School payment business acquires Dutch firm

School payment business acquires Dutch firm

Coventry-based ParentPay is expanding into Europe with the acquisition of Dutch firm WIS, after securing a funding package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

The school payment management business, which was founded in 2002, provides school payment and parental engagement services to more than 5 million parents and 12,500 schools across the UK.

The firm’s web-based platform allows parents to digitally manage payments for their child’s school items, including meals, trips and uniforms.

The company acquired WIS, an education payment and communication business based in the Netherlands, to capitalise on the growing education eCommerce market in Europe.

This concept is becoming widely adopted in Dutch schools and WIS is currently one of the few businesses on the continent to offer this service.

Clint Wilson, group chief executive at ParentPay, said: “The Netherlands is one of the first EU countries to adopt digital payment management services across its schools and WIS has led the way in driving this.

“The acquisition is a fantastic opportunity for us to expand into Europe by partnering with a well-respected company that will continue to boost both the market and our business.

“We’ve worked with the team at Lloyds Bank since the beginning and they’ve played an important role in our growth and expansion throughout the years.

“Their support and guidance has been invaluable in making this exciting new chapter for our business a reality.”

This is ParentPay’s first overseas acquisition and the third in the past year completed with Lloyds Bank’s support.

The group recently joined forces with Cypad Limited, a leader in tablet and web-based solutions for school catering, and Schoolcomms, a parental engagement software provider.

ParentPay Group now expects to process more than £1billion in payments during the coming year, with WIS increasing annual turnover for the group by 10 per cent in 2018.

The company now employs more than 200 staff across the UK and the Netherlands.

Tom Horton, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “It’s great to be supporting this long-standing customer in its first overseas acquisition and to see the business focusing on growth opportunities in Europe.

“ParentPay Group is flying the flag for innovative British businesses who are strengthening their presence in continental markets.

“Supporting ParentPay’s growth ambitions as it expands overseas is part of our commitment to helping Britain prosper.”