“It was important to bring an extensive network to the enterprise. Transact was not well known, and the product wasn’t well understood. It was important to change that quickly. I needed to get out there and let people know who we are.”
– Nancy Langer, CEO of Transact Campus, Inc.
Being a smart company means staying ahead of the curve by keeping an eye on client needs and consumer trends and responding quickly to changes in the market. “We stay in the lead by partnering with our clients to create solutions that get them to where they need to go right now,” says Langer. “The Transact team embraces change. They thrive in this environment that capitalizes on their nimble, client-focused work approach.”
“Transact Campus is a mobile-centric campus technology that integrates institutional payments, campus ID, and campus commerce. With its user-focused solutions, our technology can streamline campus life to enhance the college experience for students and their families, and for the colleges, that fosters student retention and post-graduate connections and loyalty.”
In our interview with Nancy Langer, she shared her enthusiasm about the progress she’s made at Transact Campus and the plans she has for scaling the business to new heights.
Here’s an edited excerpt from the interview.
What was your inspiration behind joining Transact?
There were a couple of things. For one, Transact has huge potential and tremendous opportunities for growth. And the market we serve is smart, fast-moving, and future-oriented. Look at where we sit. Transact helps college students navigate through their on-campus experience. Our technology and innovations make an important difference in how universities serve and interact with students who are much more digitally connected and mobile-centric than ever before. Students are always looking for the next big thing. It’s incredibly energizing to be in the middle of this.
Just as important is the team here at Transact. This team is passionate about the business and that mindset creates an exciting environment that fuels creative thinking. To answer your question, it was a combination of coming to a space where there is a lot of innovation and disruption and being able to be central to that transformation. To be a part of a business with untapped potential for growth and part of a team that brings energy and commitment to the business? That is an obvious choice to make.
What was your priority at Transact initially, and do you think there has been a change in your priorities since then?
I brought an extensive network to the enterprise. Transact was not well known and the product wasn’t well understood. It was important to change that perception quickly. I needed to get out there and let people know who we are. I talked to investors, colleagues, and peers, and asked them what they think we do and why they think what we provide is important. I was able to connect with and engage some key influencers and educate them about the power of the Transact technology.
By leveraging my network and considering their input, we gained some important insight to apply to defining a strategy for growth that everyone could support and align with. Then we were able to create the tactics needed to execute against that strategy.
Of course, it’s also essential to have strong teams in place. One of the crucial early steps was to match existing talent to the key roles and give them the ownership and authority they need to execute their own success. We have a very capable workforce and when we reorganized to position them in the right roles, we realized we only had to hire for a few new positions.
With the team and the strategic direction in place we were ready to grow, to quickly respond to user needs and be prepared to move the needle on opportunities when they appear. That’s our priority now. For example, there are straightforward payment services that we can provide, and they’re important for our users, but we can’t be satisfied with the low-hanging fruit of basic product features. We need to be nimble, and now it’s a part of the culture to prioritize growth and put our focus on the areas where we know we can make an impact. The strength of the Transact products is really a collective success story.
How would you describe the work culture within your organization? How do you differentiate between smart work and hard work?
We have a culture of innovation, accountability, and customer focus. Transact is a great example of where hard work and smart work intersect. Earning a college degree or an advanced degree is hard work. There aren’t many shortcuts in the process. The Transact technology lets our hard-working student users work smart.
Everything we do is focused on helping students work smarter. On campus, Transact solutions simplify administrative steps by streamlining operations with campus IDs, campus payments, and commerce. In short, it gives our users smart tools that let them save time and energy for what they came to college to do — work hard. With one connected campus experience, Transact works smart to deliver precious time for the hard work of college success.
What are the factors that make Transact a smart brand and why?
With our focus on mobile-first technology, we are serving the current as well as the next generation of students. We are pleased and excited to be able to say that we were the first on campus with a mobile credential fully integrated to the Apple Wallet and Google Pay. We thought our campus base, our students, would love it – and they do – but they also said, “It’s about time!” It is this dynamic with the students that keeps us on our toes.
Our approach is very comprehensive. We can serve multiple user segments from the students to their parents and grandparents. For the users of our systems, we are a single-source solution to meet multiple needs across the entire campus experience.
We have great partnerships with companies that today’s Gen Z students identify with, like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and GrubHub. These key partners resonate with students in our customer base. But we are mindful of all the demographics we serve. On the payments side, tuition payment plans are extremely important to parents paying for their kids’ college tuition, and the flexible plans allow us to provide more payment options to students and their families to match their financial needs. The way we partner with schools, and the programs we can offer, gives innovation a place to happen on campus. And that is working SMART.
What’s your take on the involvement of companies in social welfare/CSR activities? Does it make a positive contribution to the business?
Absolutely. The social issues that dominate the daily headlines are top of mind and create sometimes urgent needs for our college audience. And internally, for our team, we’ve seen that the diversity we embrace in our Transact workplace contributes a fresh way of thinking about the design and delivery of the products and services that we offer to our users.
Inherent in our strategic approach of listening carefully to users, is the ability to spot opportunities to customize our product offerings; to be responsive to many different needs, including social diversity and equity. The complexity of campus systems can be bewildering for families who are inexperienced with financial aid and payments systems. Streamlining the process makes campus life more accessible for new arrivals to the college experience.
The best and the brightest want to work in an environment that values diversity and inclusion, but they don’t care much about the talk, they want the company to act, and we have incorporated new initiatives on the issues of DEI that we hope will reverberate through the enterprise. We have hired a leader of our DEI efforts, Mechelle King, to help us create a thoughtful, intentional culture of diversity and inclusion; it’s the right thing to do and it invites our people to bring their best selves to their work, which ultimately makes us a better company.
Where do you see the company a few years from now?
It will be a much larger organization, not only from the perspective of organic growth but through acquisitions. We’ll be expanding what we deliver in higher education to other markets like K-12, international locations, and corporate and medical campuses in closed-loop city-style environments. And, of course, there will be opportunities that will come with technologies and needs that aren’t even on the table yet. It’s a tremendously exciting position to be in.
Knowing the CEO
As the CEO of Transact Campus, Inc., Nancy oversees the company’s vast ecosystem of payments, campus ID solutions, and campus commerce technology.
“We’re leading our market and pulling ahead with our innovations with mobile. Everyone is excited about what we’re doing now and where we are taking Transact, and we have the team to do it.”