Parents have a lot on their plates. Imagine the stress of having to come up with enough cash to pay $1,668 in school fees. They endure this every year and that number is only an average.
And now, in addition to paying on time, you need them to pay online too. For some parents, that's a lot to ask, and you’re almost guaranteed to be greeted with a few “no's.
But parents who say no, they always have their reasons. If you can learn to understand those reasons, you can figure out how to get them on board with online school payments. Read on to discover why parents say no to online payments and how you can change their minds.
Common Objection #1: They’re Used to Using Cash
When you’re hearing parents’ concerns, there’s a good chance that one of them will be: “I just don’t like using credit cards.”
It’s not uncommon for parents to prefer cash over another payment method. It feels safer when you have physical money in your hand than when you complete your entire transaction on an app or website.
How You Should Respond #1: Provide Value to Parents
In order to convince parents to give online payment options a try, you need to show them why it’s a good idea. Here is a talking point you can use:
One of the biggest benefits of an online school payment system is that it provides parents with a proof of transaction. This is an excellent way of giving them peace of mind in knowing that their child’s education is secure because they have a payment record on their bank statement.
Common Objection #2: It’s Not Secure
If a parent has been burned by a scam or two in their life, their reaction is to be overly cautious about any future online transactions. Their fear is that if they hand over their credit card information, someone will steal it, and all their money will be gone.
Therefore, when you’re dealing with questioning parents, you need to explain how your school handles security.
How You Should Respond #2: Show Proof of a Secure Payment Platform
The best way to show parents that your school takes security seriously is by showing them the payment platform you use. If it’s an online service like Vanco, for example, then you can direct them to their official website and show them how the system works. You may also share the PCI compliance rating of your processor. For example, Vanco is PCI level-1 compliant, the highest security standard in the processing industry.
Your platform should also have an SSL certificate that encrypts all data sent and received between the server and the client. This is important because it prevents any hackers from accessing parents’ information.
Common Objection #3: You Might Overcharge Them for Online School Payments
If parents are worried about being overcharged for their credit card payments, you can explain that this is a common misconception. They may think you plan to make automatic monthly charges, even if there’s no payment due from them.
Many parents who have this concern will not opt-in because of it.
How You Should Respond #3: Be Transparent About How Funds Will Be Used
You can reassure parents that their credit card information is used to charge only the amount they choose to pay. You’ll never make an automatic charge, even on an overdue balance, unless they request you to.
The more transparent you are about the way your payment process works, the less likely it is that parents will feel suspicious.
Other Ways to Help
If you’re getting pushback from parents, it’s important to remember the rejection is not a comment on your skills (so don’t take it personally). You can use some of the following tips to help ease their concerns.
1) Tell Parents What to Do When They Have a Question/Experience an Issue
Provide a phone number parents can call if they have questions while they look into paying school fees online. This is especially important if you’re using a third-party payment processor. You don’t want parents calling the wrong organization.
You can also direct parents to an FAQ page on your website that answers common inquiries and provides tips on how to pay for school online.
Finally, let them know how long an email response from the school or district will take. That way, when parents reach out with questions, they know what to expect.
2) Allow Convenient Payment Options
Give them multiple paying options including credit card, ACH/bank account, and in-person card readers.
No matter what they’re paying for, the multiple options allow parents to pay through a portal they already trust.
3) Mention Confirmation Notifications
Let parents know that you’ll send them a notification confirming that the transaction was successful. This will help ease any concerns they may have about whether they’ve paid the correct amount. It also helps to ensure that no one accidentally pays twice for fees.
If you’re using a third-party processor, it’s important to make sure that you set your system up to send confirmation emails automatically.
4) Parent Communication
As we said earlier, you need to let your parents know how great going cashless can be for this, maybe during an open house. We also recommend notifying your students’ families about RevTrak’s Web Store. Check out our Parent Communication Kit to see everything you need to inform your school community about all the benefits of making their payments online.
Get Parents to Say Yes to Online School Payments
Online school payments are a mutually beneficial option. Parents get to avoid standing in long lines at the school office, and you get to process payments faster than before.
Want to get a school store parents love, find super easy to use and districts across the country trust?
Check out RevTrak.