Pay Theory, a Cincinnati-based startup, has launched a new payment processing platform with the mission of making school fees and payments straightforward for all involved parties: families, educators, and administrators.
Pay Theory’s simplified payment architecture integrates into the educational tools schools are already using, allowing them to transfer money from a parent into a school or vendor’s account by way of a credit or debit card transaction, an electronic check, or by a barcode for cash payments. For a simple transaction such as paying for a field trip, a school would issue the fee through an online form, and parents would pay the fee within the same form via Pay Theory at checkout. Pay Theory’s accounting and rostering data integrations give school administrators and parent-teacher organizations better insight into reporting and allows them to reconcile payments quickly.
Read More: Ondot’s Card Management Platform Now Offers Digital Issuance Capability
“If you’re a school using dozens of vendors running many different payment platforms you’re doing it by hand, spending upwards of 40 hours a month on reconciliation,” says Eric Fulkert, co-founder and CTO of Pay Theory. “Pay Theory is the solution to a pervasive problem in the education world in that schools are forced to use business solutions that don’t fit their needs. The result is schools miss out on chances to increase efficiency, engagement, or save time; and ultimately, students suffer from inefficiency between schools and parents.”
As is the case with most payment processing vendors, business solutions are shoehorned to fit school processes. One issue with legacy payment portals is that school systems purchase out-of-the-box tools, then try to make the school’s needs fit the software, when it should be the other way around.
Read More: GlobalFintechSeries Interview with RJ Horsley, President of SpotOn Transact, Inc
Some school systems might have more of a need to include an integrated option for reduced-price lunch, for example. Other payment platforms might require eligible households to pay full price, then get reimbursed. In such cash-poor households, this system would lead to an undue financial burden. Schools pick a solution, but the parents pay for the tools with service fees. Schools spend time on manual tasks, while parents face confusing online portals. Parents and schools pay to muddle through systems that don’t fit their needs.
“Family tech is an untapped, tech-lagging space that is being transformed by a fast-growing number of SaaS applications. The primary focus is to improve relationships between service providers and families,” says Pay Theory CEO Brad Hoeweler. “Pay Theory, which is purposefully designed for this space, beginning with education , is an innovative software provider that possesses a deeper understanding of its stakeholder families and their service providers target market than any general-purpose solution.”
Read More: The Future of Cyber Insurance: Flexibility, Transparency & Specialization