In this era of booming e-commerce the customer has exceptional advantages of making important decisions that shape businesses. This power, or rather responsibility, resides with the customer largely due to the ease of handling monetary transactions. The easier it is to make a transaction, quicker the service and happier the customer.
It is true for the e-commerce sector. Can we extend this formula to other types of service providers? Maybe. Well, frankly speaking it is quite a large area to explore. Currently, electronic payments are growing at 60% YoY and are set to be the largest mode of payment in India. Based on these facts, is it necessary to integrate your alumni site with a payment gateway portal? Let’s look at multiple scenarios that may arise while alumni use their website.
Registering for an alumni meet or reunion
On a busy Tuesday evening an alumna receives a notification that there is an alumni meet in the city on Thursday. She gets excited and calls up few of her old classmates. Everyone is interested to go. While appreciating the ease of registering for the event through the site, they hit an unexpected roadblock. The payments are only received through bank cheques, DDs or NEFT transfers and the last day to pay is today.
Managing Registrations and Receipts
It’s Tuesday and the site admin is on her computer shooting away confirmation emails and acknowledgement emails for receiving DDs and cheques. She would have to request a detailed statement from the bank (before end of the day) to cross verify NEFT transactions. Her email inbox is already overflowing with multiple queries from alumni. Her phone keeps ringing every two minutes. It looks like a disaster.
Alumni wants to give back to the institute
On a later day, the same alumna discovers that the institute is raising funds for a new high tech computer lab. Imagining all the new possibilities the students could have, she decides to donate some money for that project. She witnesses the online activity around this project and looks at all the other alumni who’ve donated. She makes a mental note to share this donation drive with her college network. Alas! The institute would only accept bank cheques, DDs or NEFT transfers. Not wanting to change the good thought, and to take the simplest path, she looks for the account details for a NEFT transfer. Amidst her busy schedule, she would rethink about making the contribution when the beneficiary account is added.
These types of scenarios are not limited to situations mentioned above; membership fee collection, transcript fee collection, alumni guest house reservation, souvenir or merchandise purchases and the list continues. What we’ve put together above are not imaginative situations, but based on real life user grievances. The ease of making payments has been one of the fundamental factors that paved the path to outstanding success for crowdfunding and donation platforms. One famous example would be Kickstarter.
Here is where integrating a payment gateway portal with the alumni website becomes a strong driver to encourage more alumni to participate in institute related activities. Also, the internet pours overwhelming information and people switch across multiple sites, news, posts, videos etc. at the speed of lightning. So a website shouldn’t slow down its audience while providing a service or services. If it does, the site will eventually lose the audience and traffic. Above that, managing the entire process (transactions, confirmations and reports) from the back end becomes much simpler when the payment gateway is integrated. Not only that, but also:
- Every single transaction is transparent and accountable
- It is secure. There is no fear of theft, misplacement or delay of a post that is carrying a cheque or DD
- Confirmation emails are delivered to the customer momentarily after the transaction is made
- All transactions are auto captured and manual recording or book keeping is not required
- Payments can be made through all available debit and credit cards
- Around 33+ net banking options are available
- Payments can also be made through the mobile
- It has a dedicated merchant panel to give insights about the transactions
It is certainly not over ambitious to say that easier the transaction, better the engagement. While an integration with a payment gateway is sure to assist the site administrator for better management, it also becomes one of the fundamental reasons for an alumnus to consider making a payment, and hence engage with your institute in meaningful ways.
Integrating your site with a payment gateway portal is an idea within short reach that will bring your alumni much closer to the institute.
At Almabase, we believe that an easy and secure payment process is critical to any Alumni Website. We have partnered with PayU to provide an integrated Payment Gateway to all our customers. It is a quick setup with very low transaction fees.