Monetize LMS with eCommerce

Latitude has made it easy for portal administrators to monetize their Learning Management System with several eCommerce options. Once eCommerce is enabled and properly configured for your portal, you can offer clients, partners or distributors the ability to purchase courses and other training-related activities within the LMS. Thanks to Latitude’s partnership with PayPal, administrators can choose whether they want to accept payments via Credit Card, Direct Bill, or both. 

All credit card payments are processed through PayPal’s Secure Payment platform, requiring you to integrate a PayPal Payments Pro account in order to utilize this option. Direct billing is not processed through the LMS, so payment invoices must be generated and tracked from your organization’s preferred billing platform.

Learners who enroll in tuition-based courses can use their Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or debit cards to make online payments; or they can agree to be invoiced for the cost of tuition through direct billing. Managers can also make tuition payments on their employees’ behalf when approving enrollment requests or enrolling others in coursework.

The LMS provides payment history reports based payment type: Credit Card or Direct Bill. Use these tools for financial reporting or for auditing your billing records.

Portal Setup for eCommerce

The first step in monetizing your LMS is to log into your portal, then select Site Management > LMS Information. This page allows you to verify that eCommerce has been enabled, and if so, to configure portal-wide payment methods.

Tuition Payment Options and PayPal API Information

  1. From the Left Navigation Menu, select Site Management > LMS Information.
  2. Scroll to the "Payment Information" section at the bottom of the page. Check the box next to the Direct Billing or Credit Card (via PayPal) field to add your desired payment options.
  3. If you choose to accept Credit Card payments, you must enter PayPal account credentials into the PayPal API Username, PayPal API Password, PayPal API Signature fields. If you are unsure of how to acquire this information, please visit PayPal API Support
  4. In the PayPal Environment field, select "live" from the drop-down list.
  5. Click Submit to save changes.

Make Payment Methods Location-Specific

Portal-wide payment settings will automatically cascade to all LMS Locations. However, because the LMS allows for Organizational Branding, you can further define which payment methods should be offered at each individual Location.

To modify payment options at the Location level:

  1. Search for the desired Location and open its General Information tab.
  2. Under the section labeled “Payment Methods”, select or deselect either option -- Credit Card and Direct Bill -- for users assigned training at that organization. At least one option must be selected in order for location students to be enrolled in tuition-based courses.
  3. Click the Submit button to save changes.

Note: At least one Payment Method must be configured at the Portal and Location level in order for students at this organization to enroll in tuition-based courses.

Configure Courses to Require Tuition

Once an LMS has been configured to accept Credit Card and/or Direct Billing payments, administrators can begin adding tuition requirements to select courses. 

  1. Open the desired course and select the General tab.
  2. In the Tuition field, enter the total cost of tuition that must be paid in USD (United States dollar). 
  3. Click Save Course to apply changes.

All users will see the cost of tuition displayed as part of the course information. Students, or their enrolling supervisors, must pay the full cost of tuition in order to complete the enrollment process for this course.

Paying Tuition for Course Enrollment

Students can purchase LMS courses and other training-related activities in one of two ways: Direct Bill or Credit Card. For more information on the student experience, please review this document: Paying Course Tuition in the LMS

Enrolling Others in Tuition-Based Courses

LMS portal administrators or managers who Enroll Others or Approve Pending Enrollments for tuition-based courses must pay the full cost of enrollment on the students’ behalf in order to complete the process. Available payment methods are Direct Bill, Credit Card, or Both, depending on which have been enabled at the Location.

Students can expect to receive enrollment confirmation messages as usual, and will not be charged for launching or attending such courses.

Direct Billing

When enrolling students from Locations where Direct Billing has been enabled, administrators can fill out the tuition payment form as described below, then click Complete Purchase to finalize their enrollments.

  • Purchase Order / Reference Number: Enter purchase/reference numbers you want included with your payment information
  • Billing Agreement (required field): Administrators must agree to the billing statement in order to enroll others in a tuition-based course

Because invoices for this payment type are not processed through the LMS, Portal Administrators will rely on the standard financial report to collect and process billing information. If this is your preferred payment method, we highly suggest that you include a Purchase Order / Reference Number with every enrollment, as this field pulls into the Direct Bill report by default and can help with payment processing later.

Credit Card

To pay course tuition with a credit or debit card, complete the fields on the payment form as described below, then click Complete Purchase to finalize student enrollment. 

  • First Name and Last Name (as on Card): Enter these names as they appear on your card.
  • Credit Card: Select the card brand from the drop-down list.
  • Card Number: Enter the credit card number.
  • Expiration Date: Enter the date on which the card expires.
  • Card Verification Number: Enter the card verification number. For Visa, MasterCard, and Discover, this is the 3-digit number on the back of your card found after the account number (or after the last 4-digits of your account number) in the signature panel. For American Express cards, this is the 4-digit number printed on the front of your card above and to the right of the embossed account number.
  • Billing Address: Complete all required fields in the Billing Address section to match the information on record with your card provider. 

Note: Tuition payments are hosted within the LMS, but are actually processed through PayPal as a third party vendor. This means that all payment issues, tax analysis, tuition refunds, and other payment-related information is subject to PayPal policy and procedure.

eCommerce Reporting

The LMS comes standard with tuition payment activity reports, one for each payment method. Use these tools for financial reporting or for generating and auditing payment records.

From the Left Navigation menu, click Reports. In the pop-up window, select from the “Course Reports” section either of these two options to start collecting data:

  1. Course Payment By Credit Card Report 
  2. Course Payment By Direct Bill Report