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TouchNet introduces U.Commerce 8 platform

New platform for higher ed business management streamlines payments, credentialing, student services

Andrew Hudson   ||   Apr 01, 2021  ||   , ,

Card transaction system provider, TouchNet, has revealed its new U.Commerce 8 platform designed to support colleges and universities as they manage both their businesses and safely bring students back to campus. As a new hybrid experience of both virtual and in-person learning has emerged, U.Commerce 8 delivers mobile-first strategies, reporting and analytics, and insight into student engagement in an effort to identify trends, measure success and inform decisions.

The platform streamlines administrative access to comprehensive student profiles and provides all-in-one student access to payments, credentials and services. Additionally, U.Commerce 8 offers new refund options for students and spotlights smart tools geared toward managing and measuring student success outside the classroom.

New in U.Commerce 8 is TouchNet Student Account Advisor, a solution that seamlessly integrates with student information and financial systems to provide one-stop access to the complete student financial footprint.

“As the payment ecosystems on campuses evolve, the cashier’s role has changed as well,” says Adam McDonald, TouchNet President. “We developed Student Account Advisor to transform and expand the business office’s role with one-stop access and oversight to each student’s comprehensive campus profile whether students are in person or virtual.”

Comprehensive access to data flowing into campuswide systems enables administrators to make smart decisions about everything from targeted resource allocation to improving student engagement, capital improvement projects, and more. U.Commerce 8 reporting tools will deliver customized reporting capabilities that compile data from across the TouchNet product stack all on one secure, cloud-based platform.

"Student Account Advisor is designed to support the evolving role of the business office cashier to more of an advising role," says Ryan Audus, Senior Director for product strategy at TouchNet. "Business office staff save time and provide better support for students because they're able to pull information from TouchNet Solutions as well as student and financial systems into one dashboard to quickly answer questions, resolve issues, and accept payments."

Despite mobile apps already being popular with today’s digital-native students, the pandemic has only reinforced the importance of keeping students informed and engaged regardless of their location. With this in mind, U.Commerce 8 also includes the TouchNet 360U mobile app that brings features and functionality that brings fingertip access to campus services. The 360U mobile app is designed to offer students a single point of access to a complete campuswide experience for all happenings outside the classroom.

"The 360U app will offer simple, curated experiences allowing students to check in and search for events, easily navigate campus, take advantage of and locate dining facilities and vending machines and utilize their campus bucks or declining balance as a payment method," says Audus.

“Digital evolution on campus is here to stay,” adds McDonald. “As institutions evolve to meet changing security needs, privacy considerations, and student expectations, U.Commerce 8’s powerful integration and innovation will continue to make it the premier platform for transforming the campuses of the future and making higher education smarter.”

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