Blackboard Financial Aid Solution Sees Strong Momentum
Fee-Free Approach Protects Students from $2 Million in Service Charges Annually
Washington, August 12, 2011–More than 120,000 students are now participating in BlackboardPay™, a prepaid card program that simplifies the delivery of student federal financial aid, Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) announced today. By enabling students to receive financial aid on their current student ID cards, BlackboardPay™ eliminates an estimated $2 million per year in student overdraft and PIN debit fees based on average fees for the total number of students now using the solution.
BlackboardPay offers students immediate access to their financial aid and work study funds while reducing schools’ expenses associated with distributing paper checks. The solution was introduced last fall in collaboration with First Data and the Discover® Network.
The Money Network®-Enabled Discover® Campus Card helps protect students from excessive fees and eliminates the need to wait in long lines to receive paper checks or for an automated clearing house (ACH) transaction to clear in their bank accounts. Instead, funds are available on the day they are disbursed and held in FDIC-insured accounts.
“We’re excited to offer BlackboardPay to our students as a safe and secure way to access their funds and protect them from banking fees,” said Pratima Gandhi, controller at Bradley University. “The new solution helps us promote banking responsibility for our students and, through the integration with our current campus card, provide them with a convenient one-card option.”
Students at participating institutions can use the prepaid account integrated with the student ID to make purchases at millions of Discover merchant locations. Additionally, cardholders can withdraw cash at the approximately 43,000 ATMs around the world that bear the Allpoint, Pulse, or STAR® Network logos. Unlike competing offerings, BlackboardPay lets cardholders make surcharge-free withdrawals on the Allpoint ATM network, the world’s largest surcharge-free network.
“We are pleased that institutions are realizing one of the major differences between BlackboardPay and other offerings,” said David Marr, president of Blackboard Transact. “Specifically, they now understand that while other offerings can generate as much as 80 percent of their revenue–in the millions of dollars–from student assessed fees, Blackboard does not receive a single cent of revenue from student assessed fees.”
Cardholders also have access to a Web site where they can view recent transactions, sign up for balance notifications, transfer funds to and from a personal bank account and pay bills online. They can also use Money Network™ Checks to pay bills or cash the checks for free at participating Money Network check cashing locations.
Schools often see savings from a reduction in time and resources spent processing paper checks. Some institutions have cited labor savings as an important contributor to internal cost-cutting measures as they continually seek to find efficiencies and trim expenses.
“Salt Lake Community College has been searching for years for an ID/debit card option for its students, but nothing fit what we were looking for until we heard about BlackboardPay,” said David Raiford, manager of campus card systems and services at Salt Lake Community College.
“Our goal was to provide an option for students to receive their refunds faster and easier, make purchases with their ID card anywhere, and help minimize operational costs in distributing refunds. With BlackboardPay, we are able to meet these goals. I would highly recommend BlackboardPay for any institution’s ID/debit card and refund distribution needs.”
For more information about BlackboardPay and Blackboard Transact, visit http://www.blackboard.com/transact.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (Nasdaq: BBBB) is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “will,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our Form 10-K filed on February 18, 2011 and Form 10-Q filed on August 4, 2011 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of August 12, 2011. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company’s views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s views as of any date subsequent to August 12, 2011.
Matthew Maurer, Blackboard Inc.
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