A Hertfordshire-based housing association teamed up with a payments solutions specialist to revolutionise residents’ meal accounts.
North Hertfordshire Home (NHH), which was formed over ten years ago via a stock transfer of properties from North Hertfordshire District Council, owns or manages more than 9000 properties, including general needs housing, temporary housing for homeless people, as well as Retirement Living and Flexicare housing for older people with care needs.
NHH has been working with payment solutions provider allpay since 2005 for its wide range of payment collection services, but decided to go live with the firm’s cashless catering service in 2012 in a number of Flexicare schemes for people aged over 55.
NHH believes its residents need access to high-quality and nutritious meals, especially when food preparation becomes difficult.
Although its residents are able to eat in their own flats, the housing organisation likes to provide the option for people to eat together as it tries to promote social interaction and a healthy, balanced diet.
However, to implement such a service, an easy, worry-free payment process needed to be introduced, which is where allpay offered to help.
Allpay implemented its Cashless System for NHH’s meal account programme after decided the implementation of fingerprint recognition may be too complicated.
With the allpay solution, all residents carry their cash cards and it excludes no one, whereas fingerprint recognition may have been difficult for some, for example, those with Parkinson’s Disease.
“We provide fresh food every day to our residents. In order to handle monies safely, we use the allpay tills to keep records of monies in and out of the system,” claimed Tony Best, care services manager at NHH.
“allpay are major players in this provision and have implemented the system successfully for schools across the UK, so it was felt that the system would work for our residents.
“In particular, the system safeguards staff that handle money for our residents, giving them receipts and account details when requested which can be printed off for transparency,” he added.
As allpay products were already in use in the organisation in other departments which were enjoying success, it seemed like a natural choice to go with this supplier.
After implementing the allpay solution, NHH has been able to increase the flexibility of its service and minimise the amount of cash that staff are required to handle.
“The innovation of this idea has meant that any risk to our staff regarding financial abuse is minimised immediately,” claimed Best.
“Residents feel they are in control and can ask for a record of payments whenever they like. Allpay provides a good service and is responsive to any needs or developments we may have.
“We would recommend this product and its attributes,” he added.