Online payments: How to be safe and smart

Protect your community with a unified campus commerce platform

The headlines are now alarmingly familiar. Hackers breach electronic payment systems, and in an instant, consumers’ personal or financial information is in the hands of strangers with untold motives.

Like online and retail merchants, higher education institutions must be diligent about safeguarding their online, in-person, and mobile payment environments.

“Higher education, it’s like a small town, a small city, and there’s all these different entities and organizations and departments, but it’s hard to bring them all together and have them do the same things,” says Dan Toughey, president of TouchNet, an industry leader in campus commerce.

To increase security and reduce costs, institutions must first bring all that payment volume together into a single platform, he says.

Next, they should work with a third-party vendor that specializes in security. Campuses need to be able to lock down transactions, make sure they’re secure, and “make sure those campus merchants are really doing the things they should be doing to keep the campus safe in this whole environment.”

By integrating a campus’s commerce system and ERP, he says, institutions can achieve a more unified payment environment that gives business office staff the visibility they need to see campus transactions and protect customers’ private information.