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Biometric 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 Trust-e Cashless 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 Trust-e Cashless System uses an 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 pupil or staff member, who has been biometrically registered, is stored on a secure biometric controller within the school, which only your provider, Civica, can access with permission from the school. Once an account is credited, 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.

How does my child register on the biometric system?

Registration days take place in July for new year 7s but your child can be registered at a till.  They will be required to place their finger/thumb on the Biometric Reader twice to obtain a matching template, which only takes a few seconds. If you have chosen to opt-out of this procedure, your child will be presented with a 4 digit PIN code. The student cannot be biometrically registered without the consent form being returned first.

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

Any amount can be credited to an account.  Once an account has been credited, the monies cannot be withdrawn and must be spent on the school meal/break services.  Accounts can be topped up by either of the methods below:

            Cash at the Revaluation Units

A Revaluation unit will be sited within the school. This can be used to top up accounts by the pupil/member of staff placing their registered finger or thumb on the Biometric Reader or by entering their 4 digit PIN Code followed by inserting the accepted tender: £20, £10, £5 notes or £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p or 5p coins. Please note that copper coins are not accepted.  There will only be one of these units therefore the preferred method is SIMS Pay.

             Online Payments (Preferred method)

We have introduced online payments in partnership with the Cashless Catering Solution. To make a payment online please log into your ParentPay account.  If you need assistance with accessing or activating your account please email with the student details.


How can I check the credit on an account?

This can be done by the account holder either placing their finger/thumb on the Revaluation Machine scanner or entering a 4 digit PIN code. The current balance will then be displayed. This can also be accessed via SIMS Pay by parents/carers and on Edulink by all.

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

Yes – the amount your child can spend throughout one day can be changed by written request to the finance office at the school.  The current limit set is £7.50 maximum per day.

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

A ‘lend’ can be processed by the finance office which will then allow a meal to be taken.  This will show as a negative balance on the account and will automatically be taken from any future credit added.

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 amounts (enough for a main mean and dessert). Pupils 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 pupil (at the schools discretion). If your child is using a 4 digit PIN code, which someone obtains and attempts to use, the photograph shown at the EPOS Terminal will alert the operator of a fraudulent sale.

My child has an allergy. Will this be monitored through the Cashless System?

Yes – all allergy records registered with the school will be entered on to the Cashless System. Students should always ask the catering staff about products before purchasing them however. 

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