SCHOOL TUCK SHOPS GO CASHLESS
TapTuck – a card based, cashless school payment solution – is on a mission to create healthy and safe educational environments with the added bonus of sparing stressed parents those hectic school mornings that take last-minute-dot-com to a whole new level.
So, no more mornings spent making lunches with the last few slices of stale bread or scrabbling around looking for change for the tuck shop. Goodbye to lost permission slips or finding funds for school events that you never knew were happening.
Now, parents can load pre-paid funds on to a card to order and pay for healthy tuck shop meals, uniforms stationery or electronics or even school events.
“We enable multi-merchant transactions within one platform, creating a true cashless school environment. We offer our tuck shops healthy menu advice and we enable parents to make these healthier choices on our platform. We enable all other merchants on campus to list and deliver products and services safely and conveniently. We help create a safe and secure, contactless payments at campuses across the country,” explains TapTuck CEO, James White.
In short, he has simply taken many of the tech applications and solutions that are available to businesses into one of the more emotionally charged and complex environments known to woman or man – the classroom. In addition to sorting out the tuck shop dramas, parents can use the TapTuck App to pre-order and pay for uniforms that are delivered to a child’s classroom, secure a child’s entire back-to-school stationery list or make random stationery orders (again delivered to the classroom) or purchase sporting equipment, tablets and other big ticket items.
One of the chief advantages is peace of mind knowing that youngsters don’t have to carry large sums of money to school.
Parents can also set pocket money and card spend limits – and use the system to teach children how to manage money in a way that easily translates in to the day to day bank related transactions with which they will deal as they grow up.
To create TapTuck, White – who describes himself as a serial entrepreneur and lover of all things tech – has worked with his Durban business partners Tim Strang (chief growth officer) and Byron Verreyne, chief technical officer of ORDEV, an innovation house that partners with market experts to develop profitable digital platforms that solve everyday problems.
A lot of experience at the so-called university of life also helped.
After matriculating, White went straight into the hospitality industry, earning his stripes from waiter to manager of various restaurants. During this time, he also continued with his studies in BCom Marketing, as well as his BCom Hons in logistics.
After graduating, he exited the hospitality industry and went to work for the Maersk Shipping line. But, the call to go back to hospitality was strong and, in 2009, he took the “entrepreneurial leap of faith” to open a restaurant with a friend.
With his continued thirst for knowledge and technology solutions for his business (as well as other businesses), White developed a number of successful cashless payment and ordering solutions.
He explains: “I had worked with Tim Strang and ORDEV on a number of their software solutions and, in 2020, we put a deal together to invest in TapTuck which, at this stage, had just been launched as a healthy eating platform”.
Being a proud father of two, he was well aware that healthy school lunches and kids carrying cash to school were and continue to be real problems facing many South African parents and schools. Not to mention the rigours of filling stationery lists and buying school uniforms whilst trying to finish long working days.
“If we could help busy parents and ease admin-burdened schools in making their lives safe and easier, what a business!” he suggests.
Spurred by all the possibilities, he and his partners expanded the App from just food to all other school essentials.
But the advantages go beyond simply making parents’ lives easier and include helping other merchants on campuses or at schools to list and deliver products and services safely and conveniently.
At over 120 schools, this cashless, multi school merchant, ecommerce platform is now solving real, everyday problems.
“It beats the queues, can consolidate orders for a first and second break meal period providing reporting to merchants to prepare ahead of time. Children’s contactless cards are scanned at collection points where they redeem and in turn, notify the parents that lunches have been collected,” he says.
White goes on to say that to work the app is super easy for parents. Users just have to download the free app, register and order a cashless card. A child or multiple siblings are added, each to their own participating TapTuck School. The parents link cashless, contactless cards to each child.
White’s core values when running any business apply to TapTuck too – collaboration, transparency, and ensuring that customers and suppliers needs and interests are met.
There’s also the possibility of growing this system to tackle any new opportunity that presents itself.
To “tap in” for more information, go to https://www.taptuck.co.za