University Business September 2017 - 3

SPONSORED CASE STUDY

Cashing in on technology, students
get fast, safe access to refunds
BankMobile Disbursements electronically deposits financial aid,
payroll checks for Western Kentucky University students

S

even years ago, Western Kentucky University said goodbye to its time-consuming, paper-based way of issuing
financial aid refunds and said hello to BankMobile, an
electronic disbursement service that has led to major savings.
"Between student refunds and student payroll disbursements, we have eliminated having to issue 76,000 paper
checks annually," says Belinda Higginbotham, bursar for the
university of more than 20,000 students. "Cost savings in
paper and postage, in addition to eliminating all the touch
points on campus involved in the former process, are quite
substantial. Had we not made this change, we would have
had to increase staffing in order to handle the volume."

Seeking a partner
Beginning in January 2010-the start of the winter term-
financial aid disbursements were handled entirely electronically by BankMobile. The following year, BankMobile
took over student payroll disbursements, which currently
involves about 1,600 biweekly disbursements. Another
35,000 financial aid refunds are disbursed annually at the
university, which is based in Bowling Green and has several
regional campuses.
"We wanted to partner with a company that would completely manage the refund process, as well as the marketing
outreach to students," Higginbotham says. "In addition, they
offered the solution for student payroll disbursement, and
their interface with our student information system works
extremely well."
Students have embraced the platform, largely because it
means faster, safer access to cash, Higginbotham says. The
university has embraced BankMobile because it not only
eliminates the time and resources required to process paper checks, but also the need to stop payments and reissue
checks that get lost, damaged or sent to incorrect addresses.
Offering students options
Incoming students are introduced to BankMobile during
registration and orientation, and the company also reaches
out directly, encouraging students to choose an electronic
refund preference-either an existing bank account that can
accept electronic deposits, or a student-focused BankMobile
account called Vibe, which offers direct deposit, fee-free Allpoint ATMs and no monthly minimums.
"The fact that they offered an electronic option for students
who didn't have a bank account was very positive," Higginbo-

"Between student refunds and student
payroll disbursements, we have
eliminated having to issue
76,000 paper checks annually."
tham says, noting that in the past, such students often had
difficulty getting checks cashed or had to pay for the service.
About 87 percent of refunds are electronically disbursed,
but that number hits the mid-90s at the beginning of each
semester, Higginbotham says.
She adds that BankMobile staff helped make the transition to electronic disbursements smooth and the ongoing
relationship accommodating for all.
"BankMobile is always very helpful with any issues we have,"
she says. "We appreciate that our students can reach them,
and we also are able to reach them."
The benefits of the partnership have validated the university's decision to bring in an outside vendor to handle financial aid refunds.
"We knew we didn't have the staff or manpower to run our
own ACH program," Higginbotham says. "We needed a partner with expertise in that area. It was a smooth process, and
BankMobile was with us every step of the way."

For more information visit bankmobiledisbursements.com
View, comment, share this story online at: UBmag.me/bankmobile


http://www.bankmobiledisbursements.com http://www.bankmobiledisbursements.com http://www.UBmag.me/bankmobile

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business September 2017

University Business September 2017 - Intro LOC
University Business September 2017 - Cover1
University Business September 2017 - Cover2
University Business September 2017 - 1
University Business September 2017 - 2
University Business September 2017 - 3
University Business September 2017 - 4
University Business September 2017 - 5
University Business September 2017 - 6
University Business September 2017 - 7
University Business September 2017 - 8
University Business September 2017 - 9
University Business September 2017 - 10
University Business September 2017 - 11
University Business September 2017 - 12
University Business September 2017 - 13
University Business September 2017 - 14
University Business September 2017 - 15
University Business September 2017 - 16
University Business September 2017 - 17
University Business September 2017 - 18
University Business September 2017 - 19
University Business September 2017 - 20
University Business September 2017 - 21
University Business September 2017 - 22
University Business September 2017 - 23
University Business September 2017 - 24
University Business September 2017 - 25
University Business September 2017 - 26
University Business September 2017 - 27
University Business September 2017 - 28
University Business September 2017 - 29
University Business September 2017 - 30
University Business September 2017 - 31
University Business September 2017 - 32
University Business September 2017 - 33
University Business September 2017 - 34
University Business September 2017 - 35
University Business September 2017 - 36
University Business September 2017 - 37
University Business September 2017 - 38
University Business September 2017 - 39
University Business September 2017 - 40
University Business September 2017 - 41
University Business September 2017 - 42
University Business September 2017 - 43
University Business September 2017 - 44
University Business September 2017 - 45
University Business September 2017 - 46
University Business September 2017 - 47
University Business September 2017 - 48
University Business September 2017 - 49
University Business September 2017 - 50
University Business September 2017 - 51
University Business September 2017 - 52
University Business September 2017 - Cover3
University Business September 2017 - Cover4
University Business September 2017 - 58
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