Due to student demand, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, revamped its meal plan for the fall semester to include off-campus merchant options. The university inked a partnership with Off-Campus Advantage, a subsidiary of campus card provider The CBORD Group, to roll out its new dining platform known as Frog Pass.
The new meal offering provides flexibility with tiers of meal plans, to-go options for students interning off campus, support for special dietary considerations, and discretionary “Frog Bucks” to be used at participating locations on campus and off.
“We were receiving a great deal of student interest in an off-campus payment program, so we took the opportunity when restructuring the Frog Pass meal plan to add in this capability,” said Craig Allen, TCU’s director of Residential Services. “The change has been very well received by our students and by local merchants we invited to accept the funds, with ten merchants on board at the start of our first semester offering Frog Bucks off campus.”
Taking the ID card off campus at TCU had an impact on merchants’ sales from day one. “Accepting Frog Bucks makes perfect sense for our location, and the response has been fantastic,” said Heather Martinez, general manager of Potbelly Sandwich Works in Fort Worth. “Students really love being able to pay with Frog Bucks. I am seeing a whole new crowd visiting our store.”
“As off-campus programs are becoming more and more popular nationwide, we are seeing student demand as one of the top reasons universities investigate going off campus,” added Shawn McCarthy, vice president of Wide-Area Commerce for The CBORD Group. “Once considered a perk, off-campus payment is becoming a service students expect from their universities, and when student interest is the driving force in a new program, merchants benefit from the effect of its implementation immediately.”
In addition to its partnership with Off-Campus Advantage, TCU is a long-time user of the CS Gold campus card solution from CBORD. The university was therefore able to take advantage of OCA’s central server solution available to users of CS Gold and Odyssey PCS, CBORD’s campus card platforms, providing real-time connections between universities and merchants, as well as eliminating modem banks, phone lines and other hardware on campus.