We sat down with Jackie Strohbehn, regional director, western division, to see how Nelnet Campus Commerce makes a difference in the higher education experience. Here are the highlights from our discussion.
Q: What challenges are higher ed institutions facing today when it comes to payment technology?
A: When it comes to payment technology, institutions are having to work with disparate systems. They have different payment channels and each department has a different need in which they utilize payment technology in some capacity.
Q: How can Nelnet Campus Commerce solve those challenges institutions are facing?
A: We do a great job of delivering solutions — and not just products — to the higher ed market.
What’s unique about Nelnet Campus Commerce is we’re able to take all of those disparate processes and partner with an institution to deliver a comprehensive solution that is start to finish — not just bring them what those solutions are — but work with the campus to implement solutions so they are effective on campus.
Q: What specifically can Actively Managed Payment Plans bring to the table?
A: It’s an ease of processing; instead of having all that payment plan burden in-house (and with so much of these institutions having to take that on with budget cuts), this really allows them to focus on the student again.
It allows us to handle the technology while giving the student phenomenal support — whether it’s online, directly to a 1-800 number, and (most importantly) through our domestically-located support in Nebraska.
Q: Describe Nelnet Campus Commerce’s implementation process.
A: Our implementation process is by far the most hands-on partner process I’ve witnessed throughout my 15 years of sales. It really allows a highly customized plan that walks you through step-by-step.
Oftentimes with technology today, vendors will come in and say, “Here’s the product and good luck implementing it.”
And the institution — particularly in higher ed — is left holding the bag. They’re thinking, “Now I have to implement this. I have little resources, I don’t know what to do and you told me you were going to help me and now you’re not.”
So what makes our implementation process so unique is the ability to have certified product project managers come in to actually walk that system and institution through change management — customized to the school’s unique set of needs and goals.
When schools see that NCC is PCI Level 1 compliant, what does that mean?
A: We know this industry, and we know all the compliance and regulation, because of our connection to the student loan side of the house. We are heavily scrutinized, but it also means that we put a lot of time, money, and investment into ensuring that all of the platforms and services we provide give you the peace of mind to have a compliant, user-friendly, easy technology.
That really allows you to sleep better at night, because you know that compliance no longer falls on you as an institution — it’s something we have handled on your behalf.
What’s the most rewarding part when you see Nelnet Campus Commerce’s solutions making an impact?
The ability for us to provide an opportunity for students and parents to make fiscally responsible choices in a way that makes their student experience and their collegiate experience more affordable.
When you hear a student say that it was because of our payment plan that they were able to graduate, or to go to college as a first generation student — those letters make it all worth it. And it really highlights that we don’t just provide a technology or a product. We give a solution that ultimately benefits that student and that family.
Q: What makes you passionate about working at Nelnet Campus Commerce?
A: Nelnet Campus Commerce is by far the most special culture I’ve ever been a part of. In every interaction I have — no matter whether it’s a call center rep, account manager, chief sales officer, or our president — each one of those individuals puts their customer first every single day. It’s at the forefront of everything we do.
The idea of being able to live out our brand, being able to see the passion that everyone has — working toward a better customer experience and delivering that best-in-class solution — is really by far the most special thing about Nelnet Campus Commerce. Our best in-class service model really comes from our people, and it shines in our technology.