Annual Conference & Awards Ceremony


Join us for an inspiring and memorable few days at an idyllic estate in the heart of the stunning Hertfordshire countryside, for our Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony.

The WPM Annual Conference brings together nearly 80% of the UK's higher education institutions over 2½ days to learn and benefit from sector research and insights, case studies and panel discussions, as well as unique networking and collaboration opportunities.

Institutions are committed at the very highest level to improving the student experience, and making a payment may be one of the first dealings a student has with a university. Payers overwhelmingly want to pay online, and facilitating that has been proven to deliver broader operational improvements. This conference will provide you with the tools, knowledge and support you need to enable positive changes around payment processes, both at a strategic and operational level.

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Who Should Attend

We invite all of our clients to attend this event. We will look at how WPM services can assist on a strategic level whilst not losing sight of the operational aspects of the payment process. The content has been developed to allow you to explore areas which are of particular interest to you. The content is suitable for all levels, including:

  • Key Users / Users
  • Finance Directors
  • Heads of Department
  • Team Leaders

Benefits of Attendance

We will have an action-packed agenda where WPM customers will have the opportunity to:

  • Discover unique insights from the latest research findings
  • Hear from some of the most respected and inspirational specialists in the sector
  • Share challenges and best practices and learn from others
  • Network with peers as we bring the sector together
  • Celebrate payment process excellence at the 2020 WPM Awards Ceremony


Day 1 - Plenary Presentations
09:15-10:00 Registration
10:00-11:15 Welcome & WPM Overview
Holger Bollmann, WPM Education
11:15-12:00 From A to B: Higher Education after Augar and Brexit
Nick Hillman, HEPI
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-13:30 WPM Research: Balancing Your Strategic Drivers
Sheona Griffiths, WPM Education
13:30-14:00 Pay it Forward: Maximising the Efficiency of Your Payments Processes
Sam Sanders, KPMG
14:00-15:00 Panel Discussion: KPMG Benefits Review
15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
15:30-16:00 The secret life of university economics - a look at how the changing Higher Education market impacts competitive tension, student recruitment, cost drivers and investment
Ian Koxvold, PwC
16:00-17:00 Closing Keynote: Turning Ambition into Achievement
Jamil Qureshi, Leading Business and Sports Psychologist and an Expert in High Performing Teams
18:30-23:00 Networking Event
Day 2 - Wednesday 5th February: Plenary Presentations & Workshop Streams
08:00-09:00 Registration
09:00-09:30 The Value for Money Debate: What Do Students Really Want?
Jim Dickinson, Wonkhe
09:30-10:00 Improve Your International Students Payment Experience: What’s Important In 2020
Sheona Griffiths, WPM Education
10:00-10:30 WPM Product Roadmap
Peter Murdie, WPM Education
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
11:00-11:45 Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard V4.0 and Beyond
Jeremy King, PCI Security Standards Council
11:45-12:15 Anti-Money Laundering and KYC: Identifying the ‘Red Flags' of reputational and legal risk and how technology can mitigate them
Stephen Platt, KYC Global
12:15-13:00 Panel Discussion: Credit Control Processes
13:00-14:00 Lunch with Hot Topic Tables (Hosted by WPM Experts)
Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
Research Consulting Customer Success
14:00-14:35 UK Payer Insights 2020: Understanding Students & Parents
Providing an in-depth analysis on the latest WPM/YouGov survey of 3,000+ UK students and parents to contextualise the results, trends (over 6 years of this research), and recommendations for applying the data to improve your payer experiences.
Introduction to the WPM Payment Acceptance Capability Maturity Model
Learn about WPM's proprietary Payment Acceptance Capability Maturity Model, which has been developed specifically to help Finance departments benchmark their processes and highlight potential areas for improvement. This model has been developed in conjunction with the sector to ensure a more eloquent approach to assessing processes and prioritising and justifying the need for change.
Customer Success: Your Operational Support & Training Resource
Providing an overview of the role of your Customer Success Specialist in helping support your operational use of the Payment Platform, as well as facilitating longer term and ad hoc training requirements. Highlighting our ability to advise on best practice and cite examples to cater for differing business requirements.
14:35-14:40 Transition
14:40-15:15 Chinese Focus Groups: Observer Insights
In the latest round of Chinese Focus Groups, three of the institutions involved sat in as observers. They all remarked on how powerful it was hearing directly from their Chinese students and in this session they will share with you what they learnt. Join the Universities of Liverpool, Edinburgh and Lancaster as they discuss what surprised them, challenged them, and what they intend to do with this new insight.
Introduction to the new WPM Payment Acceptance Toolkit
Providing an overview of the latest version of the WPM Payment Acceptance Toolkit (being released in conjunction with the conference), which now includes a guide to efficiency / inefficiency of existing payment methods, and how best to utilise this to drive better understanding, and identifying/prioritising, opportunities for reducing effort and costs related to payment processing and related processes.
Customer Success: Identifying and Overcoming Barriers
An interactive workshop exploring the common barriers to change within financial institutions, focusing on your systems and processes. We'll explore the most common challenges, and their solutions, as found in WPM's Customer Success reviews. Customer Success Specialists will be hosting tables to provide guidance on your institutions' specific challenges and how these can be resolved.
15:15-15:45 Coffee Break
15:45-16:20 Improving Your International Students Online Journey: Role of Finance?
University websites are vital sources of information for international students. But many are falling short of providing students with a clear route to effective payment pages. One brave institution has offered to put their website under the microscope for workshop participants to uncover the usability issues and create a more positive student payment experience.
Maximising the Value of WPM’s Consultancy Team
As a key value added service for WPM clients, this will provide an overview of where WPM’s Consultancy team can assist institutions to deliver tailored research findings, advise on potential payment requirements, provide in-depth recommendations regarding different approaches to payment methods / options, and help scope out specific solutions. This will include specific examples, including contribution to Student Lifecycle projects, helping develop business cases for changes to communication and / or processes, and assisting in understanding / responding to broader business requirements (e.g. debt management/reduction).
Customer Success: Best Practice Case Studies from Across the Sector
Customer Success: Best Practice Case Studies from Across the Sector.
16:20-16:25 Change Over
16:25-17:00 Communication with International Students: The Power of Video
Poor communication continues to be a barrier to a good payment experience for international students, especially in their first year. Video could be a powerful tool to improving communication with your international students. Video gurus, Tanami, will be taking you on a practical journey to show how video could help you solve some of your communication challenges.
Best Practice around Payment Processing / Debt Management
Following on from some detailed work WPM’s Consultancy team has been conducting this session will look at different models being used to ensure payments are processed in an effective manner with a view to avoiding them becoming a debt management issue. It will then also explore different approaches being used to “manage” debt, what we perceive as the pros/cons of different models, and examples of how we can potentially assist in making more detailed recommendations by working with individual institutions.
Customer Success: Payment Acceptance Practitioner Training
This session is focused on helping attendees understand the opportunity, and need, for having one or more users attend Payment Acceptance Practitioner training. This will explain the outcomes and potential benefits users will be able to bring by having been on this training to help be the “champions"” for driving improvement to the payer experience, promoting staff efficiency, and helping manage external costs. They will also be the main conduits for interaction with your Customer Success Specialist to help expedite your ability to maximise the value you derive from the breadth of the WPM Payment Platform.
18:30-19:30 Pre Dinner Drinks
19:30-23:30 Awards Dinner
Day 3 - Thursday 6th February: Payment Acceptance Exhibition & Interactive Workshops
08:45-09:30 Registration & Networking in Exhibition Area
09:30-10:10 Networking in Exhibition Area Optional Sessions Optional Sessions
10:10-10:40 Coffee Break
10:40-11:15 Networking in Exhibition Area Interactive Workshop: Best Practice in Identifying, Understanding and Tackling Tuition Fee & Related Fraud Optional Sessions
11:20-11:55 Networking in Exhibition Area Optional Sessions
12:00-13:15 Lunch with Hot Topic Tables (Hosted by Sponsors)
13:15-13:50 Networking in Exhibition Area KPMG: Identifying & Realising Benefits around Payment Processes Optional Sessions
13:55-14:30 Networking in Exhibition Area Optional Sessions
14:35-15:10 Networking in Exhibition Area Interactive Workshop: Anti-Money Laundering and KYC: Processes and Procedures to Minimise Risk Optional Sessions
15:15-15:50 Networking in Exhibition Area Optional Sessions
16:00 Exhibition Close

Highlights from Previous Events

What Did Our Attendees Think?

"What a fantastic event, thank you everyone at WPM. Slick, professional, informative and fun!"

Sally Taylor, Colchester Institute

"From us all at Abertay University, thanks to WPM for a great conference (professionalism and hospitality both first class). Looking forward to next year's conference already, see you there!"

Marlyn Clark, Abertay University

"Huge congratulations to the whole WPM team for an amazing event and brilliant to meet everyone. I will be following up in the next few weeks and hoping Glasgow Caledonian can make some meaningful connections with our peers across the sector."

Deborah Cunningham, Glasgow Caledonian University

"Successfully completed my first conference and what a conference it was. Big thanks to the WPM team for the event they have put on. Looking forward to next year already!"

Scott Lowes, University of Sunderland

"Thanks Holger and the super efficient team for yet another fab conference."

Aled Wynne, University of South Wales

"What a fantastic, energising, well thought through conference. Looking forward to working with WPM soon to deliver a plan that will mobilise and transform our payment journeys across the entire LTE Group."

Andrew MacDonald, LTE Group

"Big thanks to Holger and all of the WPM team. Fantastic conference as usual. Going back exhausted but full of lots of information, ideas and enthusiams. Lovely to meet lots of new faces and great to catch up with regulars."

Ann Rimmer, Liverpool Hope University

"What a fantastic event. An amazing opportunity to share some very achieveable best practice, meet new people who speak the same language and share in your pains and triumphs. Thank you to all at WPM."

Katie Huxham, University of Exeter

"Thanks Holger and the super efficient team for yet another fab conference."

Jo Brewin, Loughborough University

"Goodbye Edinburgh. Thanks to the team at WPM for making my first conference a great conference."

Jonathan Netting, University of Plymouth


This event is free to attend. Limited subsidised accommodation is available at £99 including VAT for a single room including breakfast.

Register now