COVID-19 Response Information

 

As we all work together during these times of concern and uncertainty caused by Coronavirus (COVID-19), we remain focused on you and the needs of your students, families, staff, and campus community members.

We're here to help.


PRIVILEGES
Sharing of Safety Information

The COVID-19 virus has emphasized the need to easily share timely information and provide the ability to receive feedback from the community.  If you do not have a platform to share this type of safety information, LiveSafe is an application students can download on their phones at no charge. The LiveSafe COVID-19 Safety Resources App provides three key LiveSafe features to specifically help organizations address the threat of COVID-19 to their communities. These features include the ability for employees and students to ask questions of their organization's Coronavirus response teams, one-touch access to the latest info from the CDC, and the ability to call 911, regardless of their location.  More detailed information can be found on LiveSafe's COVID-19 Safety Resources App Webpage and in the summary description of services.

Cleaning of Hardware Devices
Guidelines released by the CDC recommend that in response to COVID-19 educational institutions and businesses should clean surfaces that are frequently touched. These would include Transact and other third-party hardware devices. Please refer to the following links for more detailed information on proper cleaning procedures: 

Third-party door locks, such as those from ASSA ABLOY and Allegion, may be cleaned with standard cleaning supplies.

Non-Traditional Access Control Management 
Access needs for facilities are changing daily during this time of uncertainty. Many campuses have sent students home while others are accommodating limited residential student populations. This may mean separating students in private rooms and changing standard residential access plans. Some campuses may even repurpose residence halls as temporary medical support facilities. Most academic facilities are closed on campuses during this time, but critical labs and research projects may need to continue with restricted staff. In addition, there may be a facility that needs to be closed quickly to be disinfected. Should these situations or others apply to you, whether using TSE Door Access or Netbox, we’re here to help. Full instructions for modifying access plans and automating assignments can be found in product administration guides on Behind the Blackboard and Transact Support is fully staffed and ready to assist.

 

Mobile Privilege Verification with iValidate 
Restricted access to enforce social distancing may elevate the need to validate people’s access rights in remote locations. Campus Security or other administrative staff can use iValidate to verify a person’s current relationship to your institution. This can be done using an MRD5 contactless reader paired to the iOS device or through hand entry of an ID number into the application. In either case, direct contact is not required. Critical services may be delivered in temporary locations or in the event of dining facility closures, iValidate may be helpful for food delivery or pickup for students with meal plans using a wireless or cellular network or an offline database loaded into the application. 

If you do not currently subscribe to iValidate licensing, we are currently offering free limited period trial licenses. iValidate can run on any Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Contact your client manager if you have interest in this solution. 
 
Social-Distancing Options for Dining
Transact Mobile Ordering for pick-up or delivery of food and other necessities is an excellent way to facilitate social distancing by eliminating the need to wait in lines or even leave one’s residence to obtain these basic needs.  By downloading the Transact Mobile Ordering app to an iOS or Android device orders can be easily placed for immediate pickup or delivery using meal plans, stored value, or credit card payment methods.  

Self-service kiosks can also assist with social distancing on campus through a user-friendly and easy-to-use self-service terminal. Orders can be entered on the kiosk and automatically routed to a kitchen printer or display after payment. Depending on the type of POS terminal hardware you have deployed, it may be possible to turn existing attended cashier stations into kiosks without additional hardware or software costs.  

These self-service and pick-up options may require changes to already configured meal plans. It may be necessary to move from count plans to cash equivalency or stored value to allow for retail-based sales as opposed to a cafeteria all-you-care-to-eat model. Meal Plans in TSE can be updated in Workstation and reset at any time. Information on how to configure Meal Plans is available in administration guides on Behind the Blackboard and via Transact Support. TS SaaS clients needing changes or adjustments to meal plans can contact Managed Services for assistance.

We’ve heard from many of you that you’re still servicing students and university community members that had to remain on or near campus and are looking for ways to help support your communities, including many businesses that are dealing with unprecedented challenges. There may be opportunities to convert meal plan dollars to your stored value account or you could set up a limited period drain order which would allow for stored value dining funds to be spent in your community. For those campuses that offer off-campus merchant programs, this could provide a valuable lifeline for your small business community.

If you do not already have Kiosks or Transact Mobile Ordering deployed on your campus, or currently have it  and require assistance, please contact your client manager to explore how Transact can help you get up and running now or for next term.

Financial Challenges 
Transact appreciates the unprecedented challenges that campuses are facing in the wake of COVID-19; not only to ensure the safety of your students & staff, but also to protect the financial well-being of your institution. We’re proud to offer solutions that can enable our clients to overcome those challenges on both fronts – allocate immediate budgets towards initiatives that further your protection and enrichment of those critical stakeholders in these trying times, while simultaneously leveraging 100% digital/paperless solutions from Transact Capital to advance your Privileges solutions.  

Transact Capital is here to tailor an acquisition solution for your individual scenario, to draw from operating or capital budgets, with a variety of additional customizations including:  No payments until your next budget cycle, minimized payments during current and upcoming budget year, and more. Contact your Transact sales representative or client manager to learn more about how we can support you as a partner - through these challenging times and beyond.

Return to Normalcy and Fall Planning
It may seem early to think about it now, but things will return to “normal” and we need to be prepared. This means ensuring your campus is ready for Fall and possibly Summer students. It may be a good time to review semester end and beginning processes. Are your privilege assignment automation configurations ready? Are you looking to improve the student experience? Online Photo Submission is one way to engage with new students prior to arrival on campus and reduce time they may spend in the ID provisioning process. It may also be time to consider contactless and mobile credential offerings to avoid handing magnetic stripe cards back and forth.

 

PAYMENTS
We are living through difficult and unprecedented times as the world works to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We know that many educational institutions are quickly transitioning to online classes for students and remote work for Transact Payments administrators, and we want you to know that we are here for you as you make these adjustments.
 
We’d like to reassure you that Client Support hours have not been impacted by this crisis, and you can expect the same level of support throughout the coming months. In addition, the Product Team has been thinking through ways that our product can assist in your change to remote work, as well as other features that you may want to configure to assist payers during this time.
 
Features to help with remote work:
We believe that these features can help you perform your job duties remotely, especially when working with customers over the phone:
 
Customer Research Center (CRC) 
The CRC enables an operator to pull up a customer’s demographic, balance, and enrollment information. Operators can modify certain demographic information, view the customer’s balance details and transactions, view and modify the customer’s payment plans, view and modify eRefund information, view eBill & 1098-T statements, and more. For more information about this feature, refer to the System Setup User Guide, available in the Support Library under System Administration.  During these challenging times, we will waive our fees for this option through July 1, 2020.
To have CRC Center turned on, please have your Cashnet Authorized Contact reach out to Transact Payments Support at CashnetSupport@Blackboard.com or 1-800-231-9182. 


User Emulation Capability
User Emulation enables an operator to log into the SAO/ePayment site as a student without needing the student’s password. The operator can then assist the student to troubleshoot an issue or make a make a payment if that permission is set up for the operator. If you elect to turn this on, we will help to configure the correct permissions for your operators. For more information about this feature, refer to the ePayment & eMarket User Guide, available in the Support Library under Modules and Services > ePayment and eMarket.  During these challenging times, we will waive our fees for this option through July 1, 2020.
 
Additional capabilities that may be useful:
These Payments tools—which you can set up free of charge—may also help your operators and customers:
 
Authorized Users
Allow students to create authorized users, or Parent PINs, so that parents or other authorized payers can log in and pay on behalf of a student through SAO/ePayment.

SMS Messaging
Provides the option to set up SMS messaging for many different modules. Some examples include messages when an automatic payment or refund has been processed for a customer, and messages for parents when a payment is made on the account by a student. If you would like more information, please refer to the System Setup User Guide and the ePayment & eMarket User Guide, or contact Payments Support.

Note Codes
Can be configured for multiple Payments powered by Cashnet modules to display messages to payers or prevent the use of certain payment methods, such as accounts that have previously been declined. If you are not currently using notes and would like guidance on how to configure them, please refer to the System Setup User Guide and the guides for the relevant modules.

Report Groups
Report groups enable you to create groups of multiple reports that will be automatically generated and delivered to recipients via email. These report groups can reduce your reporting workload and provide useful information to Payments administrators. For more details on how to set this up, refer to the Reporting User Guide.

Temporary Waive of Late Fees for FSPP Plans
As an additional measure to help your payers and our clients cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Transact Payments powered by Cashnet has decided to temporarily stop assessing late fees on Full Service Payment Plans. Through July 1, 2020, your students will not be charged if they fail to make an installment plan payment on time. As we continue to navigate this new environment, we will re-evaluate the situation and determine whether to reinstate late fees. We will keep you informed of updates and decisions as we move forward.

SAO Storefront Opt-In Approach
Because we want your move to the new SAO storefront to be a positive experience that doesn’t impact your payers or administrators, we are temporarily moving to an “opt-in” approach for our new payer-facing products through May 1st. This means that you should not expect to be included in a wave of mass adoptions until after that date—and we will inform you in advance when we plan to move your Train instance to the new experience. 

If you are interested in moving over to the new payer-facing experience before May 1st, please contact your Client Manager to discuss a date that will work for you. Note that you will have the opportunity to test in your Train environment until you are prepared to go live in Production. 

Accessing Support Documents
All support documents are accessible from within your system. To access these documents, enter the software Administration Site, select Training and Support from the left menu.  Referenced support documents are located in the folders tilted System Administration and Modules and Services.