“We plan to continue working with BlueSnap—the support is great, our account manager is phenomenal and super-responsive. He’s also happy to work with us to find solutions that are specific to individual schools, so they can all get exactly what they need. That’s huge for us—unique solutions are part of what differentiates us as a company.” —Don Humpton, Director of Client Services, Veracross
We are a 15-year-old company that provides software tools and professional services for schools. We offer a fully integrated information management platform with one database that serves all school departments. The core components of our system are a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, communications platform, reporting module, and, most recently, an integrated payments solution. We also have additional modules that can be added on anytime. Our school information system is one of the most advanced in the world, and we take pride in building long-term relationships with our clients to ensure their success.
Our system is integrated across all modules and departments, which means each student is represented once in the database, and the data is the same for every department across the school. Our competitors essentially have data silos, where one student record is duplicated multiple times for each department. Our solution keeps all school departments in sync, providing the most accurate and current data possible, and reducing administrative work.
We work exclusively with private independent schools, ranging across various K-12 grade levels and student populations. Our clients need an easy-to-use information-management tool that connects administrators, teachers, parents, and students. They also need a simple way to collect and manage payments across all school departments, for everything from application fees and tuition to donations, events, and after-school programs.
Schools are like mini-organizations—they have multiple departments that don’t tend to work in tandem. When it comes to collecting payments, often times each department acquires its own payment processor or third-party management service that operates independently of the others. So the application fees get processed separately from the tuition payments, which are separate from the donations, and so on. That leads to a mountain of reconciliation work and human coordination for those in the business office when it comes time to balance the books.
We use the BlueSnap API. It’s modern and easy to use, and it gives our programmers the power to build in whatever features they want. When we were evaluating payment providers we saw that some of the larger legacy payment companies would require a data dump, which is clunkier and more prone to breaking down. BlueSnap’s modern tech is great.
We integrated with BlueSnap to offer our customers VC Pay, an integrated payments solution that provides a simple, unified payment experience for parents and also streamlines payments for school business offices. We recently heard from a school’s business office that, thanks to VC Pay, their reconciliation time each month has gone from days to minutes. Schools can get an itemized breakdown of every transaction on a single screen, so it’s easy to see the transactions that comprise, for example, a total deposit of $500,000—10 online gifts, 50 tuition payments, 15 application fees, etc. A single row lists the total amount of cash they received, the total sale amount, and, if applicable, convenience fees, which allows the person reconciling to post to the general ledger both the cash receipts and expenses in a single batch—that’s a huge time saver, and a feature we could not have developed without BlueSnap’s Reporting API.
Our integration with BlueSnap is a value-add that’s helped us increase our revenue from schools, no question. We also plan to work with BlueSnap to add additional payment functionality in the near future. Letting parents save their payment account information will increase the convenience of making payments, enabling better conversions. Along with that, we also plan to enhance our giving module to allow clients to send emails to parents with payment links to donation forms. Giving parents a direct link to a payment page and having their payment information already saved should encourage more giving—a plus for schools using Veracross.
We plan to continue working with BlueSnap—the support is great, and our account manager is phenomenal and super-responsive. He’s also happy to work with us to find solutions that are specific to individual schools so they can all get exactly what they need. That’s huge for us—unique solutions are part of what differentiates us as a company.