Unlocking Efficiency: K-12 Districts Embrace Cashless Systems for Streamlined Financial Processes and Enhanced Convenience 

January 23, 2024 | Press Release

WILMINGTON, NC, January 23, 2024

A new national survey of K-12 school districts and parents highlights a common, prevalent issue: over 60% of school districts face significant challenges associated with handling cash. These obstacles range from complex accounting/auditing difficulties (25%), exceeding the allowable amount of cash kept on hand (19%), and the risk of fraud (16%).  

The management of cash proves to be a cumbersome process for both school districts and parents, necessitating the move to cashless operations. Many states have imposed limits for K-12 school districts when it comes to how much on-hand cash they keep at their school sites. To comply, they spend more time and energy, time they do not have, keeping track of cash and making bank deposits. Alarmingly, the study shows that large districts find this even more problematic due to their reliance on cash transactions. This highlights why nearly 68% of districts report a “high/very high” desire to go cashless in the near future.  

Additional district survey findings include:  

  • 91% of districts desire to move to a cashless future. This shift is especially pronounced in urban districts, where 77% indicate a “high/very high” desire to embrace cashless transactions.  
  • 88% of districts indicate that reporting functions with their digital payment systems are valuable to their decision making.  

And parents face the risk of lost, stolen, or misused cash as their students continue to use physical currency. The study found that most parents are eager to adopt a digital payment option for school-related expenses. More than half (52%) of parents think digital payment applications being used are better than the previous manual way of recording payments. But a caveat by 85% of parents is that the payment system must have rigorous safeguarding standards for data privacy and security.  

“While districts and parents want to move to cashless systems, it is clear that districts need additional resources to make it happen,” said Bryan Jones, CEO of LINQ. “K-12 leaders can improve security, transparency, and accountability by digitizing and modernizing their payments approach.”   

“The right digital payment solution reduces burdens on school district staff and creates a more efficient work environment with a goal to reduce overall expense and risk to the school district,” said Keith Womack, General Manager of Payments at LINQ. “When districts are responsive to parents’ preferences, they can foster an environment that benefits all.” 

By proactively addressing these challenges and investing in the necessary resources, districts can move towards financial efficiency while adopting a fee payments operation that aligns with the needs of students, parents, and staff. 

Districts that have embraced streamlined payment applications report transformative effects on financial management and parent engagement, citing increased efficiency and convenience for both parties.  

The survey highlights the pressing importance for K-12 districts to adopt digital payment solutions, not just to boost efficiency but also to align with the rising expectations of parents and students. LINQ is pleased to support K-12 districts that have transitioned or are considering a move to a cashless system using LINQ’s market-leading payments solution.