This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
64 | PARENTPAY | INDUSTRY


A CASHLESS REVOLUTION


Monica Morley, school business manager, and Sara Smithdale, senior finance officer at St. John Payne Catholic School in Essex, explain why the school went fully cashless and the lessons learned in the process


Going cashless by taking payments online “Back in 2008, the time required for collecting, reconciling and banking cash and cheques was almost becoming unmanageable; we had to do something to tackle this issue,” explained Monica. She added: “Parents were


already shopping and banking online so I couldn’t see why they wouldn’t also want to pay for school items online. Having spoken to other schools using ParentPay, I persuaded the School Leadership Team (SLT) that we should start to take online payments from parents.” In 2008/09 the school started to


use ParentPay to enable parents to pay online for trips and other items. Monica continued: “Within a year we were starting to see benefits – with over £75,000 collected on trips and other items – we saved numerous administration hours, which were put to good use elsewhere. “The ParentPay system was


already giving us a good return on investment but as far as I was concerned, that was just the start, we really needed to exploit all the possibilities ParentPay offered.”


Half term report: Good so far but could do even better Despite an impressive start, around 60% of the school’s total income was still being paid in cash for school meals. To tackle this issue, the school


invested in a cashless catering system which integrated with ParentPay. This enabled parents to not only pay online for school dinners on ParentPay, but also see what their children were eating and receive low balance alerts via email/SMS text, helping to reduce the time needed to chase debt. At the time (2009) the SLT felt


it was not fair to insist parents ‘had’ to pay online, so a cash loading facility was provided for students to top-up their


"Parents were already shopping and banking


dinner money accounts. “It was a step in the right


direction, but as far as I could see, our finance team and school caterers were still spending too much administration time; time which could be beter utilised on more productive tasks,” said Monica, adding: “Around 40% of our parents were paying online for school dinners and the rest still sending children to school with cash.” By 2010, Monica and her team


felt the case to go fully cashless was now a strong one. Parents enjoyed total transparency, ease of payment and peace of mind, while the school could continue to drive forward time-saving efficiencies. For those parents without a bank account or access to the internet, the ParentPay system also allowed them to pay cash in one of the numerous local stores offering PayPoint. The whole solution was socially inclusive whilst enabling a cash-free environment in school. Senior finance officer Sara Smithdale commented: “The finance team set about communicating a very convincing


Family and school image: www.istockphoto.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72