Cashless Catering Is The Solution

Cashless Catering Systems Are A Great Solution To An Age Old Problem

Ensuring all pupils are being fed a daily nutritious meal, and not buying sweets with their dinner money, are just one of the many benefits cashless catering provides, parents can access the system and see for themselves what meals their child has had through the week.

HC3S has cashless catering systems in a number of secondary schools.

shutterstock_26740903These computer systems replace the need for students to carry cash around each day to pay for their meals and snacks.

The systems also provide anonymity for students entitled to free meals – no more registers identifying students as ‘different’ in order to get their lunch.

How does cashless catering work? – Cards

Accounts are set up on the catering system for each student and swipe cards issued out to everyone.

Parents/carers then need to send in cheques (cash is accepted at some schools) and the amounts are credited to the appropriate account. Some schools have also introduced the ability to credit their child’s account through secure internet payments.

Students will then be able to use the catering facilities as normal – select the items they wish to purchase and take them to the till. The cost of the items are registered on the till and the swipe card handed over for payment. As the card is swiped through the till, the amount due for the purchases is debited from the student’s account.

Students can check the amount of money remaining on their account and daily spend limits can be set by parents to ensure that not all the money credited to the account is used in a few days.

The money is held on the system and not on the card, so if a student loses their card, they do not lose their money.  If a card is lost, the student must report this to the school office as soon as possible so a replacement can be arranged. There may be a small charge for this.

For students who are entitled to free meals, this system allows them to purchase a meal in exactly the same way as every other student. The standard meal cost will be added to a free meal student’s account each day to ensure they are able to spend that amount at lunch time.

These students can also top up the money available on their account by paying in cheques or cash for purchase of items at break times for example.

How does cashless catering work? – Biometric

Exactly the same system as the Card Accounts detailed above, but instead of a card the system used a biometric scan of each pupil’s finger. Often wrongly though of as a “fingerprint” the scan converts the image of the finger into a biometric logarithm and then deletes the image. ~At each till point, and any cash revaluers with scanners attached, the pupil simply places the correct finger on the scanner to bring up their account.

From 2013 Parental Consent is required before biometric registration can be taken.  If consent is not given then a card is issued which works in exactly the same way . Originally from :

casheless catering benefits

timegenius ltdSummary: Cashless catering is a brilliant use of electronic technology that ensures peace of mind for teachers and parents. Either can check up on how their child is spending their dinner money, or rather is it being spent on school meals.

If a child loses their money they can still have a meal and it will be on credit.  Children who have free school meals no longer stand out from the others, the benefits are many and the worry of children carrying money around is no longer a problem.

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Biometrics in Schools


Will biometric school registration systems and cashless catering ever be accepted by parents, there is an awful lot of suspicion surrounding the recording of biometric data of children and young adults…

shutterstock_45307633In 2001, a decision was made by the Information Commissioner’s Office that schools using biometric systems did not breach the Data Protection Act. This decision gave Britain the accolade of being the first country in the world to commercially market biometric technology to UK schools.

In the UK, schools hold masses of data about our children.  They are one of the most surveilled school populations in the world, not only in the subjects they study, their health and eating habits, but also through the use of biometrics and location RFID tagging.

Between 2001 and 2012, biometric systems in education were initially used for library systems in primary and secondary schools. By 2006 biometrics were increasingly used for cashless catering, school lockers, school trip money payments and registration.

In 2005, privacy organisations and parents concerned about the use of biometrics in schools began lobbying Parliament, with a particular focus on the fact that schools were taking children’s biometrics without informing parents.

A person’s biometric data does not fall under Part 2 of the Data Protection Act (DPA), Sensitive Personal Data. In a child’s case any Sensitive Personal Data needs parental permission if the schools wish to use it, therefore as biometric data is not included in this category of the DPA schools could use children’s biometrics and not need to tell parents….More at Biometrics And RFID Tracking In UK Education | OneWorldChronicle

There is obviously a lot of  mis-information and hysteria, surrounding the use of biometric fingerprint systems for class/attendance registration and cashless catering. An increase in the implementation biometrics in school attendance is on the cards.

The children themselves from our experience have no problem with the idea of biometrics and are not techno phobic like some of the teachers and parents can be.

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student attendance e-registration systems