Cafeteria, vending machines should accept credit cards


Processing credit cards costs about two percent of the total purchase cost.

By Erica Spaeth, Photo Editor

At school, I often head to the cafeteria in hopes of staving off my hunger only to find that my wallet possesses nothing more than my debit card. No cash means no lunch.

How great would it be if the cafeteria, vending machines and school store accepted credit and debit cards? It would make students’ and staff members’ lives easier.

When senior Andrew Fasolyak first came to MCPS from Bullis, he had no idea that students could only use cash to buy food and did not eat until he remembered to bring some. Fasolyak thinks the school’s acceptance of credit cards would be a huge convenience for everyone.

Accepting credit and debit cards in schools also makes the wait much shorter.

Trading change wastes time, and with credit and debit cards, after one swipe and one signature, you would be done. This would make the time significantly shorter.

According to Kate Heinrich, MCPS Assistant Director of the Division of Food and Nutrition Services, the average cost of processing credit cards for a retail business is approximately two percent of purchase cost. This would introduce a five cent fee for every lunch for middle and high school students. The Division of Food and Nutrition Services does not have a budget that can absorb these fees at the current time.

That being said, as we wait for the perfect time to establish this payment system, MCPS offers another system CHS could adopt.

According to  the MCPS website, is a system that “gives parents a secure, fast, and convenient way” to make deposits to a student’s account via credit card; a website that allows users to check meal account balances, view purchase history and receive low balance reminders. It is a great ways for parents to take care of school lunches quickly and easily. Parents can even pre-order lunches for their kids on the website. will definitely be a big help to students and parents dealing with the lunch purchasing process, that is, until credit cards are finally accepted.