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MIS Systems Thread, On Line Payments in Technical; Bearing in mind the fact that the days of bank cheques are numbered I'm wondering are any schools offering / ...
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    On Line Payments

    Bearing in mind the fact that the days of bank cheques are numbered I'm wondering are any schools offering / looking at facilitating online payment systems. If so, how easy to set up is it and what are the pitfalls?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We use 2 systems - ParentPay for trips, events and dinner money, and a virtuemart shop, linked to paypal for school uniform sales.

    Easy enough to set up and maintain.

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    We have just surveyed all of our parents to see if they would use a service such as parentpay - feedback up to now looks positive so we will probably look to launch it for September - this will be used for School Dinner Money and trips. From what I have heard from other schools and seen from the demos this does look good but could be a little on the expensive side as the school pays by the transaction.

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r View Post
    We have just surveyed all of our parents to see if they would use a service such as parentpay - feedback up to now looks positive so we will probably look to launch it for September - this will be used for School Dinner Money and trips. From what I have heard from other schools and seen from the demos this does look good but could be a little on the expensive side as the school pays by the transaction.
    Schools also pay be the transaction for cashing cheques usually (well, if they have a local bank account anyway). The price per transaction isn't that bad, compared with a full merchant account setup.

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    Don't forget BACS - this can save a school >£1000/year. There's also Direct Debits for fee paying schools.

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Don't forget BACS - this can save a school >£1000/year. There's also Direct Debits for fee paying schools.
    With BACS - bear in mind that many LEAs don't allow BACS as a payment method due to the lack of paper trail. Our LEA doesn't, for example.

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    If an LA is saying that and you are still using cheques, the school needs to push back. BACS has a complete audit trail, is safer than cheques and there is no excuse not to make use of it.
    Serious savings can be made. Similarly, FMS has links to the DCSF OPEN marketplace and this can save a similar sum by bypassing paper, stamps and seeing what each supplier is charging.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    At the school where I work, we always give out the details for on-line banking and parents rarely use it

    At my daughter's (secondary) school ParentPay has been in use for some time for all payments from dinner money to trips... and, as a parent, I love it!

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We currently use ParentPay linked to our Cunninghams Cashless catering system - we also you for trips etc. Saves alot of time and paper!

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Schools also pay be the transaction for cashing cheques usually (well, if they have a local bank account anyway). The price per transaction isn't that bad, compared with a full merchant account setup.
    We must be lucky in this respect as the LA absorbs any transaction for our cheque banking here. The cost per transaction is prohibitive if parents are adding small amounts each week £5 etc - theres way and means around it for schools by adding an additonal cost to school trips to cover the transaction costs - although probably not allowed to do it.

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    john's Avatar
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    Were a ParentPay School, and to date we have taken £0 on it! and the cash and cheques continue to flow into the finance office from the kids. Fine its early days but we had hoped by now some parent may have been online and paid but alas not yet Was easy to setup though and the people at ParentPay are very helpful when you get through to them.

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Were a ParentPay School, and to date we have taken £0 on it! and the cash and cheques continue to flow into the finance office from the kids. Fine its early days but we had hoped by now some parent may have been online and paid but alas not yet Was easy to setup though and the people at ParentPay are very helpful when you get through to them.
    Perhaps it needs more promotion?

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    ParentPay here - They no longer accept cheques/cash in the school unless it's the only way....

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    Were a ParentPay School, and to date we have taken £0 on it! and the cash and cheques continue to flow into the finance office from the kids. Fine its early days but we had hoped by now some parent may have been online and paid but alas not yet Was easy to setup though and the people at ParentPay are very helpful when you get through to them.
    ParentPay here - They no longer accept cheques/cash in the school unless it's the only way....
    I think with something like this you have to go fully into it - if you carry on accepting cash then they will still use it - it does depend of the situation of the parents.
    We use ParentPay as the only way of accepting money for the Cashless Catering - therefore parents are used to using the system and tend to use it for school trips but for trips we also accept cash/cheque

    Toby

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    speckytecky (26th April 2010)

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    mjs_mjs's Avatar
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    I think it can become an interesting debate as to if you allow cash/cheque. I'm sure somewhere in law you HAVE TO allow cash as it is a legal form of tender. but don't quote me on it 'cos I'm not sure.



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