Cheddar Up Simplifies Paying Band Fees And School Club Dues

Cheddar Up has rolled out a new version of its app for collecting money from groups — and for once that doesn’t mean yet another way for friends to settle up tabs at bars and restaurants. Instead, the app is designed to simplify collecting money for school fees and other organizations, according to TechCrunch.

In 2012, two Denver-area marketing professionals — marketing manager Nichole Montoya and branding and design specialist Molly DiCarlo — had kids in school and found themselves constantly writing checks for fees. Putting the process on the Internet or smartphones seemed like a good idea, but bar-tab apps didn’t have features a PTA or school band needed.

What started as a simple front-end to PayPal is now a startup that has 19,000 users, closed a $725,000 seed funding round this month, and now handles its own payments and has a fully mobile-optimized platform.

To use Cheddar Up, whoever is collecting the payments creates a page on the platform, set up to accept either a fixed amount (for, say, a school field trip fee) or a variable donation amount that the contributor chooses. The page can also collect personal information and can be customized with a logo or illustration.

The page’s URL can then be sent to whoever needs to make the payments — through a website, newsletter, email or text message — and those people can simply click on the link, fill in the form and pay using major payment cards or checking-account ACH. There’s also an option to let payers pick up the card processing fee of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction, which is an advantage for schools and other not-for-profits who would otherwise get less than the payer intended.

Payers can even indicate that they want to pay offline, and Cheddar Up lets the user who’s collecting those payments track when they’re paid.

With two years of experience with users under its belt, Cheddar Up plans to roll out a native mobile app version within the next few months. The startup is also working on a white-labeled subscription version — necessary for some schools that may be restricted from displaying a company’s brand — which is expected to cost $20 per month or less and offer recurring payments, multiple administrator accounts and a slightly reduced processing fee.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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