Cashless Catering

Four Dwellings is proud to have maintained its 5 Star Food Hygiene Rating in a recent Environmental Health inspection


We are pleased to announce that Four Dwellings Academy is installing an upgraded cashless catering system in February 2016. The new system, provided by Nationwide Retail Systems, will allow us to continue with the development of the school meal service, and will provide us with a more efficient, faster and ultimately better quality of service.

This system incorporates the latest technology and eliminates the need for pupils to carry cash throughout the day thus reducing the risk of bullying. It is also biometric so there is no need for pupils to carry a card as the system will recognise the thumb of your child at the revaluation pay points and at the tills.

We will commence operating the system on 22nd February 2016 and as such no cash will be accepted at the till points after this date. All students and staff will be given training on how to use the system. Any amount of money can be paid into a pupil’s account, and any money spent on food & drink will be deducted on a daily basis.

We will have three payment options available to you. The school is working with ParentPay to provide a new option to make online payments for meals, trips, music lessons etc. - more information coming soon. If you pay for meals through ParentPay, you will also have the opportunity to receive detailed information on your child’s meal choices. Coins and note payments can also be made at the revaluation pay-points and cheques will continue to be accepted.


To enable your child to be registered on the biometric system, current legislation requires us to operate an ‘Opt In’ policy and therefore we need you to complete the attached form. The preference of the school is to use biometrics as this is more secure and faster than any other method of identification and we appreciate your co-operation with regards to this matter. If you choose not to have your child registered on the Biometric System the school will provide alternative methods of identification such as 4 digit PIN code. Please note that PIN codes do not have the same level of security and it will be your child’s responsibility to remember the code and keep it secure at all times.


Q 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.

Q What is ‘biometric?’

Biometric is simply a method of identifying an individual person. The Trust-e Cashless System uses and 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.

Q 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, Nationwide Retail Systems, 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.

Q How does my child register on the biometric system?

Registration days will take place leading up to the ‘go live’ day of the Cashless System.

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

Any amount can be credited to an account by way of any of the following methods. Once an account has been credited, the monies cannot be withdrawn and must be spent on the school meal/break services.

Online Payments

We have introduced online payments through ParentPay in partnership with the Cashless Catering Solution. Payments through ParentPay can also be made at PayPoint in local retailers. You can find your local stores by visiting the website below:

Cash at the Revaluation Units

As now, cash can be used to top up accounts through the revaluation units in the canteen and school. The units accept in the following tender: £20, £10, £5 notes or £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p or 5p coins. Please note that copper coins are not accepted.

Q 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, swiping or tagging their card or entering a 4 digit PIN code. The current balance will then be displayed. This can also be accessed via Parentpay.

Q 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. The daily limit is currently set at £5.

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

A ‘lend’ can be processed at the canteen terminal, which will then allow a meal to be taken.

Q 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. 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.

Q 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 canteen terminal will alert the operator of a fraudulent sale.

Q 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. When pupils attempt to purchase an item, which contains ingredients that they are allergic to, the system will alert the operator and prevent them from selling the chosen item.

Q Can I dictate my child’s dietary requirements?

The system will allow you to register any items that your child cannot consume due to dietary needs or religious reasons. Any such items must be confirmed in writing by the parent/guardian

Q Can I request a printed report of my child’s meal intake?

Yes – the Cashless Catering Solution allows numerous reporting facilities, including dietary habits. These may be requested by contacting the school and will be available through Parentpay, if used.

Benefits of the Trust-e Cashless Catering System

  • Increased speed of service reducing queuing times

  • Increased uptake on Free School Meals

  • Anonymity on Free School Meals, reducing bullying

  • Facility to pay online

  • No need to carry cash preventing loss/theft

  • Automatic alerts to stop pupils purchasing allergy trigger items

  • Students learn about important lifestyle control by monitoring their own accounts

  • Reporting facilities help decrease wastage and improve the overall efficiency of the meal service

Data Protection Information

NRS is accredited with ISO27001 – Information Security Management System and is committed to ensuring that privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified; you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

NRS is registered as a data processor under the Data Protection Act (DPA) and operate at all times under the DPA Guidelines.

Schools’ data will remain their responsibility and they remain fully in control of accessing, managing and updating all student data within the system. Schools and the local authority are operating as Data Controllers under the DPA. All NRS Staff that may have administrator access to schools data for support purposes are Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checked.

Information collected to implement a cashless catering system is outlined below:

  1. Essential Information

  2. Admissions Number

  3. Surname

  4. Forename

  5. Form

  6. Gender

  7. Date of Birth

  8. Year

  9. Free School Meal Allowance

  10. Optional Information

  11. Photographs

  12. Ethnicity

  13. UPN

Nationwide Retail Systems Ltd does not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties. You may request details on personal information which we hold about you under the Data Protection Act 1998. NRS removes all data from servers one week after the Cashless System has gone live within the school.

If you believe that any information we are holding about you is incorrect or incomplete, please write to or email us as soon as possible, at the address below.

Nationwide Retail System Limited

Whaley Road

Barugh Green


S75 1HT

01226 732 200

What is a biometric algorithm?

The individual templates are encrypted using a 256 bit AES key that is built into the scanners hardware. Also the persisted file is encrypted using a different 256 bit AES key built into the matching algorithm supplied by Secugen and generated by a unique license purchased for each site. This is more secure than the ANSII and ISO standards that government department’s use as the Secugen Template is encrypted and the ANSII and ISO standards are not. The template data is useless and cannot be interpreted back into a usable fingerprint image. If this was not the case then there would be no world standards and performance measures for such technologies. The data is stored in an array in the RAM of the Biometric Controller and is also permanently stored on the hard drive of the Bio Controller to be restored in the event of a reboot.

Below is an example of a template code for an individual finger.


The solution is secure because the matching can only be done by the individual’s consent as the finger has to be presented to the device for matching. We do not hold images of fingerprints in our system.

The technology provided for this method of identification meets with BECTA guidelines and also allows students the option to opt out of the scheme and use a PIN number instead.

Also under the data protection act the school or caterer (the originator of the data) cannot allow access to this data by anyone for any other means than for the purpose the data was collected and that is to identify an individual within the solution we supply. Any biometric data that belongs to an individual that leaves the school is purged which also is in line with the BECTA guidelines