In 2020, we launched our brand-new webinar series, providing a place for education professionals to learn about EdTech and engage in live discussions on industry-relevant topics, ranging from supplying school meals to reducing food wastage in schools.

The latest instalment of our webinar series saw Gareth Hunter, CRB Cunningham’s Corporate Account Manager, provide an in-depth introduction to our latest launch, Facial Recognition software.

In the Introduction to Facial Recognition webinar, Gareth delved into the features of Facial Recognition and how secondary schools can use the software for their cashless catering meal service, ending with a live Q&A session with the audience.


In the session, Gareth focused on:

> Contactless payments and the impact of COVID-19

> Benefits of new technologies in UK schools

> Introducing Facial Recognition software to UK secondary schools

> How CRBC can provide a truly integrated solution

Low-touch economy

As consumer purchasing and transaction methods evolved and changed to reduce contact and adapt to COVID-19, schools across the UK and globally have seen a significant transition to similar processes. Gareth began the session by sharing valuable insights into how consumer purchasing habits have changed and what this means for schools:

“There’s been a considerable increase in the number of contactless payments that are taking place across the UK. Since the pandemic, where 40% of card transactions were contactless, that has now reached almost 90% of all card transactions.

Contactless payments are becoming more and more part of our everyday lives and are now expanding into the school meal environment.”

As schools adapted to low-touch transaction methods throughout COVID-19, hundreds of schools across the UK turned to CRB Cunningham’s education solutions to offer a complete contactless service to adhere to social distancing rules. These solutions included our grab-and-go offering of Fusion Online pre-order meal app, combined with our iPayimpact online payment software, which Gareth touched upon during the discussion.


Facial Recognition software in schools

In the webinar, Gareth discussed how Facial Recognition software is a biometric method and how various aspects of society use the software, including mobile phones, airports and retail settings.

As consumers benefit from Facial Recognition software for various purposes, Gareth shared how to bring these benefits into schools by introducing CRB Cunningham’s Facial Recognition software.

These benefits include increased speed of service, easy-to-use technology, and how Facial Recognition is built within our Fusion cashless system for seamless integrations and system management, amongst many other advantages.

Facial Recognition in action

To help users better understand the software, Gareth demonstrated how Facial Recognition works in Fusion and highlighted how staff would authorise Facial Recognition transactions.

Gareth also highlighted how the software only works for pupils with approval to use Facial Recognition and how this appears in the cashless system.


Facial Recognition can adapt to many different environments and recognise each face template from different distances. In the webinar, Gareth demonstrated a school pupil using Facial Recognition at the point of sale standing in front of the camera up close, long-distance, and with a face mask, showing how to bring up the pupil’s account in a matter of seconds from each distance.

To highlight how Facial Recognition is a fast transaction method, Gareth shared:

“In terms of the improvement of speed over biometrics, we’re finding on average an extra transaction per minute is possible using Facial Recognition.”

GDPR and security

GDPR and consent regarding pupil security with Facial Recognition is a common concern among schools and parents, which is why Gareth addressed these concerns during the webinar and explained how the GDPR and security elements of Facial Recognition are identical to biometrics.

To elaborate, Gareth showcased the various ways Facial Recognition remains secure and GDPR-compliant, including:

> Since Facial Recognition is a biometric recognition method, like fingerprints, parents need to consent before they can use the software

> The software requires action and supervision from the till operator (not automatic)

> Enclosed system on the school server

And more!

Live Q&A session


At the end of the webinar, Gareth hosted a live Q&A session, encouraging audience members to submit their questions and discuss all things Facial Recognition. One of the questions asked:

Q: How does Facial Recognition work for identical twins?

A: That’s something that we identified very early in our test sites at Kingsmeadow [School], and with how the solution handles twins, if it’s identical twins, there is a case where it might not identify the correct twin automatically. Where Facial Recognition determines that it could be either pupil A or pupil B based on the fact that they’re identical twins, it will prompt the till operator to confirm which one of the identical twins it is at the point of sale.

Watch the entire webinar

Watch the full webinar recording and learn more about Facial Recognition software and how your school can benefit from this contactless biometric method.