We live in a digital world, but for today, for parents in the UAE, cash and cheques remain king and queen.
Only eight percent of parents use online banking to settle their school bills, as opposed to 32% who settle their bills with cash, and 34% with their cheque book. Twenty three percent of respondents use their credit cards.
More people would pay online if they could however. Only 28% of respondents currently attend a school with an online payment option. Where parents are given the opportunity of such a facility, 63% of them use it to pay all fees, and another 4% use it "infrequently".
For schools looking to lower admin costs, clearly this represents a considerable opportunity. However schools need to make it easy. We gave parents the opportunity to rate their school's online payment systems, and results are across the board.
Parents will not use online payment systems if they find it difficult or confusing to do so. Six percent of respondents who do have access to an online payment system say they do not use it because it is "too complicated", with another 13% saying they "do not trust it".
In general however, schools do make it relatively easy for parents to pay - by whatever method. Only 11 percent of respondents said the process was time consuming, as opposed to 40% that say it is "somewhat time consuming" and 48 percent who say it is very simple and very quick.
It is amazing how efficient all businesses become when it comes to collecting revenues - however it seems schools could still do with some digital schooling from those industries that have embraced digital payment gateways, reducing costs, improving cash flows, and their customer experience, in the process.
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