Featured Product: QuikPay: Roll Your Own eCommerce

At the recent Professional Development Group Bursars Conference, eCommerce was one of the hot topics. Seminars on the subject were packed with campus administrators looking for ways to facilitate online payments. Among the vendors participating was infiNET Solutions Inc., better known as the company that developed QuikPAY, a centralized ePayment, eBill, and eCommerce service.

infiNET Solutions primarily sells its products into higher education, although it also serves the healthcare field. Currently, it has more than 35 college and university customers, including the University of California-San Diego, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Minnesota. With its focus on academia, the company has tailored its products to suit the unique needs of colleges and universities.

QuikPAY is an institutional-wide payment gateway that allows users to access a single platform for making online payments via credit card, check card, eCheck, or automatic withdrawals. The eBill piece of the system can connect to multiple data sources simultaneously, generating a consolidated statement of a user's campus-related accounts. An institution can design its own storefront and shopping cart while using a centralized ePayment gateway with QuikPAY's eCommerce function.

QuikPAY can be deployed as either a network-based enterprise version or a hosted application service provider (ASP) version. The enterprise version is installed on the institution's network; infiNET provides software, training, and support. The hosted ASP is less expensive and is the more widely adopted product in higher education. For customers who choose ASP deployment, infiNET provides comprehensive set-up services and loads data files of institutional invoices.

Just released is QuikPAY version 2.0. This enhanced version of the software offers more convenience for the student as well as the institution. The eBill screen consolidates bills from multiple departments onto one screen. The student (or parent) can use the consolidated list of charges to make payments, designating the amount to go to each account. The software automatically routes the funds to the appropriate department.

QuikPAY offers a number of unique features unavailable in other systems. It is the only product of its kind to fully comply with the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act. Among other things, FERPA protects students from unwanted intrusions into their finances from parents and guardians. According to Alyssa Kattner, infiNET's partner relations manager, QuikPAY allows a student to assign a third party an individual password and username and the right associated with them. Each parent or guardian can only view records of payments made by him or her. The transactions made by the student, or by another parent or guardian, are off limits. This protects the privacy of the student and also discourages parents who may be divorced or in the midst of a divorce from obtaining records of each other's transactions.

Single sign-on is another unique QuikPAY feature. Authentication allows students to complete all transactions at once, even if that transaction involves disparate payments, balance queries, and deposits. In addition, students can refresh their campus cards (those convenient plastic cash equivalents) through QuikPAY.

QuikPAY uses a service provider model that gives institutions both flexibility and control. For instance, the institution designates the payment options for each department or group on campus. Certain departments may be authorized to accept some forms of payment that others are not. According to Kattner, having this discretionary authority better enables institutions to deal with the problem of credit-card convenience fees, the merchant fees from credit-card companies that are passed down to the student. Because the fee is the same regardless of the transaction amount, students don't want to pay it for small purchases, whereas they might not object so much on larger investments. Each institution can customize the look and feel of its deployed QuikPAY system, integrating it with existing interfaces.

QuikPAY connects with all major ERP systems, including those from SAP, Oracle Corp., and PeopleSoft Inc. infiNET has recently announced a partnership with Academic Management Services (AMS), a provider of monthly tuition-payment plans and financial consulting. The new partnership links AMS's interest-free monthly plan with QuikPAY's billing and payment services, promising increased convenience and savings to both institutions and families.

Other products from infiNET include LoanPAY, a product for loan servicers and loan collection agencies, and QuikConnect Gateway, which integrates legacy systems and back-end systems. QuikConnect Gateway can be used alongside of or independent of QuikPAY.

For more information, contact infiNET Solutions Inc., (888) 413-3150; www.infinet-inc.com.

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