Cafe Prepay - Reference Guide
I. Creating a New Account
The first step in making an online payment or checking your student's information online is to create an account on the CafÃ© Prepay website:
- Go to www.cafeprepay.com.
- Click on the New User tab and follow the steps for setting up your account. If you have any trouble moving from the first to the second page of this initial set up, it's likely you have your internet security/privacy settings set too high. Try changing your settings to medium or lower so that cookies are enabled.
II. Adding a Student to Your Online Account
Before you can make payments or check balances online, you must first add your student(s) to your account. When no student is attached to the account, the website automatically directs you to the Add Student page. From there, you simply:
- Click on your state, district and school.
- At this point you'll be searching the CafÃ© Prepay database for your student. Enter just the first three letters of the student's last name in the Name field, leaving the Grade field blank, and click Find Student to cast the widest net for finding your student.
- Your student's name should appear below the Find Student box. Simply click Add to My Students where this link appears next to your student's name and grade.
III. Checking Your Student's Balance
As stated on the website, for security reasons, you either need to enter your student's ID number or make a payment toward your student's account in order to view the balance.
Please note that as you make payments, your school's cafeteria will download them to your student's meal account the next morning. However, you may not see these payments reflected in the balance as displayed online until your school performs a balance update to the CafÃ© Prepay website.
IV. Making a Payment
To make a payment using MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express (direct withdrawal is no longer available), simply click on the Make Payments link where you can then select to pay "now" (Continue and Pay by Credit Card) or to schedule payments on a monthly or "auto replenish" basis. If selecting Continue and Pay by Credit Card, once you have successfully entered your information, you will receive a transaction ID.
If for some reason your card is declined (which is often simply the result of entering the wrong billing address, expiration date or card security code), you will receive either an error or a "declined" message, and no payment will have processed. If you wish to reattempt the payment, please wait five minutes and then go through the Make Payments process again, double checking the above-mentioned information as you enter it. If your card is still declined at that point, you would need to contact your credit card company for further assistance. Please note that authorizations may continue to appear on your card for several days, but will ultimately be removed by the credit card company for any declined transactions.
V. Payment Schedules
If you would like, you may choose to set up either monthly payments or Automatic Replenish on Low Balance. Once you've set up a schedule, you may edit it or end it at any time by clicking on the Edit Scheduled Payments link.
Automatic Replenish on Low Balance is optimal for the student whose lunch spending varies greatly from day to day. With this type of schedule set up, when the student's account balance goes below a specified amount, then another specified amount is deposited into the student's account via credit card. With this system, the student will never run out of money in his/her account. Conversely, your credit card will not be charged until the student's balance goes below the specified dollar amount.
When setting up Automatic Replenish, it's important to enter an End Date. Please choose a date close to the end of the school year; you will be able to edit this at any time if you need to.
Please note: when selecting your First Payment Date for monthly schedules, your payment will not be processed until the evening of whatever date you select, so those funds will not be available to your student until the following day.