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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Mobile payment for campus purchases

Other than debit cards, students are using mobile payment applications on their smartphones, such as PayPal and Venmo, to pay for online purchases and expenses such as movie tickets or splitting a restaurant bill.

Pierce should consider creating a campus business account on a third-party mobile payment application.

At the Business Office, according to the school website, only cash, cashier’s checks and money orders are accepted. To use a credit/debit card to pay for dues, the student has to purchase it online through their student portal.

In a report released in April 2019 by Sallie Mae and its research partner on how college students manage their finances, students were asked if they had ever used a mobile payment program, and nearly 90% of the student respondents said they had, up from 77% in 2016.

The same study also said that mobile pay surpassed debit cards to become the fastest-growing payment method, while cash dropped from the most commonly used to third-most.

According to the same survey, the most popular mobile payment app among students interviewed is PayPal, but Venmo is the fastest-growing. In 2019, 37% of students reported using Venmo, up from 11% in 2016.

By incorporating mobile payment options on campus, students can pay their fees through PayPal or Venmo on their phone rather than waiting in line at the Business Office or Student Store.

According to the PayPal website, the app has a program set up for school campuses specifically. They partner with the college’s treasury department and creates a centralized account with multiple linked accounts. This allows different groups across campus to accept payments the way they want, while ensuring centralized monitoring of all PayPal payments received.

Holy Redeemer School in College Park, Maryland, allows students to use their PayPal account to pay for school lunches, field trips or to even make a donation to the school, according to its school website.

According to the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), students at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) and other college campuses are opting to use mobile payment applications rather than cash for all of their purchases.

Other than PayPal, Venmo is one of the more popular campus payment apps, according to the ETA. People can tie the Venmo app to a bank, debit or credit card and make payments with no attached fees unless money made through the app is being transferred to the bank.

With third-party, mobile applications being an emerging method of payment on college campuses across the nation, Pierce should adopt it to make the process quick and easy.

The Roundup News
The Roundup is the student-run news outlet at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif.

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