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This year’s Higher Education Smart Campus Association (HESCA) conference theme is all about achieving a smarter campus with smart savings, which accurately reflects the fact that Higher Education (HEI) establishments are feeling the pinch with more budget challenges than ever. Any new campus technology must demonstrate it can save costs and increase revenue in the long term, and should add value to the operation it supports.

Payment on campus may seem like a simple practicality, but how it is presented and what choices are offered can make all the difference. HEI establishments need a flexible system that accepts multiple payment types (closed cashless, open contactless and mobile), and can also support integration with their existing Uni Card scheme if necessary. Features like loyalty and promotions are also important to keep students spending on campus, as is the option to integrate other non-food services into the scheme, such as printing, library, parking, student union and so on.

VMC Flex ticks all of these boxes and gives you more – faster payments, terminals that can operate unattended saving you money on staffing, plus additional features like pre-paid meal plans, click and collect and online account management to make things simpler and more efficient for the student and the campus administration. Enhanced system connectivity via the cloud also enables on-demand intelligence about student transactions and your system, providing vital data that can drive better operational decision making.

The increased use of mobile phones for pretty much everything is also an important element for Universities to consider when re-thinking their payment solution. Offering a Uni Card scheme that is supported with a mobile app means students will always have it to hand, even if they forget their wallet, and this should encourage increased usage. The VMC App puts their account in their hand, facilitating multiple payment types, top-ups, virtual loyalty and much more.

Campus management teams have a lot of things to consider when it comes to choosing the right service provider, and we believe next generation payment systems should provide maximum flexibility and be future-proof in terms of where technology is heading.

As always we are looking forward to seeing our friends and colleagues at this annual event next week in Brighton, but also to hearing about new technologies and the different ways we as service providers can improve and develop our solutions to better meet the needs of the HEI environment.

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