What is a biometric cashless system?
At the heart of the biometric cashless system is a software program which recognises each individual customer, holds individual cash balances and records expenditure and cash received. It also records where and when money is spent and on what food.
How are students and staff recognised by the system?
All students and staff will be registered by biometric measurement and photograph. The biometric measurement takes a part image of some of the co-ordinates of the fingerprint. This information is then converted, encrypted and stored as a unique number. This data cannot be converted back into any image of a fingerprint, nor can it be used by any other source for identification purposes.
What data will be held on the system?
Certain data will be held on the system to enable accurate operation. This will include the student's name, tutor group, photo, account balance, meal entitlement and the biometric number. Other than the biometric number, this data is already held on the Academy's administrative systems. All the data will be handled under the guidelines of the Data Protection Act. The data will only be utilised for the purposes of the cashless catering system and will be destroyed when the data is no longer relevant (such as when a student leaves the Academy).
How is biometric system utilised to obtain food?
A finger will be placed on a biometric scanner at a till. This will activate an individual's account which will be displayed on screen for the catering operator, including name and current balance. The operator will then enter the selected food and drink into the system from an itemised keyboard, while the amount spent and the new balance will show on the display.
How is money entered into the system?
By using the WorldPay online secure internet site, enabling payment by debit /credit card.
How will the student check his/her cash balance in the system at any one time?
The account balance can be checked using one of the terminals in reception by activating the terminal via the biometric scanner.
What happens if a student or member of staff does not hold a sufficient cash balance to pay for food?
There is no overdraft facility on the new system. Students and staff must have enough money in their accounts to purchase food or drink.
How is the entitlement to a free school meal handled?
The system works exactly the same for all students whether they pay themselves or have a free school meal. All students gain access to their accounts via the biometric scanners. The amount allocated for a free school meal will be entered into the system daily by the software and will only be accessible at lunchtime. Any under-spend or missed dinner will be identified by the system and will not be added to the next day's balance. Students entitled to a free school meal can add money to their account as other students.
How will the biometric cashless system encourage healthy eating?
After the new system has been operating for a while, we will explore the ways we can use the recorded information about food consumption and nutrient intake, in particular, for the purposes of healthy eating awareness and understanding. When the food is selected, the system can register ‘reward points' in recognition of students choosing a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet. This information can then be used for healthy eating awards. Eventually, it should be possible for each student to be access the record of their eating habits, so they can begin to make choices about nutrient intake in the context of nutrient understanding. This may become part of food technology lessons.