CRB Cunninghams Cashless Catering and Arbor integration

This article will show you how to set up our two-way integration between Arbor and CRB Cunninghams (a cashless catering system for student and staff meal payments). The integration enables you to ensure payment information for meals is up-to-date in both systems with no need for double entry, and you can top up and reconcile accounts in both Arbor and CRB Cunninghams.

For parents, the Parent Portal and Parent App can become their single point of access for making top ups and checking balances, without needing to jump into a different system.

  • No need to update and log in and out of multiple systems.
  • Balances are automatically copied between systems in almost real time.
  • When a child pays for their meal, the price is automatically deducted from their account balance in Arbor.


  • School: User Accounts: Administer - Approve the API connection
  • Integrations: Administer All Integrations - Access the Integrations Administration page to set up the integration in Arbor
  • Finance: Administer - See the button to set up the integration in Arbor, manage payments in Arbor

If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.


Setting up the integration

Step 1 - Let CRB Cunninghams know you're using Arbor

You'll first need to contact CRB Cunninghams to let them know you'd like them to integrate with your Arbor site, so they can send the request.

  • CRB Cunninghams will let you know what is required on their end to get the integration started and they will assign you a Project Manager who will oversee the process.
  • If you're on an older version of Cunninghams, you will need to upgrade to Cunninghams Fusion - please contact Cunninghams to discuss this.

They may ask for your Arbor URL - this can be found by going to your Arbor homepage and copying the web address shown in the address bar at the top of your browser - the text should look like this:

Step 2 - Approve the integration in Arbor

Go to System > Partner Apps (API Users) and approve any Pending Requests for CRB Cunninghams: MIS (Read) & Payments, following the usual steps outlined here.

Step 3 - Set up the integration in Arbor

Once API access has been approved, go to School > Data > Integrations Administration and click the Set up cashless catering integration button.

In the slide over, select CRB Cunninghams cashless catering as the provider and click Proceed with setup.



On the next page, you must confirm that student and staff data is already synchronised between Arbor and CRB Cunninghams. CRB Cunninghams will do this for you when they enable the integration at their end, so choose Yes, synchronisation of student and staff data is already set.

You also need to select the Customer Account Type that you wish to use for the synchronisation - we recommend your Meals account. Only payments for this Customer Account Type will be synced.



Once you have completed the process correctly, it will appear as Enabled on the Integrations Administration page.


Step 4 - Temporarily disable Parent Portal payments

When CRB Cunninghams are setting up the integration, you will need to ensure that there are no payments being made.

When advised by your CRB Cunninghams Project Manager (or assigned engineer), you'll need to temporarily disable access to top up the Meal accounts by going to School > Payments > Setup > Customer Account Types. Click into the Meal account, click Edit then untick Show in parent portal.

Step 5 - CRB Cunninghams perform the integration

CRB Cunninghams will then configure their Cashless Catering system to enable the integration with Arbor.

When CRB Cunninghams enable the integration, they will perform an initial balance synchronisation between their system and Arbor. CRB Cunninghams will do this by adding any balances from both systems together. For example, a user with a balance of £2.50 in Arbor and £5 in CRB Cunninghams will now have a balance of £7.50 on both systems.

Your CRB Cunninghams Project Manager/Engineer will notify you when this has been started and completed.

Step 6 - Re-enable Parent Portal payments

Once CRB Cunninghams confirm with you that they have completed the installation, you can reenable the account to show for parents by going to School > Payments > Setup > Customer Account Types. Click into the Meal account, click Edit and tick Show in parent portal.



Using the integration in Arbor



Can CRB Cunninghams be integrated with multiple payment systems at the same time (e.g. Arbor and ParentPay)?

No, CRB Cunninghams Cashless Catering can only be integrated with one payment system at a time, so you cannot do a phased roll out. If previously integrated with another payment system (e.g. ParentPay), this must be disabled before integration with Arbor can be enabled.  

We're on an older version of Cunninghams - what do we do?

You will need to be using Cunninghams Fusion to enable integration with Arbor. If you're on an old version then CRB Cunninghams will perform an upgrade as part of the integration implementation process - please contact Cunninghams for further details. 

Can multiple Customer Account Types be synchronised with CRB Cunninghams?

Only one Customer Account Type (typically the Meals account) can be configured to synchronise with CRB Cunninghams Cashless Catering. 

Can I change the Customer Account Type once it has been set up?

No, once integration has been enabled you are unable to change the Customer Account Type. This is to ensure that all transactions are kept in sync and there is no loss of information.

How frequently does the synchronisation between Arbor and CRB Cunninghams happen?

The synchronisation frequency is controlled by CRB Cunninghams who will configure this for you when they enable the integration.

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