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General Chat Thread, On-line payments for schools. Do you accept them? in General; We have been asked to look at the possibility of accepting on-line payments from parents via our school web site. ...
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    adhutton's Avatar
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    On-line payments for schools. Do you accept them?

    We have been asked to look at the possibility of accepting on-line payments from parents via our school web site.

    These would be for things such as Dinner money, payments for school trips, after-school activities etc.....

    Does anyone have any experience of these?

    If so, how do you do them, are there any drawbacks or problems?

    We have been informed of a service called ParentPay -
    ParentPay ? the UK?s leading online provider | cashless payment collection | income management | for schools and catering providers

    Anyone used that service or can recommend any others?

    All help appreciated.

    Andrew

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    mossj's Avatar
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    I don't have any experiance of the company you mentioned but we use the company WPM, to process most of our payments, epay for the rest.

    WPM Education | E-Payment Solutions for Education

    They also offer online shop capability so it might be worth look at that as well but might be a bit pricey for a school although I know there where some at the demostations.

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    adhutton (20th November 2009)

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    If you use Joomla for your website there are many shop plugins, (trip could be an item), and they link in with paypal accounts, and accept Visa, Mastercard etc

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    adhutton (20th November 2009)

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    Was told Parent Pay, Paypal and Worldpay would be best. Some of these i believe because they do not require the parents to have a credit card to use them.

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    adhutton (20th November 2009)

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Stongly recommend you stay away from Worldpay!

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    Were I you, I'd pick a provider backed by a UK bank, so they have to abide by banking regulations.

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    adhutton (20th November 2009)

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    We use ParentPay to process on-line payments for school meals. The service works very well on the whole and the support is usually very good.

    They also provide a tool to import data from SIMS so you can easily create ParentPay accounts for parents or even staff as well if you want to.

    Their administration website isn't particularly user friendly and the documentation only covers the very basics, so you'll probably need quite a bit of help from support to get started.

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    adhutton (20th November 2009)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We use ParentPay for dinner money, trips and events. And a joomla plugin/shop with Paypal for uniform sales.

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    adhutton (20th November 2009)

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    networkingNut's Avatar
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    We currently use parent pay alongside our cashless catering system (Cunninghams). Parents have the ability to top up their childs account online. It was implemented just as I started and although I dont manage the day to day running of it (This is done by our site manager) I have not heard of any major problems with it.

    nN

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    As a parent, I love parent pay. My daughter's secondary uses it.

    Fantastic! Easy! Wish my son's school used it too.

    Very easy when daughter forgets she has no money on her lunch card... she just has to text me and I can sort it out.

    The only time it lets me down is when the letter comes home and they've put ParentPay on the letter, but forgotten to update it in ParentPay. Quick call/email to the office gets it fixed though.

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    adhutton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
    We use ParentPay to process on-line payments for school meals. The service works very well on the whole and the support is usually very good.

    They also provide a tool to import data from SIMS so you can easily create ParentPay accounts for parents or even staff as well if you want to.

    Their administration website isn't particularly user friendly and the documentation only covers the very basics, so you'll probably need quite a bit of help from support to get started.
    Many thanks to everyone so far for their useful comments.

    Peter - can you give me an idea of the likely costs for ParentPay please? (if you don't mind)

    It looks like ParentPay may be the front runner at the moment. It seems quite good if not too expensive.

    The alternative might be PayPal, but not sure how easy that would be to integrate with other things.

    Cheers - Andrew

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    Would appreciate any cost info too, as I'm looking at this as well

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    We use UPAY, run by uniware who provide our catering system. Totally hassle free as uniware run it all for us. Currently only accepts payments into our catering system, but I think it has the ability to provide payments for other items as well.

    Upay ? a Uniware initiative, designed for smart loading of your cashless account, Uniware Hospitality & Retail EPoS, Stock Control & Cashless Payment Solutions, Flexible Benefits, Smart Card & Kiosk Solutions - Index

    Mike.

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    These costings are from a while ago so they may have changed and will depend on the size of your school.

    School Setup - £100 one of cost
    Annaul Subscription - based on £200 per school then £1 per student

    Internet Transaction cost - £0.10p per transaction purchased in packs of 1,000 (£100 each)

    Bank Transaction cost - £0.12p per transaction / £0.19 for LLoyds Bank

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    We had a demo last week of a new payment service (+Pay - Helping Schools Manage and Collect Payments from Parents)

    I say new but the company behind it aren't new (ParentMail) but its the first time I've seen payment items/events properly integrated into communications (email/sms).

    It works like a wizard whereby you setup the base parameters i.e. payment description and amount, and then setup payment deadlines and associated message reminders before finally adding the relevant pupils/parents. Really neat!

    We're ordering next week so will be happy to share info with anyone interested.

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