Commonwealth Bank has launched its mobile payment technology, QkR, to be made available for all Australian schools.
QkR — pronounced "quicker" — is an app that will allow parents to make purchases on behalf of their children, including ordering canteen meals for their kids, or contributing to fundraising, through either their Android or Apple smartphone at a time and place that is convenient for them. This also aims to reduce the amount of money that school children will need to carry on them.
Nick Aronson, transaction banking solutions, institutional banking and markets managing director of Commonwealth Bank, said QkR has been designed to provide increased control over cash flow and better stock management.
Launched in partnership with MasterCard, the QkR technology has been piloted across eight Victorian schools since July 2013, where they have experienced significant shifts away from expensive cash payments for items, such as uniform, textbooks, and school fees, with up to 80 percent of cash displaced by QkR in the opening months of rollout.
The technology is also now being used by over 17 schools across the country, including Specimen Hill Primary and Weeroona College in Victoria, and Beecroft Public School in New South Wales.
"Throughout the pilot, we've seen QkR reduce financial admin and improve the management and planning of volunteer hours," Aronson said.
Victoria Minister for Education Martin Dixon said introducing QkR to a school environment will reduce the administrative burden that schools experience.
"It has shown us there is a better way of handling thousands of transactions that are happening in schools each year in a way that saves parents and school staff a lot of time in a very convenient and easy to learn way," he said.
While schools operate autonomously from government, Dixon said he is "confident" the uptake of the technology by schools across Victoria and the country will grow based on word-of-mouth between schools and principals.
To support the implementation, Dixon said the Victorian government will help create an environment that will support what each school wants, including providing fibre optic and wireless systems to the school, and increase their internet capacities.
The QkR technology is also being used by cinema group Hoyts inside its "La Premiere" cinemas to allow moviegoers the luxury to select, order, and pay for food and drinks from their seat.