Paying for school lunches in Geneva, Ill. is about to be overhauled this coming school year, as district 304 will move to a new web-based lunch debit system.
At a presentation to the school board last week, the solution to be implemented, PushCoin promised an innovative and more flexible means for processing school lunch payments, while providing additional funding options to parents.
According to the Kane County Chronicle, PushCoin will be rolled out Oct. 14 at the high school level, Dec. 1 in Geneva middle schools and Jan. 5 in the elementary schools.
PushCoin is a local solution, developed by Anna and Slawomir Lisznianski of Geneva. Established in 2012, PushCoin provides services to public and private schools, festivals, resorts and amusement parks.
The system enables schools and merchants to process payments via finger scan, contactless card, magnetic card or 2D/3D barcode. Janowiak explains that with the previous finger scan lunch payment system, money had to be deposited in the student’s account by 8 a.m., or it would not be available to pay for the lunch that day.
PushCoin, however, makes funds accessible as soon as they are deposited into the account, meaning no students will be turned away in the lunch line because money deposited after 8 a.m. is not available.
Under the previous Rev Trak system the district absorbed all the transaction fees, which according to Geneva’s assistant superintendent for business services, Donna Oberg, cost the school district $20,000 last year. PushCoin has no transaction fees, and parents making transfers with credit cards will incur reduced transaction fees. According to Janowiak, PushCoin also offers a free electronic funding option where parents can use an electronic check to fund the account with no fee.
As part of the agreement, PushCoin will also provide equipment, monitors and stands in school cafeterias at no additional cost. Parents will receive real-time reporting of all transactions via email, detailing their student’s purchases as well as warnings about low balances.
PushCoin was tested as a pilot program in the Geneva high school in May and June, and reported no problems integrating with Sodexo food service staff, who had to learn the new system.
The district will upload student records this summer and enroll the finger scans of all students in preparation for launch later this year. Students and parents who wish not to use the finger scan can elect to use a name, ID bracelet or student ID to conduct lunch transactions.