At St Aidan’s we use a cashless payment that allows students to buy their lunch and break-time snacks without the need to carry cash every day.
The system is called ParentPay and is aimed primarily at making payments for school meals, but it may be extended for payments for school trips and other items in the future.
ParentPay is the country’s market leader in online payment systems for schools, allowing parents to make secure e-payments in their child’s school account quickly and easily by debit card. Incorporating the latest technology, it reduces the risk of lost money and does not require students to carry a card or remember a PIN.
ParentPay gives parents the freedom to make payments whenever they want, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many parents welcome the certainty that money paid using ParentPay will reach school safely and that it can only be spent on school meals and snack items. It also gives parents the ability to view online what deposits have been made and the amounts spent.
Parents who wish to register with ParentPay, should contact the academy for information on how to register and for log-in details and passwords.
Students have their fingerprint scanned to register them on the system when they join the academy. (The actual fingerprint image is not retained but is converted to a number, which the system recognises.) Each student then has a school meal account set up in their name. When they come to ‘buy’ their lunch or a snack in school, the system recognises their fingerprint at the till.
In order that each account has credit to allow a purchase, parents or carers need to put money into their child’s account in advance. Any amount of money can be paid in and the money spent on food and drink is deducted on a daily basis. No cash is accepted at the till points in school. There is no daily spend limit automatically applied to a student’s account, although parents can ask for this if they wish.
The cost of a lunchtime ‘meal deal’ is £2.20. This is for a set menu, but students can opt to spend more or less as required.