E-Payments Within the Education Sector
Metrics and Analytics 09.28.2022

E-Payments Within the Education Sector

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In today’s episode, we welcome Tom Gavin from ACI to tackle the e-payments system within the educational sector and the influence of the current macroeconomic headwinds that many people are facing. He shares ACI’s solutions for alleviating some of those pains. Listen in as he shares advice on how companies can stand out amidst the intense competition.

About the Guest

Thomas Oakley Gavin was born in New Orleans, LA grew up in Orange County, CA, and now calls Charlotte, NC home. 20+ years as a sales professional with the majority of it in the Higher Education Accounts Receivable area. 2 AA Degrees from Santa Ana College, CA, and a BS Degree from Bellevue University, NE. 

Connect with Tom Gavin

Key Takeaways

  • COVID-19 has had a significant impact on how students are engaging with schools, with ACI specifically handling the change in a way that is unique by offering convenient payment options.
  • The competition in the e-payments space is fierce, with more legitimate competitors than ever before.
  • Some ways to stand out from the competition are to focus on honing the company’s uniqueness and how you can provide better customer service.


“The world is shrinking… It’s just closing in. I think universities, from my perspective, [are] going after international students in ways that I’ve never seen before in my 15 years of working in the higher education space. They’re trying to figure out how they can go after them… And obviously, the ability of those individuals to pay comfortably is very appealing to them.” – Tom Gavin

Highlights from the Episode


Can you explain to our listeners your role at ACI?

Tom had been working for a biometric company when he landed his role in ACI as a Principal New Business Developer Executive. He found himself selling fingerprint solutions for restaurants and convenience stores. In Charlotte Mecklenburg County, Tom was trying to win an RFP. He ended up partnering with ACI to win the bid and did so successfully. A couple of months later, he got a call from the company and accepted the offer to work with them.

From an e-payments perspective, has COVID-19 impacted the way students engage with schools?

ACI is different as a payment provider in the industry because it is not a processor but a payback – reselling or selling a payment solution as a service. There are added layer chips to the service with an advantageous backend setup. In addition, ACI partnered up with alternative payment methods such as Paypal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc. in a single reporting system. Finally, online payment solutions during COVID-19 helped the industry in driving usage, significantly increasing transactions.

How are you addressing the issue of e-payments when it comes to global students at US universities?

The world is closing in, and universities are going after international students in ways we have never seen before. Being able to pay conveniently is appealing to them. ACI will be able to handle international credit cards and refunds and manage real-time payments with a low transaction fee from anywhere in the world.

How are you and your organization adapting to the current economic downturn?

Competition is fierce. In this industry, there are now many legitimate competitors over the previous decade. With this, the question becomes, how do you separate yourself? Being the kind of person customers want to be around increases the chances of success. The key is to become aware of how you come across to the people you meet.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


Jesse Cole – Owner of Savannah Bananas

Ryan Estes – Co-founder of Wildcast


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