Taking cash out of schools
With automated payment methods and debit cards replacing traditional cash payments, it is becoming more common within businesses industries, and now, most recently, schools are switching to cashless. Figures from the Payments Council published on Education Business reveal that cashless payments overtook traditional cash payments in 2014 for the first time.
What are the benefits to schools going cashless?
There are many benefits of switching to cashless systems, one of which affects a school's budget and resources. Offering parents the ability to review their expenses and top-up their child's online account is a great way to boost a school's income and spending per pupil.
Although small payments such as those regularly made by parents for school meals, uniforms and educational trips contribute considerably to the overall school income, they can also create a market deficit when they go unpaid. 'Dinner money debt' is now a serious concern for schools, with one council in Wales recently revealing a debt of over Â£130,000 aggregated over five years. A cashless system diminishes the potential for unpaid fees.
Furthermore, taking cash out of schools benefits budgets by saving the hefty cost of the physical collection of money to deposit at a bank. Ami's cashless software generates daily, weekly or monthly reports with ease, providing access to information on meals consumed, overdue accounts and food wastage, all of which contribute to lowering costs and reduced administration time.
As for the benefit of a school's resources, cashless catering systems free up a considerable amount of time for the administration staff. Taking cash out of schools can cut down the tiresome task of physically collecting and chasing cash payments from pupils and parents via mail and telephone.
Software such as AMI's Infinity and Transact frees up these essential resources for use in other ways. Administration staff can easily monitor payments, view historical purchases, and make audit trailing a lot more efficient. Using cashless software, schools in the UK have saved on average two and a half days of administration time a month.
How do cashless schools benefit parents and students?
Taking cash out of the school system is not only time saving, but it gives parents the peace of mind that pupils spend money in the way as intended with online payments. Pre-paid school meals mean parents know that children use lunch money for healthy, nutritious meals.
Additionally, parents no longer need to send cash or cheques for circumstances such as school trips or extra-curricular activities. Ninety per cent of parents stated that they preferred to pay online, according to a survey from LACA.
Ami's cashless catering solutions also increase parent convenience and control. They are accessible from any location with an internet connection, optimising parents' increasing access to computers and hand-held devices. Almost one in 10 public school pupils are from overseas, so this level of access is beneficial for those families.
What are the benefits of removing physical cash from schools?
Removing physical cash from schools allows for increased student safety. Adopting a cashless system prevents age-old issues such as bullying, lunch money theft and potential misplacement or loss and eliminates any money safety issues. Students also no longer need to worry about forgetting to take cash to school and missing out on meals, as they are already pre-ordered and paid.
How can going cashless make a school more efficient?
Ami's cashless catering software is flexible and works around each school's requirements. During lunchtimes, for example, cashless software systems provide significant time-saving benefits such as reducing queues. Schools can cut down lengthy waiting times for their students and staff through quick and straightforward identification methods such as PINs, pre-order kiosks and more.
Pre-ordering meals in advance greatly minimise food wastage. Ami's software allows school meal service providers to know exactly how many portions of each meal option to prepare that day, eliminating over-catering and ensuring children receive the meal that they want.
What benefits does a cashless system have on a social level?
Cashless catering software removes any potential discrimination of students by providing â€˜Free School Mealsâ€™ (FSM) anonymity. A recent LACA survey revealed that 4.9 per cent of pupils entitled to a free meal do not take up their entitlement. The stigma of FSM is still very much apparent in schools, yet with a cashless system, all students have the same method of payment option, regardless of their circumstances.
Cashless systems have also proven to promote healthy eating, encouraging pupils to eat the nutritious meals provided, which is exceedingly essential when tackling the childhood obesity crisis and leading to a better learning environment. Mealtime pre-ordering encourages parent engagement and allows parents to control what their children consume when they are not with them.
The Schools & Academies Show is an exciting event that brings together education professionals, school leaders, and decision-makers across the UK. The show serves as a platform for showcasing innovative solutions, such as cashless catering, and sharing best practices in the education sector.
Amidst the buzz and enthusiasm, ami Education had the pleasure of exhibiting at the event alongside Tucasi, payment and administration software providers.
Infinity+ Cashless and Chip & Pin live demonstrations
At the Schools & Academies Show, ami Education proudly showcased the Infinity+ Cashless catering system, revolutionising cashless processes in UK and international schools.
The live demonstrations highlighted the seamless and efficient point-of-sale experience, impressing attendees. This smart system manages student accounts and processes orders at the point of sale effortlessly, providing a convenient and secure dining experience. Visitors learned about the extensive reporting suite, offering insights from free school meal usage to catering reports and discovered how to harness this data to streamline operations and reduce administrative tasks.
Furthermore, ami Education debuted their highly anticipated Chip & Pin technology, which received a positive response at the event. Popular amongst sixth forms and secondary schools, attendees experienced the contactless solution and appreciated the availability of multiple payment methods. Attendees saw first-hand how ami Educationâ€™s Chip & Pin terminals optimise the dining experience and empower educational institutions to streamline operations and provide a seamless payment experience.
â€œOur POS software is evolving with features such as Chip & Pin and additional features. But the next big thing weâ€™ve got to do now is go cloud-based.â€
- Tony Reeves, General Manager.
Infinity+ Order receives positive engagement with attendees
Alongside the Infinity+ Cashless & Chip & Pin demonstrations, ami Education was excited to showcase its cutting-edge Infinity+ Order pre-order school meal app at the Schools & Academies Show. The demonstrations highlighted how students could seamlessly check balances, browse menus, and conveniently pre-order their meals from their mobile phones.
This revolutionary app transforms how students order their meals, ensuring efficiency and convenience. With Infinity+ Order, pupils have easy access to a wide range of menu options, the ability to pre-order meals in advance, and the flexibility to customise their choices based on dietary requirements or allergies.
The Infinity+ Order app empowers staff to efficiently manage meal preparation and reduce food waste by accurately anticipating meal demand. This topic was very relevant at the show due to the current challenges schools and academies face. The app lets pupils control their dining experience, ensuring they receive their desired meals quickly and conveniently.
â€œSchools are starting to like the pre-order solution, as they can allow pupils to pre-order up to three weeks in advance. Pupils only have to go to the till point and collect their meal.â€
- Tony Reeves, General Manager.
ami Educationâ€™s participation in the Schools & Academies Show at the London Excel was met with excitement and enthusiasm.
The Schools & Academies Show served as an excellent platform to showcase our solutions, and we are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to positive change in school catering. ami Education remains dedicated to driving innovation, fostering positive experiences, and propelling the education sector forward.
|To gain further insights into the exciting world of ami Education, watch our exclusive interview with Tony Reeves, our General Manager. In the interview, Tony delves into groundbreaking innovations, transformative approaches, and the future of cashless solutions in education. This interview provides a deeper understanding of our commitment to advancing education institutions.
If you couldnâ€™t attend the event but still want a demonstration, donâ€™t worry! Book a demo with our team today to learn about implementing cashless catering, pre-ordering or Chip & Pin software in your school. Our team are here to provide all the information and support you need.
We are delighted to announce that ami Education will be showcasing our Infinity+ cashless catering product suite at the upcoming Schools and Academies Show in Excel, London, on May 17th.
Explore Our Infinity+ Cashless Catering Product Suite
We are excited to join forces with school admin and online payment provider Tucasi at stand G16 to demonstrate our integrated cashless and online payment solutions for schools and academies.
During the event, we will showcase our Infinity + cashless catering product suite, including brand-new Chip & Pin payments and pre-order meal app, designed specifically for secondary school and sixth-form students. Attendees will benefit from a first-hand demonstration of our cashless software.
â€œWe canâ€™t wait to team up with Tucasi to bring our integrated cashless solutions to the Schools and Academies Show. As one of the key events in the education calendar, the show will offer an excellent chance to provide real-time demonstrations of exciting new developments from ami Education and, importantly, connect with professionals and find out more about their school needs and discover how we can support their development plans.â€
-Tony Reeves, General Manager at ami Education.
Discover the Latest Cashless and Online Payment Solutions
The Schools and Academies Show is a great opportunity for schools and academies to discover the latest technology and products for the education sector. At ami Education, we are excited to showcase our unique product offering which combines our Infinity+ cashless system with a comprehensive reporting suite, pre-order and payment options, and fast speed of service, all fully integrated with Tucasiâ€™s SCOPAY online payment app.
Whether you want to streamline your cashless payments, improve your catering service, or simply want a faster, more efficient payment system, our solutions are tailored to meet the needs of schools and academies of all sizes.
Book Your Ticket
You can book your free event ticket for the Schools and Academies Show here. If you are attending the Schools and Academies Show, visit our team at stand G16 to learn more about our unique cashless and online payment solutions.
For those who cannot attend the show but would like to learn more about our cashless solutions, please book a demonstration with our team.