Pick a Payment Solution That’s Tailor-made for YouYour school is unique. You won’t want the same solution as every other school; you have your own goals and needs which will require a tailored solution to effectively meet them. Some primary schools, for instance, may not need a cashless till function, but may want the benefits of removing cash payments. Take Gloucestershire, where ParentPay is used as a standalone payment and meal management solution in 175 primary schools in the County meals contract. For them, this bespoke solution has already helped to contribute to a 26% increase in meal uptake in schools who are taking online payments. But successes like this aren’t part and parcel of any cashless payments system. Successful outcomes are usually a result of thought-out planning, with schools and local authorities working with experienced suppliers who will ask the right questions to create the right solution. Anne Bull, former LACA (Lead Association for Catering in Education) National Chair gives schools some advice before they begin searching for a cashless solution: “Our partners recognise that schools have different needs and they are able to offer the right solution to create a fully cashless school. Meeting parental expectations as well as saving school resource time is also important.”.
Futureproof Your SchoolKeep an open mind when searching for your ideal cashless solution, you don’t want to limit yourself with a system that can’t be flexible to your school’s changing wants and needs. It will help your search to have a clear definition of your possible future needs. Right now, you may not be looking to collect online payments for trips, clubs, or uniforms (the benefits aren't just limited to school meals!), but implementing a solution that can facilitate a variety of payment items may be key to future success.
Get to Know Your StakeholdersA cashless payment solution isn’t just for schools, it’s for parents and caterers too, and you’ll need all your stakeholders on board for the transition to be a success. There’s no use implementing a payment service that parents don’t want to use! While there’s a lot that can be done to get your stakeholders on board once your system is in place, it’s much more effective to involve everyone in the search for the right provider, so they are engaged from day one. Clint Wilson, Corporate Development Director at ParentPay, stressed the importance of school staff understanding all of their key stakeholders’ and customers’ needs, before selecting a cashless solution: “Initially it’s about joining up what parents, schools and caterers want. Most importantly, there are some questions that need to be asked both of yourselves and of potential suppliers, to ensure that any investment you make allows your school to realise the full benefits going cashless can have.”.
What Else Do You Need to Consider?Understanding your school’s needs and aligning these with your stakeholders is key for finding your perfect cashless solution. But what else should you consider when searching around?
- 1. Goals
- 2. Functionality
- 3. Cost
- 4. Automation
- 5. Value