What is a biometric cashless system?
At the heart of the biometric system is a software program which recognises each individual customer, holds individual cash balances and records expenditure and cash received. It also records where and when money is spent and on what food.
How are students and staff recognised by the system?
All students and staff will be registered by biometric measurement and photograph. The biometric measurement takes a part image of some of the co-ordinates of the fingerprint. This information is then converted, encrypted and stores as a unique number. This data cannot be converted back into any image of a fingerprint, nor can it be used by any other source for identification purposes.
What data will be held on the system?
Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include the student’s name, tutor group, photo, account balance, meal entitlement and the biometric number. Other than the biometric number, this data is already held on the School’s administrative system. All the data will be handled under the guidelines of the Data Protection Act. The data will only be utilised for the purposes of the cashless catering system and will be destroyed when the data is no longer relevant (such as when a student leaves the school).
How is biometric system utilised to obtain food?
A finger will be placed on a biometric scanner at a till. This will active an individual’s account which will be displayed on screen for the catering operator, including name and current balance. The operator will then enter the selected food and drink into the system from an itemised keyboard, while the amount spent and the new balance will show on the display.
How is money entered into the system?
Money will be entered onto the system using the ParentPay secure online payment facility.
What about students entitled to a ‘free school meal’?
The system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay or have a free school meal. All students have their own account to use in exactly the same way.
The amount allocated for the free school meal will be entered into the system by the software daily and will only be accessible at dinner break.
The system will then allow on a daily basis the required cash amount for each individual student to be allotted to their current cash balance. However, any under spend or missed dinner will be identified by the system and will not be added to the next day’s balance.
The student can also add extra cash on to his or her balance in the system by using the relevant station, to enable a greater daily spend on the school dinner than allocated by their free meal allowance. As this allowance can only be spent on a school dinner, extra cash added into the system can also be used for break time snacks.