Online Payment Enhancements
Over the summer we added a new online payment processor, WePay. The goals were to improve online payment experience, reduce PCI compliance costs, and make it more accessible to smaller customers with lower transaction volume. While this project has been mostly successful, we received quite a bit of feedback and feature requests. As is our custom, we've implemented many of these good ideas, and the recently released items are described below.
If you currently use our lunch module, but do not allow parents to add funds online, we would encourage you to enable online payments. Your parents will like the convenience, and it will save the office staff considerable time. It’s easy to try, and there’s no setup cost. There’s no obligation, so you can cancel if it doesn't work well in your environment. Reach out to your account rep or our technical services team to get started. For more details, see our original news article:
Reconciliation Report by Account Code
One of the big needs was better reporting, and was driven by business office needs. When funds are deposited into district/school bank accounts, entries must also be made into the financial accounting system. Each deposit needs to be broken down into amounts credited to each financial system account.
To facilitate this, we added an “account code,” to each category within TeacherEase. When online payments are made, they’re applied to categories. When reconciliation reports are run, each daily/weekly/monthly deposit can be broken down into amounts for each category (showing the corresponding financial system account code).
Admin Main > Tuition/Fees > Accounts > categories > edit
SD Admin Main > Online Payments > Deposit Reconciliation > by account code
Allow Employees to View Account Balances and Make Payments
Another need was to allow employees to view and manage their lunch account balances. We now provide employees a UI similar to what is available to parents. They can view all transactions and make online payments when balances get low.
Admin Main > My Fees
Instructor Main > My Fees
Improved Details Page
Online payments are often made for multiple students at multiple schools. While all the amounts were correct, it was hard to understand which students and fees were paid on each transaction. To remedy this, we improved the details page to better show each fee paid in a transaction.
SD Admin Main > Online Payments > WePay Account Activity > details
This is currently available in the Online Payments area. This is good information, so we will also add it to the admin and parents Fees pages, transaction confirmation page, and emailed receipts. Look for this in the near future.
Improved Display When Not Using Convenience Fees
For organizations who do NOT charge convenience fees for using credit cards, the pages were a little confusing. There were columns with zeros and repeated subtotals with the same amount. Since we have a sizeable contingent of customers who don’t charge convenience fees, we optimized the pages to handle this situation better (we removed the unnecessary columns).
SD Admin Main > Online Payments > various pages
Improved Error Handling When Communicating with WePay
While the vast majority of transactions complete successfully, occasionally a small number can malfunction. For example a few parents were unable to complete a transaction, a small number of successful transactions didn't get logged into TeacherEase, etc. We improved the robustness of our communication with WePay, and have fixed all known bugs that could cause problems.
We also implemented a nightly reconciliation routine to identify discrepancies between TeacherEase and WePay transaction logs. This should allow us to proactively address any new software issues, without needing to be notified by customers.