What is it and why should you be getting involved?
QPay prides itself on being ‘here for students, societies, and unions to facilitate the interactions that make campus life memorable’. After all, a memorable university experience is not just something that the students desire – it is a goal that unites club leaders, student union executives, university staff and more.
Although QPay cleverly emphasises the emotional side of university, it is quick to explain that its purpose is functional. QPay can help with membership, ticketing, newsletters, and merchandise, regardless of the size of your organisation. Indeed, when running a student society, group, or union, it is crucial to have the administrative side of the project under control. In removing the administrative stress, QPay can help societies and student unions to focus on what is really important: providing positive experiences for the students.
QPay equips their partners (e.g., the leaders of Association of Biomedical Students ) to set up events and easily communicate necessary information with those in the club. It showcases the ‘need to know’ statistics clearly and in one place, so that you can track the success of your events or sessions at a quick glance, using ticket sales and members to gain an insight into overall performance.
“Any student society should use QPay, because it keeps everything in one place” – Benji Batten, President of University of Melbourne Student Exchange Society
I decided to sit down with some members of the (extremely friendly and helpful) QPay team, to further my understanding into the service they are offering. First up, we spoke with Sam Lee, who leads on the research and marketing initiatives across Australia, Canada, and the UK. Sam has over a decade of experience in advertising technology and has worked with a huge range of digital platforms, from Spotify to Taboola. Since making the move from AdTech, Sam and is helping serve the needs of the unique intersectionality of education and charity with QPay.
“I would describe QPay as a digital payment provider for the 3rd sector (charity space). From attending your university ball to crowdfunding your first ever university hoodie, QPay makes payments a breeze for clubs, unions, societies, associations that are run by students for students.” – Sam Lee
Sam tells me that QPay began their journey with the end users in mind – the students. The simplicity of this statement highlights to me that there is no ulterior motive with QPay; they are here to help and make these processes run as smoothly as they can.
Sam talks me through how QPay has grown in the last few years:
“What began as merely a peer-to-peer payments app, has now evolved into helping club executives manage payments across memberships, event ticketing and any fundraising initiatives, including advertising and sponsorship activities.”
Following our discussion with Sam, I spoke to Moe, who is one of the QPay co-founders. He describes his role in the company as “mainly focused on solving problems at the Student union/association level which involves providing convenient and powerful tools to eliminate their admin headache and make club reporting easier.”
Still keen to get a complete summation of the company, I ask Moe to describe the service QPay is offering in one simple sentence:
“QPay helps to quantify and elevate student engagement by providing convenient software tools to campus administrators.”
After speaking to Sam and Moe, my understanding of QPay grew significantly and I felt like I had a real grasp of what they do and why they do it. The only thing left to do was to ask why the decision makers – those leading the university clubs and societies – should pay attention to and be using QPay.
“For a student to be successful on campus, it involves a range of factors other than just achieving good grades,” Moe tells me, and “the level of student engagement is one of the most important factors that contributes to mental health, motivation levels and a sense of belonging.”
This sentiment cannot be disputed, as a quick bit of on-the-spot research tells me that 70% of university presidents see student mental health as their most pressing issue, and that mental health issues among students affects both retention rates and leads to a decline in overall student engagement.
QPay, being acutely aware of these statistics, provides tools that are inherently convenient and simple to use for campus administrators to effectively run student engagement activities and collect objective student feedback. The tracking available combined with the results-based methodology enables campus operators to go one step further and make key decisions on improving student engagement with a fact-based approach. The focus can therefore be on driving student engagement and doing so by actually finding out what the students want and need.
As our brief yet insightful conversation comes to a close, Moe leaves me with the following assertion that is arguably the backbone of the QPay philosophy:
“Strong student engagement = improved mental health, motivation and belonging = high graduation rate.”
In this current post-pandemic world, mental health has never been more important or more talked about, especially within the higher education space. The relevance and usefulness of QPay is thus at its peak and the company undoubtedly has a part to play in improving the student experience.
QPay is a highly adaptable organisation, one that has kept up to date with political ongoings and relevant trends. It strikes me just how well QPay understands its place within the education sector and has a clear purpose driving it forward. The number of clubs and societies choosing to use QPay is consistently rising:
“Today QPay is increasing our footprint with the clubs and societies space with over 3,000 student groups and growing. We’re now undertaking our next level of growth by working closely with Student Associations, Student Unions and Guilds to create what we call the Student Experience Flywheel- a 5-part process that’s repeatable and scalable designed for the modern day campus.” – Sam Lee
Social media cannot be overlooked as a vital marketing tool, with universities competing for followers and good engagement statistics. QPay has a smart and clear presence on social media. The handles on both their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts don’t pretend to be fake or fun, they simply encourage those in the decision-making seats to ‘get QPay.’ Finally, when you search ‘Get QPay’ on Facebook, you can see a whole range of events that are being successfully organised on QPay and promoted on Facebook by the clubs themselves, showing just how widely used QPay is.