Payment systems for school excursions

June 13, 2023

New payment systems for school excursions

School extraocular activities that requires payments from parents can result in headaches for school admins. Which is why proper payment systems should be put in place to reduce any risks that may arise from mismanaging transactions.  Organizers have a long to-do list when planning school excursions and trips. Preparing and organizing the places to visit, the transportation, the payments of location, and food are all important aspects to consider. Perhaps the most challenging but essential aspect of planning and taking a school excursion is the payments involved.

So why is cash handling such a controversial and concerning aspect of school excursions and trips? What solutions and alternatives exist? Let’s find out.

1. Increased security risks

Cash handling during school excursions increases security risks. Having cash during a school excursion or during the preparation stages of the school trip increases the likelihood of theft or loss. If several payments are to be made during the trip, these multiple transactions can create confusion and chaos.

2. Inequality and peer pressure amongst students

Cash handling can showcase the social inequality amongst students. Students with financially disadvantaged backgrounds or difficulty paying for extra activities such as school excursions may feel excluded or embarrassed. These feelings can come from a constant reminder for organizers to make the cash payment for them to attend the activities and create a sense of peer pressure. Low self-esteem from being unable to attend certain activities, or needing to make other efforts in the hopes of attending can affect students in their classroom and other social groups.

3. Tracking and accountability

Cash handling and transactions have added stress and mental overload for teachers and organizers. Tracking who has paid the totality of the cost, giving exact change if needed, and making sure the funds are safe can be an exhausting and daunting aspect of planning the school excursion. During this process, cash-handling transactions can lead to mismanagement, financial discrepancies, and even accusations of misconduct that can result in terrible issues for anyone involved. Furthermore, cash handling during school excursions where multiple transactions are to be made, keeping track of the payments and other aspects can ultimately slow down the process, can result in delays and inconvenience to everyone attending the excursion.

4. Taking advantage of a learning opportunity

Avoiding cash handling in school excursions can be a great opportunity to teach students about financial literacy and digital payment systems. The world is increasingly digital every day. School excursions and other activities provide excellent opportunities to teach about and how to use online banking, mobile payment apps, and pre-paid cards as part of their life skills.

5. Hygiene and health considerations

During the last few years, hygiene and health concerns have gained greater significance and have been put at the forefront of people’s minds. Using physical cash involves numerous touchpoints, making it a potential carrier of germs and bacteria. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for contactless transactions has increased exponentially.

Payment Systems Solutions

After mentioning all these concerns, risks and challenges, what can schools use to replace and avoid cash handling? In our current digital world, there are many options to streamline payment processes and enhance security with funds.

Let’s see what they are.

1. Digital Payment Systems

Apps are so wildly used that transitioning to digital payment systems could be a great process to implement. Digital payment systems include mobile payment apps, online banking. Systems such as these enable students and their families to make payments electronically, eliminating the need for physical cash.

Digital payment systems can provide several advantages.

First, the convenience of making payments anytime, anywhere using their digital device, especially their smartphone.

Second, the security greatly increases. Digital payment provide encrypted payment gateways and two factor authentication that provides the security for financial transactions.

Third, the transparency and accountability associated with these transactions. Digital payment systems generate electronic records of all transactions: funds that come in and funds that go out; thus schools can easily track who has paid and what amounts.

2. Pre-paid cards

Pre-paid cards are also a great way to replace cash handling during school excursions. Pre-paid cards function similarly to debit cards, the difference is they have spending limits and restrictions. Issuing pre-paid cards to students before an excursion can provide an opportunity for learning, making sure they don’t overspend the funds and make the appropriate payments during the school excursion.

Benefits of prepaid cards include financial control, where students will be spending in a controlled environment. Setting spending limits can ensure that students manage and use their funds responsibly. Also, pre-paid cards offer details of the transactions made, allowing schools to analyze spending patterns. This monitoring allows for schools to be able to enhance the trips and excursions in years to come. Third, pre-paid cards are accepted in most establishments, allowing students the flexibility to participate and enjoy their excursions.

3. Online Platforms and Portals

Similar to mobile apps, online platforms, and portals can provide flexibility and security for the payment process. These platforms can help design a storefront for school excursions and provide a one-place, centralized platform to manage trip-related expenses.

An example of such a platform is SchoolHod for Schools, an e-commerce platform designed specifically for schools to build their school front and manage all payments and funds. These online platforms are accessible to parents to make payments online, trip information and track their child’s expenses during the excursion.

In Conclusion

Online platforms facilitate efficient communication between parents, students, teachers and organizers of any event. This communication can included important information about traveling, transportation, food and other accommodations, as well as updates and payment reminders that can be easily shared, reducing the chances of miscommunication or missed deadlines. Payment reminders serve a valuable asset in helping parents keep track of pending payments and other updates. Online platforms like SchoolHod can allow administrators to automate certain tasks such permission slips, dietary restrictions and tracking attendance.

Cash handling in school excursions poses challenges in terms of security, transparency and inclusion. Implementing alternative systems such as digital payments, pre-paid cards and online platforms can greatly serve organizers, parents, students and teachers for safer, more efficient and inclusive process for school excursions and trips. Innovative solutions mentioned above can even provide learning opportunities for students, promoting financial literacy and real life experiences managing money.

Are you interested in reducing your school’s administration cost? You are in the right place!

By digitalizing your school excursion management, and implementing easy-to-use payment systems, you can reduce risks involved with cash handling.

Want to know more? Check out SchoolHod here
Want to know more? Check out SchoolHod here
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