At the end of 2012, Stonefields School Principal Sarah Martin was invited to trial Kindo, software designed to allow parents to pay any student fee online, 24 hours a day, in one place. The school began the trial in Term one 2013 and currently offers parents online payment options for trips, ICAS exam payments, camp, Mathletics, Maths Whizz, swimming, fundraising events and school donations
- By the end of Term two, 60% of Stonefields families were registered as Kindo users.
- 95% of budgeted school donations payments had been received by the end of June – 20% of them via Kindo
- A school fundraising quiz, advertised through the school e-newsletter with a link to Kindo sold out more than a week ahead of the event. This compares with the previous year when the PTA struggled to fill seats for the same event.
- Student payments are being made faster and less cash and cheques are being handled in the office
- The school administration workload is reducing and there is less traffic in the office immediately before and after school.
“The system is easy to administer,” confirmed Principal Sarah Martin. “It allows us to charge families for activities as the fees are incurred, rather than rolling all the payments into one lump sum due at the beginning of the year. It’s a more transparent pay-as-you-go option for families. We received 95% of our budgeted school donations by the end of June this year – almost 20% paid through Kindo.”
With an increasing number of double income families in the school community, part of the system’s appeal is that it fits the lifestyle of working parents and gives them the flexibility to pay online at their convenience. Parents are finding it increasingly difficult to find time to pop into the office.
Angela Cosford is the mother of two Stonefields students in year zero and year three. She started to use the school’s e-commerce software as soon as she heard about the new payment option.
“I prefer to pay for as much as I can with my credit card to earn points. I’ve really enjoy using the system, it’s very logical.”
Kindo software supplies a weekly audit-ready report of payments taken over the previous seven days to back up the single lump sum transferred directly into the school bank account every Friday. Currently payments then have to be manually entered into the school’s financial system but Stonefields is working with The Growth Collective on a development that will allow the school to automate this process so information can be uploaded directly into their student management system. Update 2016: Student Management System ETAP now integrates with Kindo to provide this automation.
Ease of use: Camp refunds
Recently Stonefields ran a Year 7/8 school camp. Two children were unable to attend at the last minute due to illness, so the school had to refund payments. One family had paid through Kindo leaving a clear audit trail – the school was able to repay the money quickly and easily with no need to seek further information. The other family had paid by cash or cheque. It took longer for the second family to receive their refund and tied up much more administrative time in the process.
“We’re getting money in much faster since we started using Kindo,” said office administrator, Ellie Kinley. “The system is easier for our parents – we’ve had no complaints at all. Kindo has no set up cost, it’s up and running within a day and is so easy to manage. I really can’t see why any school wouldn’t give it a go.”