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ApplyBC Modernization Project: Why Eigen?

We’ve been moving forward with the ApplyBC Modernization project, an upgrade for our online application service, to provide a better experience for our end users and institutions. One of the reasons we’ve opted to modernize our online application is to provide additional security for applicants choosing to pay the admission fee for their desired institution online via credit card. Eigen Development (Eigen) was the provider we determined most able to meet our current and future needs, and we thought we would provide you with additional information as to why we chose them.

A Local Solution with Institution Experience

Eigen is a local company, based out of Vancouver, B.C. They’ve been providing merchants with the ability to accept payments for twenty years, and have created a complete suite of solutions to accommodate the needs of their clients. Another advantage of using Eigen is they are already the payment processor for many of our current institutions. By choosing a provider that already works with our clients, we are able to minimize the impact of the Modernization project on their institution.

PCI DSS Compliance

Secure payment processing requires additional security measures to protect the end user’s confidential information, and while we’ve done a good job of securing this information, we wanted to bring it in line with the standards outlined by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). In order to do this, we needed to choose an acceptable payment processor that could reliably accommodate the volume of applicants we process.

Cost Efficiencies

By committing to work exclusively with Eigen, we have been able to negotiate discounted rates for our institutions. In addition to the time savings involved in the new process, each institution using Eigen should be able to realize reasonable annual savings on their credit card processing fees. This bulk pricing gives participating institutions a break on the credit card transaction fees on application fees collected through ApplyBC.

We have negotiated this arrangement with Eigen, but institutions are not required to choose Eigen as their payment provider. Should they choose to go with another provider, ApplyBC won’t be able to accept the application fee on their behalf. The rest of the form data can still be collected and transmitted for the institution, and the institution will be responsible for processing and collecting the payment of their application fees.

We are currently working with the institutions using our full-service application, including Vancouver Island University, Camosun College, Capilano University, College of New Caledonia, College of the Rockies, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Justice Institute of B.C., North Island College, Northern Lights College, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Northwest Community College and Selkirk College. Our goal is to have these institutions upgraded to the new application in September of 2013, with additional institutions migrating in 2014. The Modernization project will provide a more cohesive, secure, and productive application process for students applying for advanced education throughout B.C.

Information Security Wordle: PCI DSS v1.2 (try #2)