St John’s College is adopting smart ID card technology to improve security and efficiency
Schools are increasingly becoming targets for armed heists because thieves believe they hoard huge amounts of cash from school fees, tuck shop sales and the like. This presents serious security risks to teachers, learners and associated personnel, and to navigate this challenge some schools are resorting to cutting-edge technology.
Allxs Media boasts a suite of technology-based solutions that helps schools deal with the threat. Its technology is able to facilitate a cashless payment system through a platform that seamlessly integrates services such as security, access and stock control, bus ticketing and attendance tracking, among others. The centrepiece of the technology is Near-Field Communications, a cloud-based data system capable of combining a series of functions.
St John’s College, a prestigious Johannesburg-based private school, is the first to secure the technology that will enable the institution to streamline its campus transactions and control structures. Through a smart school ID a number of functions can be carried out with speed and convenience. These include opening doors, paying for meals and managing bus rides, something that the school has definitely been seeking, according to its IT manager, Peter Henning: “The school has been operating a cashless tuck shop for many years, and migrating to a new system had to offer more value than [just] a different way to do the same thing.”
Effective delivery platform
According to Raphael Domalik, Allxs’ director, “We provide integrated platform that can be shared by several parties while keeping their own security and privacy intact. St John’s College is the perfect example of a complex ecosystem of suppliers, parents, faculty and students. This requires a system that allows each party to manage their businesses independently, but [is] streamlined, ensuring a superior end-user experience.”
Cashless point of sale
The college has, as is the case with many schools, outsourced its tuck shop to a private catering company. It also hosts an onsite restaurant and coffee shop and with the smart learner ID, parents will now be able to manage their spending and their dietary requirements and have access to detailed reporting and communication. Similarly, the catering company is provided with a fully-fledged cashless point of sales system that enables it to manage stock, report and place pre-orders in advance, thus helping to improve efficiencies and control waste.
The management of the catering company wishes to encourage healthier eating habits on campus while also creating excitement and innovation, and the Allxs platform complements this by utilising the loyalty and reward management module where learners are “rewarded with points and vouchers for healthy eating habits through the seamlessly integrated loyalty engine in the cashless point of sale”.
With the same card, the school management can gain access to the learners’ dormitories, “manage the photocopy machine and control the stationery purchases for their staff”. Plans are afoot to include other similar vital applications such as managing bus tickets, attendance tracking and access control. The system does not only provide a “dedicated dashboard for parents, vendors and learners” but is also “accompanied by a mobile application which is capable of account management, voucher and coupon management, beacon enabled communication” and a range of other features.
“We are very excited to work with a leader like St John’s College and look forward to delivering industry-leading innovation for campus life in 2017, while creating increased convenience and security,” concluded Domalik.