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Is your school switching to a 'Grab and Go' lunch service? Increase efficiencies, ensure social distancing and remove contact from the school dining hall with a truly cashless solution. 

Now more than ever, individuals and businesses across the world are placing hygiene at the forefront of their priorities, ensuring basic hygiene methods, such as hand washing, are strictly adhered to. With this focus on reducing the spread of germs, many companies are turning to cashless and contactless card payments to ensure minimal contact, and reduce the risk of spreading bacteria.

We’re discussing the various benefits of schools making the switch to cashless for hygiene reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the way payments are processed in schools will align with high street payment methods.

Reduced contact

During this crisis, we’re all being encouraged to self-isolate as much as possible, therefore any measures we can take to reduce non-essential contact when schools return should be taken, which includes handling money. Switching to cashless payments ensures that physical contact with others can be reduced as much as possible whilst practising safe payment methods, whether that’s in the form of smart cards, pre-order apps/kiosks or smart boards in schools. 

The World Health Organisation has warned that banknotes can remain infectious for many days and has advised users to wash their hands after handling cash. By making the switch to cashless payments, we can protect our health, the health of others and adhere to the strict hygiene standards when making transactions.

Control over our payments

When we handle physical money, we're likely to come into contact with germs from thousands, even millions of people, however, with cashless payments, pupils and staff are in control of who and how many people handle their card.

This is one of the key benefits of using cards, especially smart cards, where pupils can benefit from avoiding touching the card machine altogether, reducing the risk of encountering any potential lingering germs. With places where there are likely to be hundreds of transactions per day, such as schools, making the switch to cashless allows the staff and pupils to be in control of their hygiene and limit any unnecessary contact. 

Encourages online payments

With the use of physical cash being discouraged, more people are turning to online payments to avoid face-to-face contact with others. Online payments allow us to order and buy virtually anything we need without having to leave the sofa, helping us to avoid the crowds and stay safe at home.

Whilst schools may be closed, it’s important to prepare for when pupils return and ensure that every step is taken to ensure hygiene methods are maintained, which includes making the switch to cashless. Our online payment method iPayimpact, integrated with Fusion, allows parents to top up their child’s account for various school payments, reducing the need for cash on the premises and decreasing the risk of germs being spread. Similar to how we use credit and debit cards when shopping on the high street, pupils can pay for their school lunches in various ways, including pre-order and smart cards, which will deduct the balance from their online account. 

Contactless

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, governments and banks across the world are encouraging people to switch to contactless payments in shops to avoid spreading germs through banknotes and coins, with the limit increased to £45 since 1 April. To ensure these new rules are effective, schools need to make the switch to similar transaction methods, ready for when pupils return. Contactless payments for schools can be used in the form of CRB Cunningham’s Smart Cards, which recognise students at the point of sale and can easily identify the pupil and be used for access control to specific school areas. Combined with iPayimpact online payments, the balance from pupils online account is deducted when purchasing lunch, providing a complete contactless transaction for schools.

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Decreases the need for ATMs

As many of us make the switch to cashless, the need for ATMs is greatly reducing, especially with the ability to use online banking, contactless payments and payment methods such as Google Pay. This is a positive step towards maintaining strict hygiene standards since some ATMs are used by thousands of people per day. If parents top up their child's online account for their school dinners, combined with cashless catering options such as Fusion's pre-order mobile app or kiosk, pupils can avoid using ATMs altogether. 

There have been many discussions on how the coronavirus outbreak has encouraged us all to take more care and emphasised the importance of maintaining effective hygiene standards, such as washing our hands thoroughly and using disposable tissues when sneezing. These hygiene practises extend into various areas of our life, including for school's, where the switch to cashless payments can ensure these hygiene standards are maintained once pupils return.