the API documentation on how to implement the plugin on your portal. 
  3. Create a stable customer relationship management platform. For the school payment gateway to work properly, you’ll need a database to help coordinate the client’s payment data and manage transactions. 
  4. Implement security features. The last part of setting up the payment gateway is creating a high-profile security encryption. With the rise of internet fraud and data breaches, it’s possible to destroy your school’s reputation if there are security loopholes on the payment gateway. 
  5. Certifications. This is another part of the security installations that shows the payment gateway meets regulations. This includes the PCI DSS compliance certificate and the 3DS certification from EMV. 

Why a Payment Gateway for Schools has Become Important

There are several ways a school payment gateway offers essential benefits to the everyday operations of an educational institution. 

Creates a steady cash flow

With the addition of a payment gateway, cash flow is no longer an issue. With a school payment gateway, funds become available within a few days. However, with PaymentUSA’s fast system, it only takes 24 hours for you to access them. 

Avoid the hassles of traditional banking systems

Educational institutions that still rely on the use of checks, cash, and drafts have to deposit the funds at the bank. This is a waste of time and effort for parents and school administrators. Also, when you opt for digital payments, you avoid the risks with checks, such as non-clearance. 

Accept payments from anywhere

With the implementation of online payment gateways, payments can occur anywhereThis is also helpful to parents that have to settle payments from overseas. 

Regular communication with parents

Another critical aspect of a payment gateway for schools is how it encourages updates and communication between the school and parents. First, all transactions receive an automated receipt sent via email, SMS, or other mobile platforms. PaymentUSA’s strategic solution ensures receipts can be generated at will for easy identification.

Detailed database and reporting helps with analysis and statistics

Including digital school payment gateway platforms on your online portal will help provide an in-depth analysis of payments. And with PaymentUSA, you can find everything you need on one dashboard. 

It is possible to find reports on the total fees collected in a day, week, or month. Tracking failed transactions are also possible where transactions go through but have no automated receipt. Detailed statistics on the number of students that have completed payments and which payment method they used can be generated. 

Enable different payment modes

With a reputable payment processor like PaymentUSA, setting up a payment gateway provides convenience by adding all payment method types. Options like credit and debit cards, Netbanking, UPI, and other contactless payment selections are now a reality. This ensures convenience, reliability, and continuity for your customers. 

Online Payment Gateway with PaymentUSA

With the increasing reliance on e-payments, integrating a school payment gateway is no longer a luxury but a necessity. PaymentUSA offers a reliable way to clear school fees, making collection entirely digital. 

Our features ensure parents can pay anytime, anywhere, and choose from numerous currency options (for parents abroad). You can even send a fee reminder directly to parents with our secure platform. 

PaymentUSA provides support for all currency types, with PCI compliance and 3DS certification for your payment portal. Here are the features of the school payment gateway system from PaymentUSA:

  • PCI-DSS certification (v2) with a global acceptance for the payment services industry.
  • High-security encryption, including tokenization to protect customers’ private information and OTP (one-time password). 
  • Ease of access and use.
  • Up-to-date fraud prevention techniques.
  • Support for credit and debit cards, cash payment, prepaid, and other contactless payment options. 
  • Automated receipting system.
  • Implementation of customer relationship management systems.
  • Specific reporting system.

With Payment USA’s modern payment gateway, schools no longer have to worry about a stressful payment system. Join our list of satisfied school administrators by booking a consultation with one of our representatives. 

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