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MIS Systems Thread, Online Payments - Thoughts Please in Technical; Our school is looking at implementing an Online Payment package for parents. We are a Primary school of around 320 ...
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    GeeHubb's Avatar
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    Online Payments - Thoughts Please

    Our school is looking at implementing an Online Payment package for parents. We are a Primary school of around 320 pupils and are using SIMS, with SIMS dinner money and Schoolcomms as our communications package.

    Governing Body have decided that we should use ParentPay as this is what our local secondary school use and will enable parents to 'see' any children they have in either school. They were under the impression that ParentPay would replace Schoolcomms on the comms side and as it includes a dinner money module, would also replace SIMS DinMon, which is of course, a charged extra, thus saving a bit of money.

    I have reservations...... Is there anybody out there using ParentPay with the dinner money module that could give me some insight please (I've already worked out that it won't replace Schoolcomms for absence texting and attendance links). In particular what is ParentPay support like?

    Many thanks for any thoughts you can pass on!

    Gill

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    If your already a Schoolcomms customer they too now have a parent payment module as part of their system - it may be worth you investigating that.

  3. Thanks to Sylv3r from:

    GeeHubb (1st March 2013)

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Schoolcomms does do payments, I'm pretty sure.

    ParentPay has had more than a few issues, just search these boards or ask @john, although it seems to have gone quiet recently.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    Schoolcomms does do payments, I'm pretty sure.
    "The only online parent payment system that integrates with SIMS Dinner Money - find out more."

    Not quite true, SIMS Agora does too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post

    ParentPay has had more than a few issues, just search these boards or ask @john, although it seems to have gone quiet recently.
    I am indeed a ParentPay user and very happy to say that, touch wood, the last 12 months have been fine, including the start of year (which for us was mammoth with moving to Cashless Catering in June (Nationwide Retail Systems) for just Y9,10 and 12 (rest on exam leave) and then in September we enlarged, became dual sited and had Y7 to Y13 and everything just worked.

    Parents paid up, students put fingers on tills and they said they have money and thus ate food, sales of food went up to ParentPay etc... so yes it is much better which I do think is down to significant investment of time by the team at ParentPay who have put a lot of work into it. I did have a good chat to them at BETT this year and thanked them for the support they have given us as I know they were keeping an eye on our transactions due to the major changes for us in September and it was good to know they were there at the end of the phone to support if required.

    Support wise I don't have a lot to do with it now that it is actually working but when I have had queries they have been responded to in efficient time and to a good responce. We are encouraged to ask our LA IT Team for advice but in most cases they are useless as I seem to know more than them in a lot of cases and a lot of our glitches are not fixable by the end user they need a more back end approach so to speak which means they just would pass it on to ParentPay so cut them out and it works fine.

  7. 2 Thanks to john:

    GeeHubb (1st March 2013), zag (23rd April 2013)

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    GeeHubb's Avatar
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    I just get a sinking feeling whenever I think about it. We looked at Schoolcomms payment module last year, before it linked with SIMS Dinner Money module. I would have liked to have investigated SIMS Agora - though I expect cost would have ruled it out (but don't know that) and would have re-visited Schoolcomms. However, the Governing Body have decided we will be using ParentPay regardless of whether (IMO) it is the best solution for us! I would have put both SIMS and Schoolcomms ahead of ParentPay for the simple reason that we are very happy with SIMS Dinner Money module, it works well and we have no reason to change it.

    It just feels like we are taking one step forward and a massive leap backwards!

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    Love_Sausage's Avatar
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    To be fair to ParentPay, we had a nightmare at first, but over the last 6 months it's been fault-free. The support now has a telephone number which gets answered every time and they have just released details of a big overhaul of the admin interface which looks very good indeed.

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    We're just starting out with Parentpay - letters out to parents today, live in 3 weeks, cashless after Easter - so obviously don't know how it will be day to day, but so far, they've answered the phone every time, replied to emails and done what they said they would. Other local schools have taken this route and are very positive about it. Slightly disappointed that it won't integrate with the attendance module in SIMS, but I'm told that's coming by September.

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    Schoolcomms payment module looks good, and they just are trialling a new app for messaging which is also cool and will save money on texts.
    Might be worth checking what the backend is on the payments module, as they do integrate with other partners with some things. For example, Groupcall Emerge users are able to send messages via Schoolcomms if they use them, which is great to see between two competing companies

  12. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    Schoolcomms (11th March 2013)

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