November 08, 2023
This summer, financial journalist, Remy Blaire, spoke with Nancy Langer, CEO at Transact Campus, in an exclusive FinTech TV interview. Langer covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on universities, and the subsequent shift to self-service options and increased focus on safety and security. Transact differentiates itself with its mobile-centric approach and expertise in mobile credential, commerce, and payments. Nancy briefly talked about the potential impact of artificial intelligence on student academics. She also shared her personal journey as a female CEO in the fintech industry and expressed optimism for progress in gender equality.
Blaire: In this post pandemic world, universities are taking some of the lessons learned during a time where students had remote learning. Tell me about the impact of some of those changes that have taken place.
Langer: Schools are back in full force, but there are a few things that came out of COVID I would cite as continuing forward in terms of what their priorities are for schools. For example, there’s a large shift to self-service content, contactless dining, and package deliveries. Students want to access everything through a single platform or application that’s contactless. There’s also a heightened focus on safety and security. When students navigate in and around the buildings on campus, we run that platform for them. Historically, they've used a physical student ID, but now that’s shifting to mobile credential so students don’t run the risk of losing it. It's an easy way for them to use their own mobile app.
Blaire: We know that they grew up with more technology compared to other generations—Gen Xers as well as Millennials. But we know that technology is part of everyone's lives on campus. What is Transact Campus doing that sets you apart from the competition?
Langer: We’re a mobile-centric company. So, when we talk about contactless experiences, we have the mobile app students are using to order food and other things on and off campus. We’re the leader in mobile credentials embedded into Apple, Google, and Samsung Wallet. Payments are a big part of our business—we are the largest provider, approaching 50 billion payments on our platform. Making transactions seamless and easy for students is a huge driver for what the students really want in their experience.
According to a Gen Z study conducted by Transact and The Center for Generational Kinetics, “74% of students think their college should make ease of payments on campus and online a priority to create a better student experience.”
Blaire: Let’s talk about artificial intelligence. AI has been making headlines when it comes to the broader market as well as the business world. But when it comes to AI and students, we know that this can affect the way they study, and that's very important when it comes to academics. Could you tell me how AI has affected students and how they approach academics? What is your perspective? Blaire asked.
Langer: It’s a big topic in higher-ed and K-12 right now and is certainly something that we’re keeping an eye on. We’re looking at using AI in several of our platforms and data analytics programs, Langer said, declaring she’s not an expert on the subject, however, she has a team of experts diving into the advantages of AI.
As one of the few female CEOs in the fintech industry, Langer embodies the spirit of resilience and progress.
Blaire: When we look at the statistics in terms of female CEOs, not just in corporate America, but also the rest of the world, we know that the numbers are few. Please tell me a little bit about your journey into fintech and what led you to the halls of Transact Campus.
Langer: I've been in fintech for decades. For me, it’s been a journey of watching the opportunities for women continue to evolve. We're not where we need to be, but I've been fortunate enough to be in situations and opportunities that have allowed me to excel and lead. I’ve had mentors around me that recognized my potential and helped to propel me forward. But it’s still a journey. There's a company called Hypatia, an asset management company that focuses only on female CEOs, so that makes me optimistic. I grew up in a male-dominated world but have continued to take risks. People believed in me and helped me get to where I am today as the CEO of Transact. What drew me to Transact is that it’s a great company, with lots of opportunities for growth organically and inorganically. I enjoy being a part of creating the best student experience possible.
The conversation between Remy and Nancy culminated with a discussion about the future trends that will continue to shape the fintech landscape within academia. Nancy identified several key trends:
As universities embrace these trends and collaborate with innovative companies like Transact, the future of academia promises to be more interconnected, convenient, and student-focused than ever before.
In the rapidly evolving landscape of fintech, Transact is driving a digital transaction revolution on university campuses. Through a mobile-centric approach, commitment to security and convenience, and a dedication to innovative technologies, the company is not only shaping the present but also paving the way for a future where transactions seamlessly intertwine with education.
Watch the interview in its entirety on Fintech.TV.