Case Studies

SchoolsBuddy Case Study

Through a partnership with BlueSnap, school-to-home platform SchoolsBuddy successfully meets the payment needs of its international education clientele.

“BlueSnap can handle those sorts of things… [They have] a human understanding, rather than a very rigid, rules-based, ‘this doesn’t fit’ structure.”

David Higginson, International Sales Director, SchoolsBuddy

Who Is SchoolsBuddy?

SchoolsBuddy provides a comprehensive school-to-home platform for schools worldwide to manage activity programs, parent communication, fee payments, transport and more. They work with institutions in more than 50 countries, including publicly funded, independent and international schools.

While SchoolsBuddy was originally developed as an app for sports teams to use to communicate with parents and collect fees for trips and uniforms, their first clients were so impressed with the platform that they wanted to leverage it for even more. SchoolsBuddy’s algorithm for assigning limited spots based on ranked choices now helps institutions all over the world organize afterschool programs and parent-teacher conferences, communicate with parents and accept payments electronically for field trips, meals and more. With customers in North America, Middle East, Europe and Asia, SchoolsBuddy’s global clientele is a testament to their platform’s capabilities.

SchoolsBuddy has also supported schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, even while many are not holding in-person classes or afterschool programs. The platform enables important communication with parents as plans and precautions change and schools begin to plan for reopening.

The Challenge

As SchoolsBuddy developed their platform, they saw an opportunity to help alleviate the frustration for parents and schools when it comes to paying and collecting fees for sports, after-school activities, field trips, meals and more. Relying on school-aged children as a go-between can be challenging. Parents would fill out a form, send it to school with their child, eventually receive an invoice from the school, and then submit a check — it was lengthy with a lot of room for errors and missteps. Integrating payments into the SchoolsBuddy platform eliminates this inefficient, slow process. Now, parents can simply sign their child up through SchoolsBuddy and pay the associated fees right then. Payment acceptance is now a critical feature of the platform.

However, in developing this offering, SchoolsBuddy had difficulty finding a reliable, efficient payment processing partner that met all their unique needs. Some providers weren’t viable because they didn’t have the global reach SchoolsBuddy needs or they couldn’t accept the payment methods required by certain schools.

Then, SchoolsBuddy found BlueSnap, a payment provider that could successfully support accepting payments in the education sector, efficiently onboard schools and manage global compliance.

The Solution

BlueSnap’s All-in-One Integrated Payments Solution for platforms was able to fully support SchoolsBuddy and its clients in a way many other payment solutions had not been able to.

BlueSnap Has Education Experience Other Providers Lack

SchoolsBuddy’s robust solution needed to account for the variety of payments challenges schools face, and they found that other payment providers often weren’t able to find a way to deal with those challenges.

For example, David Higginson, International Sales Director for SchoolsBuddy, recalls one payment processing provider that didn’t include “Education” as one of the options for business type on their form. SchoolsBuddy clients had to select and fill out items that weren’t pertinent to them, creating headaches for everyone involved.

According to Higginson, BlueSnap’s understanding of how schools operate is what makes BlueSnap such a good partner: “BlueSnap can handle those sorts of things, being able to solve those problems and basically, having a human understanding, rather than a very rigid, rules-based, ‘this doesn’t fit’ structure.”

BlueSnap’s education sector experience showed SchoolsBuddy that they didn’t have to suffer by working with payment companies that don’t understand their clients’ needs.

BlueSnap’s Onboarding Is Quick and Efficient

Before coming to BlueSnap, SchoolsBuddy found other providers took weeks to onboard a single client. According to Higginson, SchoolsBuddy experienced other issues like inconsistent payout schedules and reporting issues. Schools had issues with things like setting up payments to go to an account that was in their local authority’s name instead of the school’s name; other payments providers couldn’t work with schools on common situations like this, resulting in frustration.

“What we could never understand was, ‘You do payments, we do education. You’re our partner, we’re giving you clients, why can’t you make them live? That’s your specialty, right? That’s why we come to you,’” says Higginson. “Thankfully, BlueSnap can do that.”

When BlueSnap stepped in, they were able to begin onboarding SchoolsBuddy’s clients immediately, having them set up and ready to begin processing payments within a matter of days, sometimes within just 24 hours. Because of BlueSnap’s experience with schools and global banking relationships, schools’ payment acceptance systems could be up and running quickly.

Even in situations where schools need to accept specific alternative payment methods, such as a school in Germany that required Sofort, BlueSnap can meet those needs and can onboard them seamlessly without extra work on the school’s part.

BlueSnap Understands and Supports Global Compliance

With BlueSnap, SchoolsBuddy can easily ensure their clients are compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a security standard required for any organization that accepts card payments. Institutions that use SchoolsBuddy to accept card payments for afterschool activities, school trips, meals, etc., must be PCI DSS-compliant.

While the ease of accepting card payments for activities and fees via SchoolsBuddy is appealing for many clients, SchoolsBuddy’s previous payment providers put the burden of PCI compliance on the schools. Many of SchoolsBuddy’s clients do not have the resources or expertise to handle PCI compliance independently.

BlueSnap takes on that responsibility for SchoolsBuddy and their clients. The All-in-One Payment Platform is compliant with Level 1 PCI-DSS, the highest standard of PCI compliance. Schools processing payments with SchoolsBuddy on BlueSnap do not have to worry about PCI compliance, and SchoolsBuddy can be confident that every precaution is being taken to protect customer data.

The Results

With BlueSnap, SchoolsBuddy found a partner they can trust with their client relationships, sensitive card data and SchoolsBuddy’s reputation. BlueSnap makes global payment processing simple for everyone involved and helped SchoolsBuddy make it a true value-add for their clients.

BlueSnap is a global company that provides a local level of service to our clients and helps them avoid the most difficult challenges payment processing presents. We met the challenges that other providers struggled to cope with head on and provide simple solutions for SchoolsBuddy. Now, SchoolsBuddy can bring new clients on confidently and know they’ll get the payments support they need.


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