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The University of Warwick

The University of Warwick has its eyes on a prize; to gain ‘World Top 50’ status.  To help it achieve this it’s invested heavily in its campus to provide students with the best facilities available. And that includes a VMC cashless payment system.

Warwick’s 700 acre, award-winning campus is home to over 17,000 students and staff. The social facilities on site are impressively modern and unmistakably retail and include a Costa outlet. 

Managing the data generated by students using the facilities was crucial if Warwick were to maximise their investment.  They needed to know what was selling on site, where and to whom so that it could influence behaviour and target students with appropriate offers. So following its nomination as a TUCO approved supplier, Warwick University’s technology partner MCR Systems implemented our Metro Symphony solution.

Metro Symphony offers complete web enabled central EPoS management and real-time reporting software that allows customers to implement tighter controls and ease administrative tasks. Its availability as an internet-based service, via a web browser, makes it quicker, easier and cheaper to deploy than traditional software. Metro Symphony provides complete control over all aspects of the maintenance and management of an EPOS & Cashless Payment systems estate, built on Microsoft Server architecture, ensuring that Symphony has a solid foundation that inherently provides scalability, resilience, security and simplified administrative operations.

Peace of mind – all over the world

The major innovation of the cashless scheme is the fact that it can be easily topped-up online and is available to use in all of the University’s commercial areas including the Retail area’s shops as well as the Students Union. Anxious parents in Birmingham or Brunei, Coventry or Cambodia - there are 125 nationalities represented here - can make payments into the system and funds are available for use on campus around three minutes after the transaction is completed. Compare that with bank transfer times… And parents have the comfort of knowing that their regular contributions – or their responses to the inevitable cries of ‘help!’ – are ring-fenced for food, groceries and other sustenance, and can’t be used for a night out on the town. Card-holders, to boot, can count on a minimum 10% discount in all cafés, bars and restaurants.

The cashless system has brought Warwick many benefits. The University’s Simon Oke picks out one example of this: ‘Transactions costs’, he says. ‘With our previous system, we were locked into a banking deal that cost us 30p each time a card was used. Now, because ‘Eating at Warwick’ integrates with our administrative database, through which funds such as tuition fees flow, we’ve been able to negotiate a much better deal that has decimated our transaction costs, and that’s had a significant bearing on our margins.’

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