How to become a Cashless School in 5 easy steps

, | 28th March 2018

UK is the third most cashless society in the world, after Canada and Sweden, which were found to be ahead of the trend in discarding cash. In the UK,41% of cards have contactless functionality, and British consumers own 1.48 debit cards per capita, pushing it to third place in the charts.

As the nation goes cashless, the same goes with Schools. Especially due to the growing concerns about the security of storing cash on-site, more schools than ever are going cashless in 2018. Schools and caterers are also enjoying significant benefits including reduced administration time and direct cost savings. There are undeniable issues around pupils bringing cash and cheques into school to pay for school meals, trips and clubs. Cash can be spent on treats on the way to school, might provoke bullying or can be lost.

For all the reasons above, inevitably, you want to become Cashless. But how do you initiate the ‘‘Going Cashless’’ project at your school?

Here’s a list of 5 steps that can help your school prepare for a Cashless Payments Future.

1.Think about your school & stakeholder needs

You aim for a simpler, convenient way of transferring money. It is important to communicate the benefits to all the stakeholders from the start of this process. Make sure you understand the needs of the different groups and stakeholders addressing them with your cashless system.

Think about the future. You will need an agile, flexible, scalable solution that can grow along with you in the future. You may currently only wish to use the system for school meals, but soon you may include school trips, uniforms or allow for print control, vending machine sales and various sales options.

2. Create a Cost/Benefits table

It is always a good idea to showcase to the School leadership team why it will be beneficial to go cashless. Create a table of Cost/Benefits and highlight the advantages of using a cashless solution over time, as well as the cost of managing cash and cheques. Sum up the administration cost and time your school can save.

Focus on points such as the fact that administrators and library administration staff have immediate access to payment and deposit reports with cashless payments. Moreover, pinpoint the fact that you can increase your revenues with the online top-up, an effective way to increase spend per pupil. Cashless meals keep spend in school and may boost revenue up to 20%. Make a comparison between your own situation and another school that uses cashless payments solutions to showcase in a clear way the benefits of the system.

Synel Cashless Till

3. Choose the right supplier

Make the most of your investment by selecting the right supplier. Before you select a supplier ask yourself the following questions: Which methods of identification you need to use; Card, Biometrics or selection by photo? What types of hardware such as tills and printers do you want to use? What design and user views accommodate your needs? Would you prefer, for example, to see the user’s photo on screen? How user friendly is the application, menu design and reports? Does it provide other options like vending machine sales and various printing and copying options? How Free meals and Bursary managed and is it discrete? Finally, you must be aware of the supplier level of service and the cost of each cashless solution.

4. Set Targets and adjust your Strategy

It is important to set measurable targets early on that provide a clear overview of the benefits of the system. What is the number of students that select the school cashless catering system instead of packed lunches? How much has the intake increased and have the queues in your school canteen been reduced? Has the school catering service improved overall?

Make sure your targets are realistic and achievable. Ask your suppliers for examples of successful cashless implementations and their deliverables. Remember that having specific targets will help you implement your strategies to achieve the desirable outcomes.

5. Communicate and implement the plan

Communication is key. As soon as you have agreed upon a strategy for the implementation of your new cashless system, it is important to start designing a communication campaign focused on the different stakeholders.

Describe analytically to students, parents and staff what to expect. Use emails, newsletters, SMS campaigns and parents’ evenings to raise awareness of the new cashless payments solution. To maximise the impact don’t forget that constant reminders and updates can help you increase the number of users as well as the total revenue for your school. The whole transition to cashless may last up to 12 months. In this period, with careful planning, you can maximise the benefits and significantly reduce any potential drawbacks.

Synel UK develops, produces, supplies and installs computerised systems for data collection, biometric identification, electronic registration and access control applications for education. Synel UK has over 25 years of experience as a total solutions provider, offering a full range of hardware and software as well as full UK based service and support team. More than 2000 companies and highly respected educational institutions in the UK are using our systems. We are proud to have served City of London School, Royal Academy of Music, Bryanston School, Northampton College, Southgate College, Bryanston, London School of Business and Finance, The Lady Eleanor Holes School just to name a few.

For more information on the how and why of Going Cashless or advice on what system is best for your school, contact Synel UK at,, or call at 02089009991.

If you enjoyed this blog post you can also read more interesting blog posts on Cashless Systems here…

School Cashless Systems help reduce childhood obesity


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