Business Focused Internet Systems - Systems and methods that make business sense

Credit Card Photo Schools generally find it easier to teach a few more students than to feed in the limited time available to them. The payment line at the cafeteria is a serious bottleneck in a school’s educational process. At a private school, the lunchroom bottleneck can mean lost tuition. The school’s business problem is to get as many students through the payment line as quickly as possible.

A debit card system offers one solution but conventional systems are not fast enough, because every transaction has to go through a public payment network.  If the network is slow or unavailable at lunchtime, the schools cafeteria lines would back up out of the cafeteria, all the way to the main entrance.


When we designed our swipe card system, we focused on speed. Our system does not use a public network; it authorizes each purchase and registers charges on a local server. 

At the start of each day, the Financial Institution pushes a file containing the student’s balances to the Local Server. During the day, the server authorizes and records student’s charges. At the end of the day, the server makes a file of student’s charges (in standard ACH format), which the financial institution pulls up to its system to processes the transactions.

We exchange data with the financial institution before the students arrive and after they leave. When students swipe their card, the system processes the payment in less than 1/10 of a second.

We also kept our focus on the speed when we designed the cashier interface.  We store all menu items in a database, so that the cafeteria manager can change the special items on the fly. However, we also made the database remember which items are routine and appear on the menu nearly every day. We built the cashier’s screen so that entering a routine item takes only one button click and the button appears in the same place every day


Keeping the lunch lines moving requires not just speed but also reliability.  We tackled the reliability requirement in three ways. First, our design is simple and uses only proven technology.  Second, all cashier stations have mirrored disks and their own Uninterruptible Power Supplies. The cafeteria can continue to ring sales for an hour after the building loses power. We made the systems back each other up. No single failure can bring down the system, and as long as any one station is working the school can still finish the day’s processing.

Benefits for the School are:

  • Fast throughput at the cafeteria checkout lines
  • Reliability
  • Convenience and security of credit card payments
  • Students learn about debit cards.

Benefits for the Credit Union are:

  • Acquire parents as customers.
  • Increased community name recognition and goodwill
  • Personal contact with parents at signup day
  • Acquire students as customers at age 18
  • .

Benefits for the Parent

  • Do not have to give children cash ($20 bill) for lunch.
  • Track student’s expenditures.
  • Students do not carry cash and are not targets for theft.

Clients and Testimonials:

HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union

“I remain not just pleased, but impressed and grateful for the great job you are doing for us with the John Carroll School ‘Patriot Card’.   I am proud of our Patriot Card program, but without Time2, I doubt the Patriot card would be feasible.”
Jim Meehan – President HAR-CO Maryland Federal Credit Union

HAR-CO’s ‘Patriot Card’ program at John Carroll School was the subject of a feature article in the March 2, 2007 edition of the Baltimore Sun. Article 

The John Carroll School

“Time2’s system is fast, and reliable, and because they keep all the date in a database, they have been able to provide every special feature and report we have asked then for”.
Paul Baker – Principle, John Carroll School
John Carroll

First Financial Federal Credit Union of Maryland ( First Financial

Calvert Hall College High School

Calvert Hall

The Catholic High School
The Catholic High School

Mount Saint Joseph
Mount Saint Joseph
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