UCSD premieres online bill payment

    Student Business Services will launch a new payment option on StudentLink called E-Check on March 5. This new service will allow students to pay their billing statements over the Internet using their checking accounts. UCSD is the first university in the UC system to implement an online check payment system.

    “”We’re always trying to increase efficiency and make it easier for students to do business on campus,”” said Director of Student Business Services Mark Cooper. “”E-Check is just one step toward that goal.””

    Features of E-Check include the viewing of a student’s current and previous six billing statements, payment and verification of account balances, which are available in real time and printer-friendly versions of the official billing statement in PDF files. The service will only allow the user to pay the entire statement amount at once, and there is a $0.75 fee for every transaction. However, according to Student Business Services, it’s a small amount compared to other college’s transaction fees, and it’s within reason.

    “”Campuses such as UCLA use an online credit card payment option,”” Cooper said. “”But they have to charge students an additional $30 a year in fees to pay the vendor that supplies the service. And with the current budget problems and hikes in tuition, such a fee increase was not a popular option.””

    If enough students use the new system, there is a good chance that the fee amount will go down. The current goal is 30 percent participation by registered students in the next four years.

    The new service will also aid in the current campus budget crisis. As it stands now, the university spends roughly $100,000 a year on mailing billing statements to students. The long-term goal, according to Cooper, is for students to be able to enroll for classes and pay their tuition fees all in one sitting. This would eliminate the spending necessary for in-between tasks, such as the packaging and distribution of the statements.

    E-Check can also help lessen the problem of late fees that arise from mail delays by allowing students to pay and update their balances immediately.

    “”We have high hopes for the new service,”” Cooper said. “”We want all students, new and continuous, to be aware of E-Check and utilize it.””

    For more information on E-Check and future payment options, contact the billing office for Student Business Services at (858) 534-7537.

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