Starting this month, the College of William and Mary will begin utilizing a new online program called eServices that will streamline the payment process of student tuition and fees.
According to College Bursar Pamela Johnston, eServices was a necessary addition to the College’s financial processing services.
“There was a need for the students to be able to navigate through the Student Account self-services module in Banner, to be able to pay directly online, to add a third party payer or authorized user to be able to make payments directly on your account, to receive refunds via direct deposit as opposed to paper checks,” Johnston said.
Cait McCormick ’16 supports the idea of eServices.
“Well, it looks like a good idea,” McCormick said. “I mean, to be able to pay everything in one place sounds pretty convenient. This sounds like it collects all the extraneous bills and things and puts them all in one place to pay them.”
eServices, which the Bursar’s Office began implementing over the summer, will become operational in three phases.
The first phase, which began yesterday, will allow students to view and pay their bills online via credit card and will allow parents or other non-students to create eServices accounts and pay on behalf of students.
“I think the important thing for this first phase is [for students who] want an authorized user to make payments and view their account activity — they need to authorize that,” Johnston said.
Students are looking forward to parental access to online bill-paying through this new program.
“I definitely think this’ll be more efficient,” Will Barnes ’14 said. “I tend to find that being able to pay bills online is always more efficient because the minute you open your computer you’re able to get that taken care of. I personally am leaving bill-paying to my parents, but I’m sure they’ll appreciate an easier method of doing this.”
The second phase is set to start in December and will allow students to pay for both their spring semester bills and housing deposits via Touchnet, the system through which eServices is run. In this phase, students also will be able to sign up for eRefunds, whereby account refunds will be sent directly into students’ bank accounts.
The final phase is set to start in February, and will allow students to pay for the 2013-2014 academic year in monthly installments.
The monthly installment plan will work in the same way the College’s current payment plan works, but Joyce Lampkin, assistant manager for student accounts, pointed out that one major difference.
“Instead of contracting it out to another company, we’re going to be doing it in-house,” Lampkin said.
While the program has many new aspects, some will have greater impact on the ways students interact with their accounts.
“The big things are the parents being able to see the bill … and the direct deposits of the students refunds,” Lampkin said.
eServices is now accessible via the Banner website. It is set to become fully operational in February 2013.