With a high number of overseas students and customers paying for university services and courses, a sophisticated eCommerce solution was a must.
University of Manchester enjoys a reputation for pioneering research and innovation, which vitalises its undergraduate courses and postgraduate programmes, introducing students to the latest thinking in their chosen fields. With over 40,000 students and 11,000 staff, the university has outstanding facilities and the widest range of courses, making it highly respected across the globe as a centre of teaching excellence.
Providing students and customers with payment choices
The university owns and operates several major cultural assets including Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery and Jodrell Bank Observatory - as featured in the BBC programme 'Stargazing Live'. Ultimately, it is a large-scale business with thousands of customers and a need to reliably and efficiently accept payments.
Its doors are opened to thousands of visitors from the UK and overseas every year, so it was important to offer students and customers a choice in how they pay, embracing latest technologies and international services.
This led to a clear list of priorities:
- Reliable, ‘always available’ payments experience
- Long-term relationship with a payments partner
- Generate new revenue opportunities
- Latest payment technologies
- Ease of implementation
- Support with PCI compliance certification
- Cost efficiencies in card processing
- Improved management information across each line of the business
What made Elavon the best partner?
The university followed a robust, lengthy selection process to find the best payment provider for its needs. Stakeholders from the university talked to a number of providers, but it was Elavon that ticked all of the boxes.
They valued our ability to offer bespoke solutions and latest innovations, such as contactless, Apple Pay and Android Pay©, ideal for students who mostly carry cards instead of cash to pay for smaller purchases like a cup of coffee in the campus café. The university knew contactless-enabled payment terminals would be a hit across campus - there are now 86 such terminals.
With a high number of overseas students and customers paying for university services and courses, a sophisticated eCommerce solution was also a must.
Elavon’s Multi-Currency Conversion (MCC) provides the university with multiple payment and settlement options, while our Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), which offers more currencies than any other provider, allows international students and customers to pay in their home currency at point of sale. We ensured university staff received training on how to use DCC to make sure the university received maximum income from its share of the revenue generated.
A methodical approach to implementation
When Elavon was awarded the contract for the university, the Elavon team spent time on campus to understand the existing setup and plan the optimum payment solution. Elavon worked collaboratively with key university stakeholders who were delighted when implementation was completed in just three weeks, ready for the September intake. Furthermore, we opened up some dedicated authorisation lines to make student enrolment easier at such an extremely busy time.
This was a complex solution with multiple channels, including nine websites, 86 terminals and integration of several merchant accounts with a requirement for integrated point-of-sale.
The Elavon team was onsite on day one to oversee the switch and ensure operations were running smoothly. When University of Manchester reflects on its original list of priorities from its new payments partner, we are proud to say we get full marks.
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