You spoke, the community spoke, and we are listening. Montessori at Hampstead has been working with our community banking partner, MAX Credit Union, to implement an automatic EFT payment option for our families. We believe it will be ready for August and it only requires you to complete a simple EFT authorization and provide the school with a voided check. Then, like clockwork your monthly tuition payments will be automatically drafted out of your checking account, saving you time and guaranteeing you avoid any accidental late fees.
Many of you have asked us why we don’t accept credit card payments. There are several reasons that we’ve decided not to follow that path at the moment, but someday we hope to solve this issue in a way that is beneficial for everyone.
As you know, we are a non-profit, 501(c)(3) that operates on both fundraising revenue and payments for services from the families we serve. If all of our families paid their tuition using a credit card, over $20,000 of those tuition payments would be used to pay the credit card transaction companies. While we do not have an issue with the transaction companies earning their money, we feel, at the moment, it is hard to justify using that income with the transaction company when our classrooms can always benefit from those funds.
So, you might next suggest that we assess a “convenience fee” to families for moneys collected through credit card transactions. In the past, we have offered that option and might still provide it in some limited cases. But, for the school, the overhead burden per credit card transaction is excessive enough that the school would still end up losing resources by following that path. As you can imagine, assessing convenience fees increases an already complex billing process and would thereby increase our error rate (which we continue to work to improve). Further, additional administrative time would be necessary to work to prevent those errors and to ensure recovery by the school of those fees. Again, at the moment, we believe the costs (actual, opportunity, and potential) all outweigh the possible value to the school and larger community. As always, we will continue to watch and work toward possible solutions and as those solutions become viable, we will update you.