The Importance of a Cashless Campus

October 03, 2022

Campus ID Payments

Cashless environments have become popular among consumers. Instead of cash, consumers are turning to credit/debit cards or other digital payment methods like mobile apps and wallets to make their purchases. 

Cashless environments grew in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and, as a result, the demand for contactless payments grew as well. In fact, 48% of people who were concerned about contracting COVID-19 began using cashless payments (mainly between March 2020 and May 2020).

Once retailers and consumers realized cashless environments provided more than just health and safety benefits, they transitioned from a trend to a more permanent solution. 

Higher education institutions were no different. 

The benefits of cashless campuses extend far beyond safety concerns, so much so that adapting to this environment is becoming a necessity.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the top reasons why a cashless campus benefits students, faculty, and staff. 

1. Improved Financial Visibility

Human cash management often leads to human errors and confusion. In some cases, people handing cash may:

  • Miscount money

  • Find it time-consuming and confusing to balance cash and digital payments

  • Produce inaccurate records

In cashless environments, everything is digital, meaning the transaction and reconciliation are done as soon as the mobile device is tapped on the reader and the transaction is processed. 

With digital transactions, there are little to no inaccuracies, and employees won’t need to track transactions. This level of improved financial visibility leads to:  

  • Easily facilitating financial reports

  • Smoother reconciliation process

  • The ability to integrate multiple payment platforms to run one comprehensive system

Fewer inaccuracies and smoother processes will give your campus a stress-free transactional experience. 

2. Increases in Revenue

Students of this generation are more likely to use cashless forms of purchasing. In fact, a recent study shows that 53% of Gen Z consumers prefer to shop in stores that accept contactless payments. Transitioning your campus into a cashless experience allows you to meet your students’ expectations and presents an opportunity on the administrative side.

Automated features are the driving factor for revenue increases on cashless campuses. 

Students can reload campus cards electronically, allowing them to pay for:

  • Meals

  • Books

  • Spirit wear

  • Parking and much more

Cashless processes lead to an intuitive and streamlined method for replenishing students’ funds and ensuring they're being spent on campus. 

Students can also use auto-payment methods. These features allow students to make quick, automatic and recurring payments for tuition and other expenses, giving them an effortless process and guaranteeing your school receives the correct payment. 

Automatic cashless payment features like these will increase your revenue by keeping spending on campus and ensuring consistent and precise payments. 

3. Stronger Safety and Security

By definition, a cashless campus means students no longer need to carry physical currency. This minimizes a variety of safety concerns, including theft, which is a major problem on many college campuses. No cash on campus means fewer cash robberies and safer campuses. 

Once a campus goes cashless, it’s important to mention its security benefits as well. 

Contactless payments use near-field communication (NFC), which is highly encrypted and much more secure than swipe-to-pay methods. A few examples of NFC payment methods include mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as tap-to-pay cards.

Students and administrators can rest easy knowing their cashless environment means improved safety and security on campus.

4. Fewer Administrative Responsibilities

Cash and checks can be tricky to manage. If students use debit/credit cards, campus cash tools, or digital payments, cash and checks are left out of the equation. will ease administrative responsibilities because there will be no physical payments to track.

Additionally, cashless payments integrate with existing systems, keeping everything in one place. You won’t have to deal with managing different payment formats because everything will be online and totally centralized.

By easing administrative responsibilities, cashless campuses give your staff more time to focus on other essential tasks. 

5. More Convenient Payment Processes

A cashless campus makes payment processes more convenient and accessible.

With features like automated payments, students and parents don’t need to think about:

  • When a payment is due

  • If the payment was made

  • If the right amount was paid

Instead, it’s a quick, effortless, and automated process. 

Additionally, it relieves the worry of if the university actually processed the payment. When students and parents bring cash or checks to the business office or send them by mail, those payments need to be collected and recorded by administrative staff. This leaves room for error and can be a lengthy process. 

A cashless campus alleviates this. Instead, you’ll see the charge to your account right away and have instant proof the payment was processed. It’s convenient, safe, and reassuring. 

A Cashless Campus Leads to Growth

Transitioning to a cashless campus by leaning into and taking advantage of trending payment opportunities will position your campus to grow and meet students' needs.

Students will no longer need cash on campus which will help them feel safer and confident when making payments. The administrative team will also benefit from time savings, better reconciliation, and fewer repetitive tasks. 

Santa Clara University recently transitioned to a cashless campus and quickly reaped the benefits.

With the ability to accept a variety of tenders, from credit cards, ACH, and campus cards, to 529 plans, International Funds Transfer (IFT), and ApplePay, Santa Clara University reduced the amount of effort and time it took to process thousands of paper checks. Long lines and constant questions from students at the bursar’s office have also been virtually eliminated.

“We don’t need as many staff members processing payments. Everything is balanced and reconciled at the end of every business day. It’s absolutely critical that we have Transact Payments for our customers to use.” - Director, Enrollment Services Center, Santa Clara University

If a cashless experience would benefit your campus, check out Transact Solutions and learn how you can create a connected, cashless campus experience.