Digital payment solution saves K-12 district time, money

MySchoolBucks by Heartland streamlines collections and aids in reconciliation

One year after implementing the MySchoolBucks digital payment solution, a Texas high school essentially eliminated bounced checks, which had cost the school $4,000 in bank fees the previous year. 

That represents just a portion of the financial savings experienced across all 16 schools in the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD. And the money isn’t even the most noticeable benefit of the move to MySchoolBucks in July 2017, K-12 district Finance Specialist Mona Schuster says. 

Faster, more efficient 

“The greatest savings is in time,” Schuster says, “which also translates into money. If you take all the hours spent—by secretaries, teachers, club sponsors, the central office—collecting money, tracking who paid for what, reconciling payments and doing reports, and then multiply that by our salaries, that is a huge number.” 

MySchoolBucks by Heartland allows parents to use computers or smartphones to pay for everything from school lunches, yearbooks and AP courses to field trips, team uniforms and summer sports camps. Notifications are automatically sent when a lunch balance gets low or a fee is due, and digital payments can be made securely anytime, anywhere.  

Versatile for school and family

“For something like a music program, we can invoice only those students who play an instrument,” Schuster says. “Parents can set up payment plans according to the amount and schedule that works for them.” 

With the old manual payment system, teachers and others would collect cash and checks; record who paid, including how much and for what; and deliver everything to the school secretary for verification and deposit. But sometimes, collections were misplaced or stolen, Schuster says.

“The greatest savings is in time, which also translates into money.”

Occasionally, a pile of checks would not be turned in until months after collection, leading to issues such as insufficient funds at deposit. And every once in a while, the money from home didn’t make it to its destination. “Then, it’s time for a field trip, and Johnny can’t go because he hasn’t paid, and his mom is upset because she sent in the money,” Schuster says. “Changing to MySchoolBucks has eliminated a lot of these problems.”

Easier reconciliation

Cash and checks are still accepted, but the old three-part paper receipt has been replaced by a digital record using an iPad. “We use MySchoolBucks as our receipt book, so parents can see their money was credited to the account, and we can track what cash was received,” Schuster says. “We also use it for reconciliation, so it’s a good audit measure.”

Reports can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel for sorting, allowing coaches, club advisors and trip planners to quickly locate the information they need. “Everybody across the board saves time,” Schuster says.

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