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Now more than ever, individuals and businesses worldwide are placing hygiene at the forefront of their priorities, placing strict emphasis on adhering to basic hygiene methods, such as hand washing.

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 switching to cashless for hygiene reasons during the COVID-19 pandemic and how processing payments in schools will align with high street payment methods.

Reduced contact

We're all being encouraged to self-isolate during this crisis 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 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 control who and how many people handle their cards.

Contactless transactions are one of the key benefits of using cards, particularly with smart cards, where pupils can benefit from avoiding touching the card machine altogether, reducing the risk of encountering any potential lingering germs.

With places likely to process hundreds of transactions per day, such as schools, making the switch to cashless allows the staff and pupils to control their hygiene and limit unnecessary contact.

Encourages online payments

With physical cash discouraged, more people turn 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 essential to prepare for when pupils return and take every step to ensure hygiene methods are maintained, including 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 coronavirus outbreak, governments and banks worldwide have been encouraging people to switch to contactless payments in shops, with the limit increasing to £45 since 1 April 2020.

To ensure these new rules are effective, schools need to switch to similar transaction methods, ready for when pupils return. Pupils can use contactless payments in the form of CRB Cunningham's Smart Cards, which recognise students at the point of sale and can quickly identify the pupil.

Combined with iPayimpact online payments, pupils' online accounts deduct expenses when purchasing lunch, providing a complete contactless transaction for schools.

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Decreases the need for ATMs

As many of us switch to cashless, the need for ATMs is significantly reducing, especially with the ability to use online banking, contactless payments and payment methods such as Google Pay. This change is a positive step towards maintaining strict hygiene standards since thousands of people per day use some ATMs.

Suppose 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. In that case, 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 practical hygiene standards, such as washing our hands thoroughly and using disposable tissues when sneezing.

These hygiene practices have extended into various areas of our lives, including schools where the switch to cashless payments can maintain these hygiene standards once pupils return.