SIMS Agora is our complete online school payment solution, enabling schools to collect payments from parents in a simple, secure and cost-effective way. To help improve this process further, we’ve added seamless integration between SIMS Agora and SIMS Dinner Money, in addition to other cashless catering providers, so schools can ensure their school meal provision is correct, while also improving cash flow and reducing the need for debt chasing.
SIMS Agora Menu integration with SIMS Dinner Money
To provide schools and catering providers with a more efficient and cost effective way to manage school meals, we’ve created a seamless integration between SIMS Dinner Money and SIMS Agora Menus.
As a result, parents now have access to a pre-ordering service, enabling them to select their child’s meals in advance, indicate whether their child will bring a packed lunch or go home for their meal. Schools are now able to publish these menus in advance and place restrictions on when parents must make their choices known.
Thanks to the integration process, these choices are then automatically populated within the school’s dinner register, streamlining the routine and updating kitchen statistics, providing catering staff with early indication of the meal they need to cook.
Extra insight for parents
By accessing a child’s dashboard, parents are provided with useful information about whether menus are available for selection. The Menus widget will be highlighted if menu choices are available and schools are able to set dates for selections to be completed as required. If a date has been chosen, it is clearly displayed at the top of the menu and parents are able to make, amend or delete selections up to this date.
In addition, parents can look up their child’s history and check out their previous meal selections using the Meal Purchase History widget.
To make their pre-order selections, parents simply select the type of meal from a drop-down list, where the options are school meal, packed lunch or home. If either packed lunch or home are selected, then no further action is required for the day, whereas choosing school meal opens up the day’s available meal options.
From there, parents have the ability to select a main meal from the relevant options, followed by a dessert, if configured.
Round the clock access to update accounts
As SIMS Agora is an online solution, parents have access to the system 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the ability to manage payments for school meals at their convenience, adding a debit/credit card which is then reflected in SIMS Dinner Money.
From the school’s point of view, payments can be sent directly to their meal provider, thanks to the ability to define a specific bank account that they want debit/credit card, PayPoint and Post Office payments to be directed to, helping to streamline the administration of school meal payment processes. In turn, this creates a more direct solution for parents, who can pay straight into the meal provider’s bank account.
Keeping balances topped up
To help make sure that children always have provision for their meals, schools are able to define a minimum payment threshold – for instance, a school may want to decide that parents must take payments of at least £10 to cover a week’s worth of school meals. In addition, schools can define a low account threshold, at which point parents will receive a notification.
Find out more about how SIMS Agora makes online school payments simple by watching our video, or learn all the key features and benefits of our online payment solution.