Heartland Payments Solutions made news this summer when it acquired TouchNet, an integrated commerce solutions provider to higher-education institutions. The move marked a clear intent on the part of Heartland to expand its portfolio in the higher-ed space, offering a completely integrated commerce platform.
In a recent post on the Heartland Campus Solutions blog, the company’s vice president of OneCard sales, Fred Emery explains why the TouchNet acquisition is an exciting one for for the company’s OneCard solution.
“TouchNet offers innovative solutions to campuses that allow them to better manage payments and unify campus commerce,” says Emery. “It makes sense for TouchNet to become a part of Heartland Payment Systems to give higher education institutions access to even more resources and services.”
Branded “TouchNet + Heartland,” Emery expects the $375 million acquisition to have a significant impact on the campus card community, particularly as campus cards are one of the most frequently used payment methods by students.
Campus cards are used to make a wide variety of purchases including meals, laundry, vending, books, as well as events and other campus services. It’s common for universities and colleges to process millions of dollars each year through their campus card program, and until now the campus card transactions have been separated from the overall view of financial transactions on campus, explains Emery.
Herein lies the advantage of the TouchNet acquisition. “Campuses can now realize one partner for all transactions – both payment and privilege based – in every department including the campus card,” says Emery. “Through TouchNet + Heartland, campuses will be able to bring the Heartland OneCard onto the TouchNet platform, which will provide great benefits to universities.”
Through planned development and integration, universities who leverage TouchNet + Heartland will be able to offer the following services to their staff and students:
- Use of OneCard as a payment method in Marketplace and through the Payment Gateway.
- The ability to add funds directly to OneCard through Marketplace.
- OneCard balance information available within TouchNet.
- Meal plan, event and parking plan purchase and assignment through Marketplace.
- TouchNet Dashboard integration, which will allow OneCard financial data to be viewed alongside other payment methods including available funds on OneCard balances and daily transaction amounts.
- Integration to ERP systems through TouchNet for student data and transactions, allowing general ledgers to be updated with OneCard transaction information.
Another vital piece to the puzzle is TouchNet’s U.Commerce platform, a financial technology platform that supports the array of business relationships that exists within a campus structure. This system is designed to integrate the various payment utilities on campus and simplify them for the user, and Emery believes that Heartland’s OneCard solution is ideally placed to aid in the integration. “By integrating OneCard transactions into TouchNet’s suite of services, campuses will realize enhanced visibility on their campus card transactions, easier reconciliation, and more efficient campus card management,” adds Emery.