Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect more information about how Katy ISD is paying for Pay N’ Go.
This fall Katy ISD parents will navigate a new program to pay for students’ meals and course fees as well as sign up for free and reduced lunch.
KISD Chief Financial Officer Chris Smith said at the June 24 board of trustees meeting the new online system, called Pay N’ Go, will be unveiled on the district’s website July 10. In addition to promoting the new system, administration plans to create videos to help parents learn how to use it.
Families will still have the option to pay for school fees with cash, Smith said. But for the 70% who pay for meals online and the 65% who pay course fees online, Pay N’ Go is an upgrade to the existing online payment system implemented in 2003, Smith said.
Pay N’ Go is expected to increase efficiency, improve customer service, improve resources for families and reduce risks, Smith said. One of the biggest benefits to users is they will no longer have to pay a 4.99% transaction fee on their purchase, he added. The new system lowers the transaction fee to 2.5%, and KISD has budgeted to cover this cost.
Other benefits to parents from Pay N’ Go include:
- signing up multiple children only one time for free and reduced lunch;
- creating interactive meals to see nutritional information; and
- tracking children’s meals to see what they purchase.
Additionally, the new system will be faster, friendlier and more accurate for KISD when it comes to reporting, Smith said. It will also reduce risk by lowering the number of checks and cash moving around the district.
“We wanted to enhance what we were already doing,” Smith said. “We already had a pretty good foothold; we already had a lot of traction. But we couldn’t do any more, [and] we wanted to … do more. We want to increase efficiency districtwide.”
There was no development cost to implement the new online payment system, Maria Dipetta, KISD media relations and multimedia manager, said in an email. Instead, the system’s developer, RevTrak, will collect the transactional fees from purchases made on Pay N’ Go.