With a new year ahead and with past achievements to reflect upon, I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank our clients for their partnership and share an update. As you may have heard, we announced the pending sale of our refund disbursements and student account businesses last year. It is a significant move, and we are energized as we head down the path to becoming a dedicated payments business.

We have a strong foundation of employees who have been with Cashnet® since before it became a part of Higher One in 2009, and we’ve added talented and dedicated individuals to the Cashnet team both organically and via acquisition since then. The commitment from the team helped us grow the number of campuses last year while maintaining a very strong client retention rate. Not content with this performance, the team has begun to work on further changes to the way we support clients and the testing and rollout of product enhancements; two important points of emphasis for us in 2016.

In 2015, we launched a key strategic initiative aimed at creating a more intuitive and empowering user experience and a more streamlined user interface for our administrative users. Early feedback on these improvements has been positive and we look forward to rolling out a revamped eMarket set-up experience for Checkouts and Storefronts. We also began improvements to the user interface for payers by leveraging new technologies to increase choice and remove friction during the checkout process. We’re excited to launch these changes for our clients in each of our product releases this year.

On top of this work, we have continued to enhance the Cashnet platform so that we may facilitate a smooth transition for Campus Solutions clients as we bring everyone onto one platform. This effort will persist through 2016, with a number of campuses scheduled to make the conversion to Cashnet before the end of the year.

Our excitement and focus on mobile continues as we see the number of campuses who have taken their payments mobile climbing. Demand for a mobile payment solution is high, and we’ve heard good feedback from the early adopters of the Cashnet app designed for iPad® devices. In 2016, we will look to find new ways to streamline the experience for both administrators and payers as well as identify innovative and helpful applications for on-campus mobile payments.

We are also proud to have completed the development work in 2015 that is necessary to support new EMV-ready hardware for our Cashiering module. In the first quarter of 2016, we will begin to roll out these devices to campuses using payment processors who have been certified. These devices also accept Near Field Communication (NFC) oriented digital wallets such as Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay®, and Android Pay.

Payments technology is everywhere and rapidly evolving. We understand that this new pace of technological advancement is exciting, and combined with the many regulatory elements associated with taking payments in higher education, change can be daunting. I believe strongly that our role as a partner in the payments industry for institutions of Higher Education is to stay focused on keeping campus administrators informed of changes and advancements in the regulatory and technology environment so they feel empowered to make successful and timely decisions for their campus community. This approach to partnership is also why we encourage candid feedback and questions from our users about the industry and the services we provide, allowing us to constantly evolve with our campus clients’ needs.

As we look to the future, we are excited to build upon the strong foundation that Cashnet has formed over the past 25 years. Our commitment to providing campuses with the insights, knowledge and services that are essential to their success is stronger than ever and we look forward to the great things ahead in 2016.

iPad and Apple Pay are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Samsung Pay is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
Android Pay is a trademark of Google Inc.