Managing incoming payments can be one of the most time-consuming and challenging processes for independent schools. Unlike state schools, the successful processing of fee payments is critical to continued growth. 

Independent and international schools manage large sums on a regular basis, and a steady stream of incoming payments ensures that the school can continue to invest. However, it’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of chasing deposits, fee payments, and arrears 

School fees continue to rise as we battle increasing prices across the majority of our daily lives. In fact, it’s estimated that the cost of sending a child to an independent school increases by around 4% per year. That’s why it’s more important than ever to provide a positive experience for your parents.  

The latest school software provides a host of tools to optimise departments that manage incoming payments, like your finance and admissions teams, while providing easy-to-use facilities for parents. It’s critical to find the balance between maintaining regular incoming payments and staff time-management.  

So how do you manage payments effectively and what do you need to know to provide the best experience for your staff and parents? 

Payments for schools

Cashless payment management tools 

The key to making the most out of your school software is letting it perform for you and do what it’s made for. A lot of financial and payment management boils down to data management. iSAMS has built a number of cloud-based solutions that integrate with our MIS and allow you to really harness your school data. 

We know that managing fee payments can be challenging. There are a number of tools available that any school finance department should consider integrating into their suite of systems.  

  • Payment gateway: Your payment gateway will be handling large sum online payments so it’s important to ensure that your solution is not only secure and integrated, but benefits from a low transaction fee.  
  • Online Portals: Portals are a great way to communicate with your parents and help them keep up to date on everything that’s going on with your school, whether events or their child’s individual performance.  
    Your parent portal can also be a great way to provide a self-service solution for school fee payments. Allow your parents to view and download invoices, and make fee payments, all in one convenient location. Ultimately, the more convenient cashless fee payments are, the better the experience for your staff and parents. 
  • Apps: Similar to portals, apps have become a great way to maintain communication with parents in a palatable and simple to use format. Typically, apps are better for managing simple tasks efficiently, like viewing news and events or checking contact details. 
  • Financial management: Your data and payment management cannot perform without a strong foundation. You need a cloud-based solution that manages your school’s finances to ensure that your cashless payments are being managed efficiently, and funds are being distributed economically.  
    Your financial management software is the backbone for your invoicing, outgoing payments, resource management, and incoming fee payments. iSAMS offers iFinance, a cloud-based finance solution for independent schools, to help you make the most out of your budget. 

An efficient process for parents and staff 

Ultimately, no one likes to part with their hard-earned money. Online payments have come a long way, and software companies continue to strive to find more convenient ways to manage online transactions. 

However, the quicker your fee payments are processed, the quicker those resources can be allocated across the school. You need to provide a flexible and efficient payment process in order to ensure parents meet invoice deadlines.  

iSAMS Payments, our dedicated payment gateway, integrates with your existing iSAMS systems and offers a variety of cashless payment methods. Parents can pay with credit cards, debit cards, PayPal or their bank accounts, and can quickly access these facilities in their integrated parent or admissions portals.  

Payments for schools

Our payment gateway is backed up by our cloud-based financial solution. iFinance offers split-billing capabilities. School payments aren’t one-size-fits-all. Each child might be covered by a number of fee payers, including parents, grandparents, guardians, external companies, or sponsors. It’s important to facilitate as many kinds of incoming payments as possible. 

Working in tandem, iSAMS Payments and iFinance provide your school with all it needs to create an efficient invoicing and payment process.  


Online security is at the front of anyone’s mind when making payments in apps or on websites. Needless to say, this is a key consideration for your parents too.  

iSAMS has been cloud-based since we launched in 2005 and we prioritise cybersecurity for schools at every turn, continuing to make updates to our systems to ensure maximum data privacy. Our payment gateway offers a secure method of payment for your parents and integrates with our cloud-based software.  

Your school handles vast amounts of data every day, including personal information and payment information. iSAMS stores your data off-site in secure online servers, promising the latest in cybersecurity technology for independent schools.  

Cloud technology is a must for any pioneering, forward thinking school – as we become accustomed to cloud computing in all areas of our lives. As a business that manages payments on a regular basis, it’s your responsibility to provide the facilities that modern parents expect.  

iFinance and iSAMS Payments solutions for independent schools 

At iSAMS, we built our iFinance and Payments solutions to specifically suit the needs of independent and international schools. We know that security and efficiency are top priorities, as well as convenience and flexibility for parents.  

iFinance supports school finance departments every day, with collaborative accounting on the cloud, BI dashboards, paperless invoice processing, flexible billing, and more. iFinance is a system made to strengthen your long-term financial strategy.  

Combined with iSAMS Payments in the parent and admissions portal, the two systems work to reduce arrears and help you understand school financial performance. Payments supports bank accounts, credit and debit cards, and PayPal to encourage prompt payment, while saving time for your finance team.  

To learn more about the benefits of our financial management system, you can watch an iFinance demo below.