posted on: Thursday February 25, 2010
Meghan Conway ’12/ News Staff
Within the next few days, CVS, Golden Crust, and Frankly’s Pizza will become even more accessible to Providence College students. As of this month, the three vendors have finalized plans to accept PC Cash, which is stored on students’ PC ID’s, in their stores.
“The three businesses have signed contracts with Blackboard, the company who we contracted out to do this,” said Gene Robbins, manager of Campus Card Systems. “We gave Blackboard the names of the top 10 businesses from the list that Student Congress compiled, and asked them to go out and contact them and so far we’re set up with CVS, Golden Crust, and Frankly’s.”
Students are excited about the new uses for their IDs.
“I think using PC IDs at these places will definitely be popular because it’s much easier to carry only one card when you go off campus,” said Casey Chory ’12.
Other businesses that were contacted include Shaws Supermarket, LiLi Wok, Dunkin’ Donuts, and LaSalle Bakery.
“Some of these businesses are worried about cost because it’s expensive to buy a card reader and pay transaction fees,” said Robbins. “However some businesses have reached out to us, including Chipotle, which is actually not too close to us, it’s in Cranston. Another one was Whole Foods.”
Robbins said he hoped everything would have been set up and running for the start of the semester; however, there were some issues with the configuration of the modems.
“I would like to start off with three businesses and then maybe get up to five by the end of the semester,” said Robbins.
When the College attempted to contract off campus businesses about five or six years ago it was costly. Then, the College would have needed $360,000 in sales just to break even. Now companies are more able to adjust, which makes this more palatable.
“I think this will help our program overall,” said Robbins. “People worry about food services taking a hit on campus, but students, faculty, and staff will put more money on their cards and won’t think as much about making a purchase somewhere on campus like PC Perk because their card will have cash on it.”
Some students even think that the ability to use their cards off campus will increase their use on campus as well.
“I think this will also promote the use of PC Cash on campus, which a lot of people don’t utilize,” said Chory.
Robbins said that once everything is up and tested, a mass e-mail will be sent out regarding the new Web site and the off campus feature of the PC ID.
“I think students will have a great reaction to this,” said Robbins. “We make changes to the card program every year, like more dorm access and PC Perk. Access to these businesses will definitely supplement the program.”
“These are businesses that are very close to campus,” said Robbins. “If students really want one of these or a specific business they should go there and start asking if they accept the PC ID. This is the best way to drum up business, because if other local vendors are accepting the PC ID, they will feel left out.”
The new PC Card Online Card Office allows for further account management of the PC ID. Students can now automatically deposit PC Cash to their cards, by choosing the amount of money they would like deposited and whether they would like it added to their account when their balance goes below a certain minimum or on a certain day, week, or month.
“Students can set it up so that $20 is placed into their account on the first of every month if they want,” said Robbins.
“A lot of people use online banking so being able to do the same with our PC card accounts is a great idea and a way for students to be aware of their spending,” said Lori Caprenter ’10.This, however, is not the only update for the PC ID. At the close of last semester, students were also able to use the renovated PC Card Online Card Office to deposit cash for Friar Bucks or PC cash, configure automatic deposits, and view their six-month transaction history.