QkR, launched at Mentone Primary School yesterday, provides schools with a mobile payments system, allowing parents to pay for things like uniforms, excursions and canteen lunches all from home using an app.
The program has been undergoing a pilot test across 8 schools in Victoria since July 2013, and is currently in use by over 17 schools across Australia. CommBank and MasterCard said yesterday QkR is now available for schools to implement nationwide, and the companies said Australia was selected as the first market globally to launch the technology, reflective of local adoption of innovative technology.
CommBank said the pilot results were extremely positive, noting that pilot schools have experienced significant shifts away from cash payments, with up to 80% of cash displaced by QkR in the opening months of roll out.
QkR's aim is to allow better stock management and provide increased control over cash flow and will save parents time by enabling them to order meals, contribute to fundraising and pay for school items through the one app, at a time and place that is convenient to them.
“CommBank is delighted to launch this global first technology with schools across Australia," said Nick Aronson, Managing Director, Transaction Banking Solutions, Institutional Banking & Markets, Commonwealth Bank.
"Throughout the pilot, we’ve seen QkR reduce financial admin and improve the management and planning of volunteer hours.”
Victoria Minister for Education, The Hon Martin Dixon MP was "pivotal" to introducing the technology to schools by involving schools in Victoria in the original pilot.
Speaking about the technology, The Hon Martin Dixon MP said: “Technology plays an important role in reducing the administrative burden. It has allowed our schools to focus on what they do best – educating our future generations. I am pleased that Victorian schools led the roll out of this technology in Australia."
Nick Aronson also pointed to the benefits QkR can provide other businesses and industries throughout Australia.
“CommBank is passionate about providing more efficient and convenient payment solutions that help Australian businesses provide a better service.
"We see technology as playing a significant role in supporting businesses across a range of industries from retail, government, entertainment and education,” Aronson said.
Mentone Primary School Principal Marcelle van Maanen was on hand to help launch the product, and said her school's trial was a massive success.
"We need to be quite discerning about what we put our time and effort into, and the trick for us is to select initiatives that genuinely offer innovation when it comes to the processes we have at our school", she said.
"Using the QkR app here at Mentone through the pilot program has proven to be one of the best decisions, and it's had huge advantages to the way we do business with parents. We don't have a canteen but we have 400 students, so that's 400 daily clients, and there are things like fundraisers, excursions, special lunches and uniforms that all mean students would normally have to come to school with cash in their pockets. They don't now."
For more information check out the QkR website, here.