Schoolchildren in Aalborg Municipality no longer have to stuff their pockets with coins to pay for lunch in the canteen. In 2015 the municipality introduced payment cards at all 40 major schools. This led to better service for children and parents, in addition to a more efficient workflow for canteen staff.
Parents gave their children cash to take to school, while handling large amounts of cash every day was time-consuming for staff and less hygienic than using a digital payment card.
Canteen checkouts have terminals that allow children to use personal payment cards with no pin code. A photo ID flashes on a screen when the card is swiped to avoid misuse. Parents add credit to the cards via an online portal that also allows them to keep an eye on what their child eats. The time-saving cards are more secure than cash and eliminate worries about lunch money getting lost or stolen. The payment card provides a more efficient workflow in that staff, especially in outlying districts, no longer have to make bank deposits. Aalborg Municipality also reports that the children like the cards. With several different suppliers now available, payment cards are used in various municipalities. One of the first, Gladsaxe Municipality, began doing so in 2013. Staff at a local after-school programme came up with the idea. Aalborg now uses the system in its schools, libraries and care homes, just as six municipalities in Zealand and five in Jutland also use the cards.
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