The student enters a PIN code or identification number and chooses the desired products. Subsequent recordation of the transaction and analysis of nutritional values follow. The machine is equipped with a dispenser sensing system for assured product delivery.
Paykey USA uses RFID chip
PaykeyUSA's Schoolvend software relies on Paykey payment technology. A Paykey involves the embedding of a RFID chip into a plastic fob or tag device. It functions as a stored value purse that is used in place of cash for purchases at specially equipped vending machines.
The Schoolvend program is designed to provide parental control and oversight over a student's school foodservice purchase habits at a Paykey-based vending machine. Parents are empowered through an ability to custom configure a cashless, stored value Paykey capable of restricting permissible products, quantities, and time of day transactions.
Parents of school children can access the Schoolvend Website to custom configure a Paykey to deny choices or purchase options. In other words, a parent can veto product selections to modify student behavior during the purchase process.
System gives parents more control
Based on the planogram selected by the school foodservice management, a parent can identify on a permission grid the items they wish to allow their child to purchase. For example, in a beverage machine, the parent may allow water and juices to be chosen, but prohibit carbonated selections.
In other words, just because a product is offered in a machine for sale does not mean the key will allow that item to be selected. In addition, a parent can also restrict or limit the number of items that can be purchased during a specific time frame (e.g. no snacks before or after lunch period).
The schoolvend Website can also be used to load (and re-load) cash value to the embedded chip through credit/debit card payments.
A parent can add value to a student's Schoolvend account or re-configure the Paykey at any time. In addition, a Paykey recharge station or kiosk can also be used for in-person configuration and reloading.
Vending: The school foodservice solution
A variety of vending solutions that have emerged to not only help foodservice directors improve student access to meal programs, but to assist them in their efforts to educate youngsters about nutrition. In addition, these technologies have proven to be an invaluable tool in monitoring students' meal choices.
As school districts recognize the way in which technology enhances the education function and the monitoring of student choices, government entities at all levels will realize there is more to gain from vending than most have ever imagined.
About the Author:
Michael Kasavana, Ph.D. is the NAMA endowed professor in hospitality management at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich. He has been researching vending technology for several years.