What is Diamond Mind Payment Processing?
Diamond Mind Payment Processing is a processing gateway that is tailored for the needs of independent schools, specifically in the US. As a company with in-depth and dedicated school industry expertise, they offer clients to improve their business operations through the effective processing of credit card, ACH (Automated Clearing House), Purchase Card, and Stored Value Card payments. The solution enables independent schools and educational institutions to simplify, and streamline the payment process, and supports and facilitates digital payments for tuition, summer programmes and events, online fund raising and other associated services.
Amongst the benefits it offers includes the acceleration and simplification of the invoicing and collection process which helps improve school revenues, and cash flows, whilst saving on the costs of credit card processing. In addition, annual giving increases through automatic recurring contributions, and the gateway helps develop cost effective online payment and gift giving initiatives. Schools can also use Diamond Mind to implement off-line auctions and charity event collections, and to manage their spending programmes through the effective use of purchase cards.
Diamond Mind is a subsidiary of Community Brands, which is one of the leading US providers of cloud-based software programs targeted at non-profits, associations, faith-based groups and K-12 schools (the umbrella term to describe the totality of primary and secondary education in countries such as the US, Canada, and Australia). It currently serves over a thousand schools in the USA.
Facilitates Online Payments
The solution enables parents and other primary caregivers to make secure online payments through school websites easily. They simply need to visit the website in question, and complete the payment using the embedded online form. The payment gateway supports all major credit and debit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and more.
Payees can complete payments secure in the knowledge that all information provided – including name, amount, and card number – is securely transmitted in line with recognised industry standards. Furthermore, a secure payment gateway is used to route transaction authorisation to the payment processor.
Automatic Bill Payments
The application provides schools with the ability to offer families an automated online electronic payment method for tuition fees, in the same way that standing orders are used for mortgage payments, utility bills, and credit card balances. This ensures that payments are scheduled and automatically debited from the payer’s account, with each payment reflecting the amounts due at the time of payment. For the payer, this service is convenient because they do not need to remember or plan for payment deadlines separately. For the school, this helps boost revenues and cash flow, and saves time that would otherwise be spent in raising invoices, and chasing payments.
With Diamond Mind schools are able to manage, report on, and reconcile, all payments easily. At a single glance school staff can view all payment information, eliminating many inefficient and time-consuming manual tasks, and reducing the capacity for error associated with reconciliation processes. Users can filter payments by criteria such as date, name of the payer, amount or status, enabling complete drill down of all payment details.
Online Payment Details
Diamond Mind makes it easy to review all payment details online. With any internet enabled device, parents can quickly and easily check, their payment history and update account settings, anytime and anywhere, without the need to request the information from the school itself.
This product enables schools to receive payments for tuition fees faster, and to simplify the management of them, whilst, at the same time, maintaining a direct relationship with families.
With TuitionPay, parents can pay tuition fees in their entirety, or via affordable payment plans. A number of payment options are offered – leading credit or debit cards, ACH, or electronic cheque. Self-service functionality meanwhile means that families can sign-up for tuition plans, view payment reports, and update their payment details online, without having to contact the school directly.
For their part schools are able to view all payments at a single glance; payments can be filtered and sorted by criteria such as date, amount, payer name, and status, and users can drill down into payment details easily and quickly. They also have the ability to manage payment plan details – payment frequency, the number of instalments, tuition amounts and more. Diamond Mind enables schools to offer payment plans that both maximise on-tuition payments whilst, at the same time, make the cost of tuition more affordable for families. With TuitionPay, schools are able to create, edit and review plan participants and payment plans, as well as payment status details.
The solution also enables schools at reconcile all payments across their campus, and thus eliminate hours of time-consuming, error prone monthly reconciliation processes. They can also create, customise and send automatic notifications to parents, informing them of such matters as reminders for payment plan instalments, sales receipts, or failed payments.
The solution enables schools to create online payment forms in a matter of minutes, with no programming required. Schools are able, using this tool, to accept online payments for a variety of events and activities, such as fund-raisers, summer programs, auctions, donations, and more. Forms can be customised easily and tailored to match the look and feel of a school website. Branded forms can be used to increase the amount of funds which is processed digitally, meaning a reduction for schools in the time, cost and effort associated with the process of accepting payments.
Diamond Mind makes it easy to set up forms by giving them a name, selecting payment options, and entering the web addresses. Multiple payment options can be provided so that families can pay using their preferred online payment method, whether this is in the form of credit or debit card, electronic cheque, or ACH transfer. Forms can be integrated seamlessly with the online payment gateway.
Customisation of forms can be done without the need for manual coding – instead users can drag-and-drop any desired form field into their payment form, so as to collect the information they need. In addition, custom payment receipts can be created which are sent to each payer via email automatically. Equally custom email notifications can be created which are sent to managers or school finance teams every time a new payment is received. Again, managers can, at a single view, review all payments, and filter and sort them as necessary.
All payments across campus can be accurately and quickly reconciled, which means that hours of time-consuming and error prone effort can be eliminated at a stroke. There is also the facility to export payment details and integrate them with school’s existing accounting systems.
Diamond Mind enables schools to streamline and simplify campus payment, and encourages the use of digital payments for a variety of educational services and activities. This helps schools to raise more revenue, whilst offering parents the option of making payments in a form that is convenient for them.
In terms of the payment process itself, all payment details – including amount, payer name, card number, and address – is securely transmitted to Diamond Mind for processing. The payment gateway then securely sends the transaction authorisation request to the payment processor which, in turn, handles the authorisation and settlement of the payment, either through the ACH or credit/debit card network (as applicable). Once authorisation has been completed successfully, funds are debited from the payer’s bank and deposited automatically into the bank account of the school.
Purchase Cards can be used to simplify school procurement and expense management. Through the Diamond Mind Purchasing Card Program, users can control expenses and enjoy a range of discounts, with automatic rebates on utility bills, travel expenses, or school supplies. Administrators or school officials can when and where cards can be used by school staff. Online controls enable them to set spending limits, offering them peace of mind whilst, at the same time, giving empowered school staff to make necessary purchases.
According to the vendor themselves, Pcard users have reported average savings of 77% when using purchasing cards as opposed to a purchase order process. Cards can be used for any item of authorised expenditure, such as classroom supplies, utility bills, or travel costs.
The Purchase Card is backed by MasterCard – this means that it is accepted by any retailer or outlet that takes MasterCard. All payments are processed and delivered to suppliers through MasterCard’s global network, meaning that account payable teams do not have to worry about manually tracking payments.
All purchases quality for automatic cash rebates. There is no cost to participate in the Program, and no caps on spending imposed. This means that the more a card is used, the higher cash rebate which is earned. Rebates are deposited automatically in a school’s bank account.
Diamond Mind also offers simplified reporting so that managers can keep detailed track of all spending. School staff can see online statements which show the activity and transactions on individual purchase cards. They can also filter and sort payment details in a variety of ways – by date, status, amount, or payee – and drill down at the transaction level.
Amongst the other services offered by Diamond Mind are:
Auctions: For independent schools, auctions can be a very effective way to raise extra money. The vendor can help the auction process by providing a range of mobile and USB card readers, payment and virtual terminals, and custom and online auction processing forms. They can also process back-end transactions whilst schools work with a third-party vendor.
Donations/Giving: Again, Diamond Mind helps schools streamline the donation process by building an online payment form, or, via third-party vendors, working to process back-end payments.
Enrolment: The vendor helps reduce the paper trail associated with enrolments through a dedicated gateway.
Parent Associations: Diamond Mind has years of experience in helping associations of parents to better manage their funds, and can assist them in a variety of ways – creating online forms, simplifying payment management, or setting up dedicated merchant accounts.
School Store/Lunch Programmes: The vendor can offer schools terminals or USB swipers so they can accept payments either with lunch programmes or at school shops. They are also able to process payments at the back-end, either via online shopping carts, or from physical cash registers.
Pricing for Diamond is on a quotation only basis, and is dependent on the size of school and detailed requirements; interested parties should contact the vendor directly for more details. There is no free product trial available, but prospective customers can register for an online product demo.
Diamond Mind is a cloud-hosted web-based platform that supports Windows and Mac operating systems.
As part of their Business Services package, the vendor offers schools the chance to become PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, through its PCI partner, Trustshare. All schools are pre-registered with Trustshare, and are invited to begin the process of compliance by completing a Self-Assessment Questionnaire, followed by a scheduled call with Trustshare. In addition, Diamond Mines has a team of experts available to help schools with PCI-compliance and other electronic payment queries.
With Diamond Mind, each school who signs up for the service is assigned a dedicated Account Manager, who contacts them every quarter to see if they have any need of specialist help or assistance. Currently there are six account managers, each of whom services approximately 125 schools each.
Their Client Services team consists of 5 staff, each of whom has been trained extensively in the type of challenges and opportunities facing schools in the K-12 market. These professionals are available to assist with daily issues, answer or troubleshoot questions, implement account changes, and help with reconciliations. The team can be contacted via email, through phone (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST), or by completing an online support form. There is also an emergency number that can be contacted 24/7 for any urgent processing or card-related problems.
The vendor can also be contacted via social media – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
In terms of self-service resources, Diamond Mind offers a series of e-books and templates, a range of case studies, educational webinars, and a bi-monthly e-newsletter covering the latest developments and best practices when it comes to payment processing for schools. In addition, customers can avail of a number of online customer testimonials, and a video overview of the company’s services. There is also a blog, although this is only updated with new posts infrequently – there have been just 3 posts in 2018 so far.
The vendor occasionally appears at conferences and software fairs in the US.