Cashless lunches to reduce queues and encourage healthy eating
Blessed William Howard Catholic High School is launching a cashless payment system in the school canteen. As of 3rd June, pupils will simply scan their fingers in special biometric reader units before making their lunch choices, removing the need for cash transactions.
In addition to speeding up lunch queues, the system allows online tracking and reporting on pupils’ food choices which should also encourage them to make healthier eating options.
The Trust-e Cashless Catering System from Nationwide Retail Systems Ltd will be implemented in the school over the coming weeks. Other benefits include providing anonymity for those on free school meals and giving automatic allergy alerts to prevent pupils purchasing allergy trigger items.
‘Trust-e’ will allow parents to pay online for meals via ParentPay, whilst monitoring exactly what food is being purchased. Students will also learn about important lifestyle control by monitoring their own accounts.
Special biometric terminals are being installed in the canteen where pupils simply scan their thumb or finger rather than handing over cash. The scanner will take a variety of different readings (but not actual finger prints) that are totally unique to that individual in order to make identification secure and fast. For those who wish to opt out of the biometric readings, there is an added option of a shielded PIN device.
Any amount of money can be paid into a pupil’s account, and any money spent on food and drink will be deducted on a daily basis. A daily spend limit will be programmed into the system and can be increased or decreased for an individual student by making a written request to the school finance office.
“The changeover to a cashless canteen should bring about all sorts of benefits to our pupils” said Phil Smith, Headteacher at Blessed William Howard. “As well as increasing the speed of service it will allow improved nutritional and dietary control. Healthy eating will be encouraged and can be monitored through the reporting facility and there will be no more using school dinner money for out of school purchases.”
Pupils have now registered their biometric identity and the reader terminals will be installed in the coming weeks.