Harris School Solutions

How to Find the Best Contactless Payment System for Your School Nutrition Program

If your School Nutrition program is weighing options for accepting and managing contactless payments, be sure to take the following points into consideration in order to ensure that the solution works for your school.

Make it convenient (for students/parents and for your team).

Any digital payment solution will accept payments. Beyond that, you need to look at the details to see what else a given system can do. One of the most important categories of functionality that often goes overlooked is convenience. The more convenient a contactless payment solution is, the more likely parents and students are to use it (which helps to boost participation), and the easier it will be for your team to process transactions.

Here are some convenient functions that a good digital payment system will offer:

For Parents
  • View student meal transactions and account balances.
  • Use the payment app on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
  • Notify parents when account funds are low.
  • Set recurring automatic payments to ensure accounts are always refilled.
For School Nutrition Teams
  • Receive payments directly into the cafeteria Point-of-Sale (P.O.S.) system.
  • Route funds directly into your district bank account.
  • Easily report on transactions with built-in tools.
  • Determine and set payment types, descriptions, and rules.

Ensure accountability.

When dealing with money, accountability is a must-have. The last thing you want is missing data, unassigned transactions, or accidental purchases in your system.

Be sure to look into how the touch-free payment solution you’re considering provides accountability from payment to bank reconciliation. For example, can parents view what exactly their child is purchasing for lunch? Does the system use the latest security measures (256-bit, PCI-compliant digital encryption) to protect your data? These types of features are easy to overlook when researching digital payment systems, but if something goes wrong down the road, you’ll wish you hadn’t forgotten to check for these features!

Get your money’s worth.

Scalability is crucial for any system your School Nutrition program purchases. This will help your school get the most value for the cost of transforming your payment process so that it is touch free. You should be able to use the digital payment solution for each cafeteria across your entire district. Don’t stop there, though. Why not choose a system you can use outside of just the School Lunch program?

If possible, consider a touch-free payment system that also works as a solution for your school store, sports, clubs, and other programs and items. Don’t overlook smaller items like yearbooks, parking passes, and fundraisers. Some contactless payment software will even give you the ability to provide shipping directly to students’ and parents’ homes.

Incorporate the new software seamlessly into your current infrastructure.

Good contactless payment systems will allow you to sync payment information back to your Student Information System, and will work with the other third-party software you currently use. This includes your main School Nutrition management solution as well as other common software like MealTracker, CafeConnect, LunchExpress, and ADM.

By choosing a contactless payment software that integrates across your school’s current software infrastructure, you will help every department in your school get their work done faster, easier, and more accurately, from Finance and Accounting to any other department that uses the digital payment software.

Want to learn about a contactless payment software that does all of this and more?

Complete the form below to be contacted about EZSchoolPay!