A beta version of a remodeled My Financial Center was released Monday, Nov. 12 at my.byu.edu, with new features including a user-friendly design, home page dashboard, complete transaction history and more.
In addition, students can now use a VISA card to pay for tuition-related charges.
“Many users expressed that My Financial Center had often been confusing and difficult to navigate,” said Jay Hanson, director of BYU Student Financial Services. “The previous version of My Financial Center had been provided by a third-party company since 2007.”
“Consistent with BYU's general information technology strategy, this system had been modified only slightly in order to save costs and simplify periodic upgrades,” he said.
Hanson said the project was started about two years ago to consider redesign requirements. He said development funds were then budgeted for the redesign project, and active design and programming has been underway since January 2012.
The focus of the project centered on ease of use. Pages were designed by experienced web designers who have been working on the new BYU website design. Student input from prior feedback as well as surveys was used to develop the overall design. University accountants were consulted to ensure pages reflect accurate information. Then programmers from the Office of Information Technology programmed the pages to integrate smoothly with the back-end student finance and financial aid accounting systems.
Some of the new My Financial Center’s key features include:
• Home page dashboard (which is a quick view of charges), financial aid, holds, messages and Signature Card balances and status
• Transaction history page, which can sort and search transactions by areas for charges, payments, financial aid and refunds
• Transaction detail page
• Outstanding charges page
• Secure payments pages
• Financial aid status page
• Student tax information page.
Another main feature is a streamlined process to save eCheck and credit card information so it doesn’t need to be entered every time a payment is made. Users will be required to re-enter their banking profile information because the information will now be stored in BYU’s own secure payment manager system rather than with the third party that currently processes payments system.
“Under current law, credit card and banking information must be secure and protected against identity theft,” Hanson said. “For that reason, the third-party company we’ve been using is restricted from sharing credit card and banking information directly with BYU. Therefore, BYU is required to request that information be provided again for BYU’s secure system.”
A service fee will continue to be charged for any tuition-related payment made by credit card. However, the fee will be reduced from 2.75% to 2.0%. A free eCheck option will still be available for payment of all types of charges that saves costs for both students and the University.
Hanson said the fee is necessary to avoid passing bank fees back to tithe payers who already subsidize a large portion of the cost of tuition.
“Whenever BYU processes a payment using a credit or debit card it incurs various bank fees. Because actual tuition costs are heavily subsidized by LDS Church tithe payers, we felt that it was inappropriate to also pass along these bank fees when a free eCheck option is readily available for student payments,” he said.
During the beta release period Student Financial Services will be soliciting feedback regarding anything that will help make the product more useful. During this period the old site will continue to be available. The old site will probably be taken out of service approximately December 10th, 2012. A minute-and-a-half-long tutorial video about the new features is available at go.byu.edu/mfctutorial.
For more information, contact Jay Hanson at email@example.com.