3 advantages of school in-app payment options

If your school is like most, you’re always selling something. A few possibilities include registration dues, trip fees, yearbook sales, tuition payments at private schools, branded school gear (go, sports team!), sports equipment sales or rentals, and of course fundraisers! One of the challenges of any school is making it easy for people to pay, buy or donate.

What if you could accept payments through a mobile school app? Let’s discuss three advantages to in-app payments, and why more and more schools are using this solution.

Robust Mobile Store

Our school app services include school stores, that can sell everything from sports gear to cafeteria lunches. (Really, you can sell anything in-app!) If you’re short on space, using a mobile store could even remove the need for a physical store: all purchases could be made in-app. Rent out equipment, collect tuition payments, it’s up to you.

Painless Notifications

Notifying students or parents of upcoming costs is a breeze with a school app: just send a friendly push notification. Use scheduled notifications to remind parents to buy tickets for the school play. Message students when your school hoodies are 20% off. If you’re fundraising, why not let people know when you’re close to meeting your goal?

Increased Security

If you’re currently accepting credit card payments via telephone calls (or worse, paper forms), it’s time to upgrade. By using in-app payments, both you and your app users are using an encrypted connection to share sensitive data. Our services include PCI compliance, so you’ll be using the same protection organizations like Blackboard, Amazon and McDonald’s use.

Reaching People Where They Are For good or ill, mobile devices are here to stay. Over 90% of your students or parents own smartphones, and check them frequently (heck, there’s a good chance you’re reading this article on your smartphone). By accepting mobile payments, you reach your users where they already are. What's not to love?

Engaging Students and Alumni via a Mobile App

If your educational institutions is like most, you have two big questions:

  1. How do I engage my students outside of class?
  2. How can I engage our alumni after graduation?

A good mobile app can help you answer both questions—and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! The same tools can be used to involve both students and alumni, and the transition from “student user” to “alumni user” can be seamless.

One App, Two Audiences

For students, a mobile app is a great way to get information quickly, communicate with the school, and pay for things like tuition, field trips or sports gear. It’s an effective method of keeping in touch with teachers, and staying up-to-date on school activities.

For alumni, a mobile app can help them stay involved after graduation, stay connected with teachers and classmates, and donate to their alma mater. Push notifications, calendars and event locations mean that your alumni can have the information they need right at their fingertips.

Let’s look at one example of how a student could use your app to transition post-graduation.

Easy Transition

Monique’s in her last weeks of school. She installed her school’s app about a year ago, and has used it to double check class schedules, find event locations, and buy some school gear. (When her car blew a tire, she also used it to request an absence from her morning teachers.) Last winter, when the school was snowed under for two days, a push notification notified her before she’d tried driving to class! She’s registered for classes in-app, and submitted her form for a trip to New York, right from her phone. About six weeks before graduating, Monique received a new notification from the app.

“Graduating students, check out the Alumni tabs in-app for great post-graduation resources!”

Opening the app, Monique notices the Alumni tabs. One of them has a calendar of alumni events, with locations listed. Another has a store of alumni gear, including graduation rings, and an option to donate to the school. There’s even a “finding your career path” feature with resources from the school career services office, and links to employers looking for graduates like her!

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Practical Tools

Here are just some of the tools Monique’s school used to keep her engaged post-graduation:

  • Push Notifications allow for immediate, scheduled and custom messages to your students, their parents or alumni. These are especially helpful for reminding students of things like tuition deadlines, or notifying everyone of last-minute schedule changes.
  • In-app Payments allow you to sell everything from instrument rentals to game tickets. Tuition payments are also a common feature (if applicable), as are payments for field trips or extracurricular activities.
  • Donations lets students, parents and alumni give back to your school—and with one push notification, you can reach out to all your potential funders. (Sounds easier than making phone calls, doesn’t it?) Pre-selected amounts can be requested, along with custom amounts. This means both the $5 and $5,000 donations can be processed in-app, no muss no fuss.
  • Events Calendars and Locations let your students and alumni know what’s happening and when. This is a great way to keep alumni up-to-date, alerting them of events they can participate in, potential volunteer opportunities, and things like career fairs or seminars.
  • Online Services allows nearly any existing service to be incorporated in-app. Have pdfs you want to share with students? Link them to the app. Want to connect your Facebook, Twitter or BlackBoard accounts? No problem.
  • Ask Supervisor & Teacher Directory makes staying in touch with faculty and staff—before and after graduation—a piece of cake. Students can now quickly find out who their new teachers will be, and alumni can reconnect with former teachers without spending fifteen minutes looking for Dr. Brown’s email.

Your mobile app can connect you to your students and alumni in ways unheard of just five years ago, for a price your school can afford. Why not take advantage of it?

Swoop and TappIT Technology: Mobile School Tech Meets Mobile Payments

Swoop Business Solutions has partnered with TappIT Technology, a robust mobile app solultion, to offer mobile app services to public and private schools, sports leagues, and other club or membership services. TappIT Technology has designed mobile app solutions for many schools, and offers a variety of school-centric features, including:

  • A custom app interfac and design
  • School Alert Systems
  • Tuition Collection
  • Staff Directories
  • Schedules and Calendars
  • Absence Reporting & Requests
  • Form and Registration Options

And many more! By partnering with TappIT, Swoop is able to provide a robust mobile solution to our school clients, coupled with modern payment processing solutions.

A demo app for schools can be found for both Android and Apple devices at the links below!

 
 

Online Ordering with Swoop App

A recent update to Swoop's mobile app solution now lets merchants give instant access to the mobile app through any mobile browser, on any mobile device, with no download required. In effect, this allows online ordering without any download required. Customers simply visit a merchant's existing website, click on the link (provided by Swoop), and experience the full app in their browser. Customers who click the link from a desktop or laptop browser will be shown a promo site for the app, allowing them to download it in their mobile device's app store.

Key here is the ability for merchants to replace expensive services like BeyondMenu with a simple, well-designed app experience. Consumers expect mobile ordering options, and this new app feature helps by:

  1. giving merchants a better online ordering option with a higher profit margin
  2. driving new and existing clients to the app
  3. giving customers who like online ordering, but don't want to install an app, an easy middle ground

Mobile ordering is here to stay, and Swoop's mobile ordering solutions means no small business has to be left behind in the 20th century.

Swoop Pay to become Swoop Business Solutions

September 20, 2018 – Swoop Pay is excited to announce an official change of name, to Swoop Business Solutions. The name change will be implemented over the course of September. This comes after discussions on how to best serve small businesses and other organizations, along with new service offerings that transcend the traditional merchant card business.

“The name ‘Swoop Pay’ simply doesn’t describe what we’re offering today,” explained Perry Turnbull, President of the company. “While we’ll always provide stellar payment processing services, we’re now able to provide a suite of business solutions to our clients. Our mission is to make our client’s businesses more profitable—that’s our goal, that’s what gets us up in the morning, and ‘Swoop Business Solutions’ better reflects that.”

The change will also reflect the continuing market research done by Swoop employees, an ongoing effort to serve their clients in the best way possible. Beyond traditional and cash discount payment processing solutions, Swoop Business Solutions will offer:

  • Cost-effective mobile app solutions for any business type, including non-profits and businesses with a poor digital footprint, accessible via Android and iOS devices
  • Enterprise app solutions for an organization’s employees
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), accessible via mobile device browsers—the “next step” in the evolution of mobile apps, already in use by organizations like Twitter and Forbes
  • Access to Merchant Benefits, a “warehouse club” for businesses, offering up to 40% off dozens of business products and services.
  • E-commerce payment solutions for online-only stores, compatible with Shopify, WordPress and other popular systems

Through these and other services, Swoop Business Solutions can offer opportunities to decrease expenses while also increasing revenue. “We’re able to improve payment solutions, cut costs, and create business growth, all at the same time,” said John Pitone, Director of Sales. “That’s super exciting for us and our clients!”

About Swoop Pay: Headquartered in Philadelphia, Swoop Pay brings decades of experience of experience in payment processing to our clients. We are business people too. We see things from the perspective of our clients. We did our first start up in high school, have managed everything from sole proprietorships to global business divisions, and offer best-in-class products and services. We hire Sales Associates who know our systems inside and out, and reward them for not just for making sales, but for exceeding your expectations. For more information about our products and services, call 877.707.9667