Cashless Catering FAQs

A Cashless Catering System is a solution which is purpose designed to meet the ever evolving needs and demands of the catering provision, required by today’s schools and academies. This allows Belper School and Sixth From Centre to provide our students and staff with a faster, more efficient and more appealing meal service.
Credit is added to the students meal account via ParentPay. The student is identified at the point of sale using a biometric recognition system. Payment for the meal is automatically deducted from the meal account and a record of the transaction is recorded in ParentPay.

Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person. There are many different biometric features that can be used for authentication purposes these include finger image, signature, iris, retina, DNA or any other unique characteristic. The ID Store system uses an image of the finger to create a mathematical algorithm and then discards the finger image; only the numbers remain and these cannot be reinterpreted back into a finger image. It is not a fingerprint in any way, shape or form and is of use only in the Cashless System

The information of a pupil or staff member, who has been biometrically registered, is stored on a secure biometric controller within the school, which only the Cashless Catering System can access. Once an account is created, the pupil or staff member places their finger/thumb on the EPOS Terminal Biometric Reader, which looks up their account and allows them to purchase items using only this method of identification.

Registration days will take place. During these days, registration terminals will be set up in the school. Your child will attend at a requested time and will be required to place their finger/thumb on the Biometric Reader three times to obtain a matching template, which only takes a few seconds. Outside of these registration days, students can come to the IT Support desk and register their print. If you have chosen to opt-out of this procedure, your child will be presented with a 4 digit PIN code.

Balances can be checked online via ParentPay. Any account activity can also be seen including what has been purchased and when.

All free meal entitlements will be entered on to the system prior to the start of the day. The cashless catering system will, on a daily basis, automatically allocate the appropriate accounts with the free school meal amounts. The FSM allocation as of September 2023 is £3.55 per day. This can be used all at once or split between break and lunch servings. The allocation is enough to purchase the daily meal deal consisting of a main course, dessert and drink.
Pupils with FSM entitlement remain anonymous at all times as all account is accessed in the exact same manner, regardless of whether paid for or not. Please note that any monies not spent from the daily free meal allocation will not be carried over to the next day.

No – due to the security provided by using biometric readers, no-one will be able to access your child’s account. Once the account details appear on the till, the students photo is on screen for the catering staff to see. This prevents misuse or sharing of pin numbers.

No child should be unable to obtain a daily meal. The system has a built in overdraft facility that will allow the student to purchase food even if the cost is more than is in the ParentPay account. You will then receive a message notifying you of the debt and a reminder to deposit funds to bring the account back into credit.