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Making education affordable for all

Technology is quickly transforming pathways of education around the globe – and New Zealand is no different with the Government pushing to close the digital gap in schools by 2020.

This significant emphasis and a need for effective solutions is underpinned by research showing eight in ten principals state digital technologies are having a positive impact on student achievement (https://2020.org.nz/blog/2017/05/16/digital-technologies-help-student-achievement/).

With this increased digital focus and requirement comes significant time, cost and administration pressure on schools and kura, and parents and caregivers.

To assist, Australasia’s largest payments processor Debitsuccess and New Zealand owned Cyclone Finance are continuing to work together to provide an affordable cost solution for parents to provide BYOD devices. With tailored school payment plans, payments can be spread across any day and frequency, enabling students to be digitally capable without breaking the household budget.

Graham Prentice, General Manager NZ Government Sector, Cyclone says with a low cost structure this option is appealing for many schools and allows them to recoup payments with minimal school administration.

“Providing flexible payment options for education expenses helps families stay on top of costs, allowing them to choose a manageable payment plan that suits their individual financial situation,” says Prentice.

“Professional leaders in schools and kura are looking to create and implement digital educational content and position their organisation for the introduction of the new Digital Technology curriculum in 2020. Board of Trustees are looking to fund equipment or implement policies for students to ‘bring your own devices.’ This efficient option is an increasingly popular pathway to help parents meet these needs and deliver this for students.”

David Christiansen, National Sales Manager (Australia and New Zealand), Debitsuccess outlines the simple process.

“In New Zealand, we work with Cyclone Finance to make the ‘Bring Your Own Devices’ initiative possible for students by organising finance and payment plans.

“This solution is flexible in a number of ways. Firstly, we can help break down the costs for a school device into smaller more manageable payments. Parents can then set up their direct debit amount on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly frequency, and they can pay via their bank account or credit card. Our award-winning customer service team is also able to assist with any payment queries or changes.”

It’s a simple approach has been working for a number of years. Cyclone buys the devices on behalf of the parents, and the parents pay off the device expense with a flexible Debitsuccess School Payment Plan. The programme has been approved by the Ministry of Education.

Prentice adds: “This approach helps parents stay on top of school expenses, allowing them to choose a manageable payment plan that suits their individual financial situation; and, with Debitsuccess substantially taking care of the entire process including billing, customer service and all the follow up, schools save time and administration costs.

“We are pleased to be able to provide schools with a service that they can offer parents/caregivers, enabling schools to focus on what they do best – provide powerful learning opportunities.”

In addition, this option may be able to cover other various costs including donations, uniforms, sports and music fees, school trips and camps, Chromebooks, iPads, Notebooks and other digital devices that schools may choose.

With an integrated credit control offering, Debitsuccess is the only full-service payment processor in New Zealand and is committed to data security.

Mr Christiansen says: “The security of personal information is upmost in many people’s minds, particularly given today’s increasingly online nature.

“Being assured that there is excellent data security encourages schools to offer recurring payment options, and our billing platform enables people to allocate their own payment schedule to suit their needs.”

For more information and to look at options for your school/kura, please contact Graham Prentice, General Manager NZ Government Sectorgrahamp@cyclone.co.nz

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