This is part three of our “Friction” series. Check out Parts One and Two to catch up.
For most students, the process of purchasing course materials is smooth as silk. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be and great stores thrive on that interaction.
But sometimes the smooth process seems reserved only for those paying a specific way. Tap or swipe your credit card and that process has gotten almost instantaneous. Take out a wad of cash and cashiers will jump to attention.
But what happens when a student has VA funds or a scholarship? What happens when the student doesn’t have available funds in their own bank account, doesn’t have a credit card, or is an athlete or maybe has a scholarship from a particular department? One word: friction. In most campus stores, that student’s progress in the process flow stops and they become that dreaded exception. Do any of these statements sound familiar:
“Do you have a departmental invoice?”
“You’ll need to talk to Mary and she’s on break.”
“Just put it on your student bill and pay for it when you have access to your financial aid.”
“You’ll need to talk to the financial aid office about that.”
“Let me check the list in the accounting office.”
All of these work-arounds create friction for the store and make it less productive. They create inefficiencies. They cost money both in time and labor. They slow things down. They create resistance to future change. And some of the most needy students are treated differently.
Be it payment types or any other process – when friction is removed, it creates opportunities for everyone.
Stay tuned for the next part of our payment friction series. In Part 4 we discuss how friction makes Campus Administrators (Bursar, IT, Student Accounts) even busier.