Baylor partners with BankMobile Disbursements to assist in refund process

Baylor One Stop is now partnering with BankMobile Disbursements allowing for faster-than-normal refund returns. Abby Roper | Photographer

By Rory Dulock | Staff Writer

Baylor One Stop has partnered with BankMobile Disbursements, a third-party financial service, to assist in distributing refunds more quickly and efficiently. The partnership will take full effect the first week of March.

Taryn Anderson, assistant vice president of student financial services, said the partnership is meant to improve the refund process, and Baylor’s financial services looked at many different options before choosing the right partner.

“Unfortunately, all of the things that [our current financial aid partner] originally offered in terms of refunds just didn’t allow us to get enough money to students efficiently and quickly,” Anderson said. “We still were able to get it to students, but BankMobile approached us, and they had really good success at other schools of getting refunds to students quickly and electronically, which is how most students want their funds.”

According to the BankMobile Disbursements website, “BankMobile Disbursements helps colleges and universities across the U.S. deliver financial aid credit balances to students securely, efficiently and in compliance with federal regulations.”

One benefit of BankMobile Disbursements is the faster-than-normal refund return, Anderson said.

“We partnered with BankMobile in order to give them the opportunity to tell students, to communicate with students about fast ways to get their refunds,” Anderson said. “They have a really high success rate on getting students to sign up for electronic refunds.”

Another perk of the third-party is the option for students to set up an account, Anderson said.

“They also offer their own Vibe account, which allows students to get those refunds same day, which is not an option we had in the past,” Anderson said. “When we push the money out via [Automated Clearing House, the primary system agencies use for electronic funds transfers] or direct deposit, it takes a couple of days for it to show up in your bank account. Depending on your bank, that might be anywhere from 24 to 36 hours.”

Even with the new option for the refund process, Anderson said the old option will still be available as well.

“BankMobile students just have to reaffirm which bank account they want with BankMobile, and that option they can still utilize,” Anderson said. “But they have this additional option of the Vibe account, and so it’s to maximize our opportunity to get the money that belongs to the students.”

Dallas freshman Jasmine Kuruvilla said she hopes the third-party service won’t make the refund process more difficult.

“I don’t really know why you would need to switch,” Kuruvilla said. “[The students] don’t really know a lot about this third-party. … It’s for refunds for scholarships and stuff, which are a lot of money. … [I need to know,] why am I trusting it?”

Kuruvilla said she was surprised Baylor One Stop is making the shift during the year.

“I think it would be helpful [for students] to know why they switched and what they’re expecting from the company and how trustworthy they are,” Kuruvilla said.

Anderson said BankMobile Disbursements is a valuable third-party company to Baylor, and she thinks it will become a well-known name to students.

“We don’t have a huge student accounts team [at Baylor],” Anderson said. “The amount of communication that BankMobile is able to provide makes them very valuable to us as a third-party because they do a lot of interaction with students, and they have their own system for helping the refund process.”

Staff writer Luke Lattanzi contributed to this article.