Durrow National School in Offaly has moved to electronic payments to make it easy for their parents to pay all school fees.
The challenge the school faced
Like so many schools around the country, both primary and secondary, Durrow NS collect school fees from parents throughout the year for various purposes. As Frank outlines, the school collects fees for a range of things ranging from swimming, book rental, bus trips and school tours etc.
Typically in the primary school setting fees are communicated to parents via a note home with each pupil and similarly the payment (cash or cheque) finds its way to the school via the pupil, Durrow NS was no different here up until recently. This activity is not only very manual and extremely time consuming but leaves little or no record of the transaction and incurs significant cost associated with lodging the funds i.e. travel to the bank, time and bank fees.
With DebaPay the money moves directly from the parent’s account to the school’s bank account. This alone is of great benefit as it immediately reduces bank fees and the requirement to handle the cash/cheques while also removing the need to visit the bank.
In terms of communication, instead of sending a note home to the parent, Durrow NS now generate payment requests via DebaPay which are communicated to each parent via email. The parent is fully informed by this email as to what the request relates to and they simply approve payment via DebaPay using their phone, tablet or PC.
Something that wasn’t covered in the short video was the reaction from the parents as a result of introducing DebaPay. A significant number of parents commented to Anne that they’re delighted with the simplicity of the system and no longer have to arrange cash or write a cheque to pay fees.
As Frank puts it, the school is now offering a great service to parents as a result of introducing DebaPay. The parents are happy and that’s what makes DebaPay work for the school.
To summarise the benefits:
– Move away from handling cash and cheques
– Full audit trail of all payments available to both the school and parents
– Efficient electronic communication between school and parent
– Removal of the pupil from the financial transaction
– Removal of the threat of break-in as cash is no longer held on premises
– Structured handling of all requests and payments
Many thanks to both Anne and Frank for taking part in the video.