Vivi Friedgut

Fintech for education company, Blackbullion (@blackbullion), has today launched its new Instant Payments capability.

The new feature has been developed to empower universities and colleges to deliver secure payments to students in seconds in the next step towards digitising and streamlining the financial support process. And with the link between student mental health and financial wellbeing now well-evidenced, the Instant Payments capability provides a much-needed practical solution, that eases stress for students and saves time for university support teams.   

Responding to university needs

Blackbullion’s Instant Payments has been developed to respond to direct customer needs – to make financial support faster and more streamlined. The feature is built into Blackbullion’s Funds Management System (FMS), delivering efficiencies for disparate pots of financial support across the institution, reducing staff workloads, and minimising applicant stress to place student experience front and centre.

Instant Payments mean that students can enter their bank details as part of a fully digital application process, within the secure Blackbullion platform, reducing the need to share sensitive data via paper forms or emails. Staff then approve the payment straight after an application has been assessed as successful, so that applicants can receive the funds instantly, within business hours. 

The whole process can be managed remotely by staff, across multiple teams, while all the time delivering faster support to students and reducing the anxiety and financial distress often associated with funding applications.

Meeting evolving student expectations

The Instant Payments feature has been designed to meet the tech expectations of today’s digitally savvy university cohort.  Recent Blackbullion research showed that 67% of students want tech-enabled financial support, together with the ability to submit applications quickly (67%). We also know that in terms of the financial support application process, having the ability to do everything online (64%) and receiving an immediate payment (47%) is essential.

Instant Payments is an innovative way of building financial support into the student experience to create the seamless online integration students value, from learning, wellbeing and finances.

Vivi Friedgut, CEO and founder of Blackbullion says,

“When you have students telling you it’s quicker to get a payday loan than support from their university hardship fund, you have to look at how you can change and improve the student experience.”

“Since launching late 2020, the FMS has helped our university partners award over £4m to students with a 48 hour average application processing time - reduced from 2-4 weeks. Receiving a funding payment this quickly can make all the difference to a student’s quality of life, wellbeing and engagement. It’s very much part of the digital educational environment students have come to expect, shaping how future-focused universities drive their inclusion and retention strategies.”

Mary Curnock Cook CBE, non-executive director in education and edtech and former CEO of UCAS, adds,

"We know that if you’re a student in hardship, needing funds, you need them quickly. Innovations like Blackbullion’s Instant Payments tick all the boxes for students and university support teams: quick, secure and a big admin saver. It’s a perfect example of using smart tech to support student success and wellbeing."

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