As other payment processing companies charge schools to use their platform, Pay Theory offers its platform for free for families, vendors, and schools.
FREMONT, CA: Pay Theory, a Cincinnati-based startup, launched a new payment processing platform with the mission of making school fees and payments straightforward for all involved parties: families, educators, and administrators.
"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."
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 using 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.
"At Pay Theory, we believe the choice between cash and credit shouldn't be a barrier to education," says Fulkert. "Schools can cut or eliminate cash on campus without discrimination by banking or immigration status. We believe that by helping schools and parents, we can create better educational outcomes for students."
The benefits that Pay Theory brings to the entire education ecosystem are manifold. School finance departments have better visibility to see paid for, outstanding, and failed payments. School districts will benefit from seeing a higher proportion of transactions within Pay Theory accounts, making tracking, reconciliation, and reporting similar across all the schools in their districts. Parents/guardians can easily see expenses that are outstanding, and when payments are due.
"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."