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How to Create a Cashless Campus with SymPAY

Today, students desire cashless payments more than ever before. With the ease and convenience delivered by the simple tap of a card or a quick thumbprint on a smartphone, student transactions are now overwhelmingly carried out using technology rather than polymer.

According to data produced by our EPOS systems, universities processed 11m in debit card or credit card payments compared to a mere 400k in cash transactions between September 2020 and July 2021. And with the contactless limit increased to £100 in October 2021, the preference for plastic over cash is only set to continue.

So why do students prefer to pay this way, and how can universities and other higher education institutions provide a cashless solution that works for both them and their students?

Why Students Prefer Cashless Payments

Students are busy individuals, often in a hurry to traverse campus in a bid to reach lectures, seminars, and library study sessions on time. For them, speed is everything, making cashless the preferred option when grabbing a quick bite to eat. A quick hold of the card or smartphone near the reader and the payment is complete, and they are on their way again.

As a whole new student generation gets used to living with COVID-19, cashless also presents a much more hygienic way to pay and reduces their chances of contracting the virus.

Why Should Universities Explore Cashless Payment Solutions for Their Students?

Of course, there is always an onus on universities and higher education establishments to provide an excellent student experience. However, while upgrading to a cashless solution will boost student satisfaction by meeting their expectations, the benefits actually stretch much further.

Increasing cashless transactions reduces the time spent processing transactions in dining halls and on-campus shops. There's also no need to examine cash discrepancies when staff cash up tills at the end of each day.

Transaction volumes should also increase, with many 18-24-year-olds admitting their spending has gone up since owning a contactless card due to the convenience of paying this way.

Finally, security is improved with less cash held on-premises, human error is significantly reduced during busy periods (e.g. miscounted change), and when using "closed-loop" systems such as SymPAY, universities receive thousands of data points that can be analysed to deliver vital marketing insights and opportunities.

So what is SymPAY, and how does it help students and universities benefit from cashless payments?

What is SymPAY? How Does it Work?

SymPAY is an application developed by MCR Systems that facilitates cashless transactions for students on campus. Students have the option to use the app or a connected contactless debit card and can track/top-up their balances through the mobile app at any time.

This payment solution, which can be completely customised with your university's branding, is a "closed-loop" system, meaning you can understand exactly when your customers are spending, how much they are spending, what they are spending on, and where they are spending. The attached SymPAY marketing manager software then uses this data to drive marketing campaigns and targeted offers via scheduled email or app notifications.

Other benefits of the SymPAY cashless solution include:

  • Universities receive the cash in advance

  • Payments are restricted to retailer outlets

  • Transaction charge per top-up (not per transaction)

  • Far greater control over accessibility and benefits

  • Builds customer retention through improved, data-based loyalty marketing

Contact MCR Systems Today to Learn More About Going Cashless

With over £6 million in student transactions processed between September 2020 and July 2021 alone, SymPAY is fast becoming the leading cashless payment solution on campuses across the United Kingdom.

With numerous benefits for students and higher education establishments alike, SymPAY represents the quickest method for introducing a frictionless upgrade to existing payment systems.

With increased transaction speed and volumes, cash received in advance, and unrivalled data insights that deliver powerful, targeted marketing campaigns, now is the time to transform your universities payment infrastructure.

To book your free SymPAY demo, call our experienced team on 0116 299 7000 or email


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