E-payment solutions for dinner money in Luton and Croydon

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Full set of project documents including this PowerPoint - epay.parentpay.com . Project locations and teams. LUTONLealands Secondary SchoolThe TeamFerri Fassihi Catering ManagerLealandsSchool Bursar Kitchen staffLynne TaylorProject managerOnline portalParentPayCashless systemCunninghamsMerchant/PSPSecureTradingHSBC.

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E-payment solutions for dinner money in Luton and Croydon

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1. e-payment solutions for dinner money in Luton and Croydon Working towards a ‘Cashless School’ Lynne Taylor – Project manager

2. Full set of project documents including this PowerPoint - epay.parentpay.com

3. Project locations and teams LUTON Lealands Secondary School The Team Ferri Fassihi Catering Manager Lealands School Bursar Kitchen staff Lynne Taylor Project manager Online portal ParentPay Cashless system Cunninghams Merchant/PSP SecureTrading HSBC

4. Pre-project considerations The primary issues at the core of this project are unlike those of other e-pay projects - the participating citizens are children, some as young as 4 or 5 Children’s well-being and safety is an over-riding factor. Business practices and e-government objectives must be secondary considerations A national priority is to ensure that all children are offered and eat healthy food

5. Desired project outcomes To accept online payments for school meals in primary and secondary schools To integrate online payments with existing cashless catering systems To reduce fraud/bad debt To improved cash flow To free staff time To reduce errors To enable refunds To improve social inclusion To reduce cheque and cash handling To give parents one place to pay for anything at school - 24/7 To engage parents more actively with payment processes To increased take up of both free and paid school meals

6. School meal statistics Some facts and figures Pupil population in LEA schools in England is about 7.7 million The population of pupils in Luton and Croydon LEA schools is 0.68% of that in England In Luton and Croydon, on average, 19,000 paid meals are served, per day In England approximately 2.8 million paid meals are served daily (only accurate statistics for free school meals are published) Schools are open for about 40 weeks per year = 200 days The cost of a school meal varies, particularly in secondary schools where cafeteria dining is offered – about £1.45 is a common figure in primary schools

7. School meal statistics …….. Some facts and figures cont …… Thus in England alone 2,800,000 x 1.45 x 200 = £812,000,000 approximately between £500 million and £1 billion is collected for school meals per annum

8. E-pay project timetable Croydon and Luton Catering Services were invited to join the e-pay project in August 2004 August 2004 Identify project leaders and assemble project team Review market and identify technology and financial partners September 2004 Work with schools to plan best ways to implement e-payments for school meals within their environment Portals set live in test mode in all schools Staff begin training October/November 2004 Distribute parent logins All schools live and receiving online payments At least 1 school live with dynamic link to cashless catering Review, discuss and implement adjusted working structures Invite feedback

9. Principal differences between the two projects LUTON Secondary school sector Pupils carry swipe cards for cashless catering system Central local authority account to deposit dinner money School dinners proved by local authority catering services

10. Existing dinner money collection processes - Croydon ‘As is’ in a primary school with a cashless catering system Parent or child takes cash and/or cheque to school Cash is put into a Reval Machine. A PIN number identifies the account. Money is credited immediately to the account Cheques are handed to kitchen staff who manually credit the pupil’s account Pupils take a school meal and £1.45 is debited from their account Kitchen staff empty cash from Reval machine, count and reconcile against back office report Cash and cheques are reconciled Money taken to school office safe Money collected by security company and taken to LAs cash office Money checked and reconciled Money taken to bank and credited to school bank account Invoice is raised by LA for dinners taken at the school and money debited from school bank account Initial issues an invoice to LA for all schools If cheque is found invalid for any reason, cheque is returned to school for action.  

11. Existing dinner money collection processes - Luton ‘As is’ in a secondary school with a cashless catering system Pupil takes cash and/or cheque to school Cash is put into a Reval Machine. A PIN number identifies the account. Money is credited immediately to the account Cheques are handed to kitchen staff who manually credit the pupil’s account Pupils select their meal in the cafeteria and the cost of the food is debited from their account Kitchen staff empty cash from Reval machine, count and reconcile against back office report Cash and cheques are reconciled Money is taken to school office safe Money collected by security company and taken to LAs cash office Money checked and reconciled Money taken to bank and credited to LA catering account If cheque is found invalid for any reason, cheque is returned to school for action. 

12. The project brief - the first step Using new technologies find smarter ways to collect money from parents for school meals

13. ParentPay - e-payment niche portal for schools ParentPay is a ready made solution for ALL e-payments in schools Parents can pay for school meals, trips, before and after school care, music lessons, etc Multiple merchant accounts and PSP is an option Online payments are fully functional and extensively tested

14. The Cashless School

15. What we achieved in 2 months Luton The Luton school meals e-payment portal is complete Lealands School is ready to go live but has had to delay the start due to major construction work. Electricity supply to the school has been hit on several occasions

16. School experience Pupils names extracted from SIMS (or other) The school administrator sends out usernames and passwords to all parents When there is a payment event the administrator logs into ParentPay and issues a payment request to all relevant parents As parents pay the money passes directly via the payment gateway, through an Internet Merchant Account to the schools chosen bank account As well as reconciliation data from ParentPay, the school will also receive reconciliation data from their payment service provider and merchant account. ParentPay can direct payments to several different accounts, eg, the school, the school meal provider, and the musical instrument service etc Payment information may be viewed in real time Referrals and refunds can be managed

17. Parent experience Parent is issued with a username and password by the school, this can be changed When a payment is due, eg school meals account top-up, the parent receives an email and (in the future) SMS text message on their mobile phone Parents log in, see all payments connected to each of their children They choose which payment(s) they wish to make Payment is made with credit or debit card An email receipt for their payment is sent

18. The business case in Croydon Costs for collection of dinner money Old system prior to cashless £6000 per annum/school ______________________________ New cashless system £1550 per annum Other monies within school £600 per annum Security cash collection £500 per annum TOTAL £2650 per annum/school ______________________________ Online payments through ParentPay ParentPay fee primary school £600 per annum (cost could be shared with school) PSP/merchant account fees £200 per annum LEA cashless link set-up £100 per annum Estimated transaction costs £350 per annum TOTAL £1250 per annum/school

19. The business case in Luton Collection of dinner money Security collection £38,000 per annum Staff costs Unknown TOTAL in excess of £50,000 per annum Online payments through Luton’s central ParentPay for all schools Set up (one off cost) £9900 includes annual fee PSP/merchant account fees £100 per annum ParentPay fees £2,000 per annum (included in set-up) Estimated transaction costs £34,000 per annum Cashless link/school £100 per annum TOTAL £44,100 per annum Year 1 £36,200 per annum Year 2+

20. Things that went wrong! Croydon The cashless catering system needs to be connected to the Internet. This was overlooked. A simple checklist would have highlighted this problem early in the project. It was easily resolved. ParentPay communicates directly to the back office of the cashless catering system in near real time. However the catering PC is 'put away' after meals are served. This means top-up can only occur when PC is connected. Parents must realise that there is a delay before the credit appears on the account. Since our project was a late 'entry' for an e-pay demonstrator, our delivery time was very, very short. This reduced planning time which in hind sight would have identified many of the issues we faced The business case is very difficult to present. Effective business decisions have to take second place to what is best for schools and children.

21. Things that went wrong! Luton Technology let us down badly at Lealands. Since there is major building work the electricity was turned off numerous times. This caused problems with our schedule. We should have liked more time to prepare and educate parents. Had it not been for the short lead in time for the project, next term would have been a better time to go live. Getting all local authority stakeholders to agree and support the project was an issue. Again because of the short timescale getting senior officials together to present the project was very problematic. Local authority have already chosen their preferred online payment methods. ParentPay does not support these suppliers at the moment but can do in the future

22. Things that went well Croydon We met the very tight deadlines! The system was so very easy to implement and use Every part of the set-up is controlled and managed – there was excellent co-operation between all suppliers and stakeholders There was an excellent technical relationship between ParentPay and our cashless catering supplier. Any issues that arose were quickly dealt with. The school is extending the use of ParentPay to collect money for school trips etc

23. Things that went well Luton We met the challenge! A central e-payment portal for school meals in Luton is now live It is very easy to implement and use We are able to sign up now new schools whenever we want at no extra cost Although difficulties with communication at the beginning of the project, all key officers in the Borough have given the project their full backing

24. Did we achieve our objectives? To accept online payments for school meals in primary and secondary schools - Yes To integrate online payments with existing cashless catering systems - Yes To reduce fraud/bad debt - Yes To improved cash flow – too early to know To free staff time - Yes To reduce errors – too early to know To enable refunds - Yes To improve social inclusion - No To reduce cheque and cash handling - Yes To give parents one place to pay for anything at school - 24/7 - Yes To engage parents more actively with payment processes - Yes To increased take up of both free and paid school meals – too early to know

25. Lessons learned 3 pieces of advice from Luton Select a central portal that can evolve and grow with emerging technology Think big but start small Set deadlines to go live and keep them 3 pieces of advice from Croydon Understand how your schools are managed and structured first before attempting to introduce e-payments for school meals Build on existing sound manual practices Keep it simple

26. Lessons learned ……….. Local authorities with a common goal but with different styles and objectives can gain much from working together

27. e-payment solutions for dinner money in Luton and Croydon Working towards a ‘Cashless School’ Lynne Taylor – Project manager

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