A mobile solution for school payments

Andrew Robinson, Finance Director, Ebor Academy Trust, was keen to implement a better system for parents and guardians to pay for services such as school meals. He explains why Cardnet gets full marks from everyone involved.


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Read time: 2 mins      Added: 24/02/2023

After seeing a significant decline in cash usage among parents pre and post COVID-19, Ebor Academy Trust needed a quick and easy payment solution to move with the times. The organisation is a multi-academy trust comprising of 23 primary schools with 5,000 pupils across North and East Yorkshire.

Many of the schools have a small number of pupils, so being able to collect payments in a quick and cost-efficient way is paramount. The aim was to implement a tried and trusted payment solution without monthly fees, regardless of usage levels.

Seeking a win-win solution

Having used Cardnet mobile devices in a previous role, Andrew knew they would allow staff to quickly collect the most difficult one-off payments with the least amount of admin.

When staff spoke to parents and guardians face-to-face, they often didn’t have cash as they’d become used to paying for everything by card. Being able to take payments in the playground electronically also reduces the need for staff members to physically take cash to a local bank branch and provides a clearer audit trail for payments.

Andrew was keen to move into the 21st century. He explained, “People expect to see normality within school payment systems, so putting this in place works culturally to show Ebor Academy Trust is doing the same as normal shops and other businesses. It gives the admin staff the confidence to know they can walk up to parents with the device, and it will do what they need it to.”

Convenience is king

Using Cardnet frees up admin staff, giving them time to do other things, as they don’t have to make multiple phone calls to parents to chase up outstanding debts or arrange meetings. Parents are getting used to the fact they can tap to pay in the playground, and it’s a lot easier. Using Cardnet is becoming part of everyone’s normal day-to-day routine.

After its initial success in three schools, Andrew is rolling out Cardnet across all 23 locations. His advice for others thinking of making the switch is, “Just do it. You think it’s a big leap, but the time savings and reduced debt-collecting costs are worth it. It’s not a complex system or hard to implement. It’s convenient, and it works.”

Modernising school payments

Ebor Academy Trust’s Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank is Kimberly Whitley. She looks after 600 academies alongside a dedicated Cardnet specialist, with different options available to suit the size of the school.

Kimberly is seeing more schools embracing new technologies to remove risk and processing time of accepting cash payments. She said, “We have seen a reduction in people carrying and wishing to accept cash. Cardnet can provide academies, parents and communities with a more up to date payment method. Schools have used this to accept payments for a variety of needs including school fairs and other fundraising events and have noticed an increase in income received as a result.”


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