Cashless Catering FAQs

What is a cashless system?

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. The Cunningham’s cashless catering solution allows schools to be better able to provide their students and staff with a faster, more efficient and more appealing meal service.

What is ‘biometric?’

Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person. The Cunningham’s cashless catering solution uses and algorithm based scan, which reads between 50 and 130 points on the finger/thumb. It is not a fingerprint in any way, shape or form and is of use only in the Cashless System.

How does a biometric system work?

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

How does my child register on the biometric system?

Registration days will take place during the week commencing 16 September. During these days, registration terminals will be placed in the school. Your child will attend at a requested time and will be required to place their finger/thumb on the Biometric Reader twice to obtain a matching template, which only takes a few seconds.

How do ‘free meal’ entitlements work?

All free meal entitlements will be entered on to the system prior to the ‘live’ day. The Cashless Catering System will, on a daily basis, automatically allocate the appropriate accounts with the free school meal amount. Students with FSM entitlement remain anonymous at all times as all account types are 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.

Can anyone else use my child’s account?

No – due to the extensive security on biometric templates, no-one will be able to access your child’s account. As a secondary precaution, a photo image is allocated to each student, the photograph will be shown at the terminal.

What methods of payment can be used to credit an account?

Any amount can be credited to an account logging on to your ParentPay account and selecting the Healthy Roots School Lunch payment item.  Once an account has been credited, the monies cannot be withdrawn and must be spent on the school meal/break services.

How can I check the credit on an account 

This can be accessed via ParentPay.

Can I change my child’s ‘daily spend limit?’

The school has set a daily spend limit of £5. This can be changed by written request to the school.

What happens if my child’s account is not in credit?

A ‘lend’ can be processed at the terminal, which will then allow a meal to be taken. This facility will allow for one transaction only. The debt must be cleared by topping up online before the student accesses the system again.