Towson University in Maryland has joined the higher education institutions expanding their use of student ID cards off-campus. More importantly, the declining balance account on the student’s OneCard will not expose its users to overdraft fees or credit card debt, the university emphasizes.
Retail Points, Towson’s existing discretionary account, could already be used on campus to purchase textbooks, do laundry, purchase snacks from vending machines, and more. After students and local businesses proposed the enhancement, Off-Campus Advantage, a subsidiary of the school’s card provider, CBORD, expanded Retail Points to be accepted as a form of payment at businesses in the community.
“Towson University values the relationship between the university, students, and the town. Taking the OneCard off campus was important to the university, its students, and the local business community. The students requested to use the card off campus and identified which merchants they would like to see participating in the program,” said Robert Campbell, director of auxiliary services and finance, at Towson. “Going off-campus was the next step to making the Towson OneCard truly an all-in-one card.”
The Towson OneCard is powered by CBORD’s CS Gold card system. CBORD’s integrated solutions enabled Towson to increase its card functionality while meeting all of the State of Maryland’s standards for funds handling. Towson maintains control over its off-campus program’s operations and student deposits, as well as approval of each merchant before they can accept the OneCard. “Rather than reissuing the OneCard with a credit card or bank logo, Towson is strengthening its own OneCard brand,” said Shawn McCarthy, vice president of wide-area commerce for The CBORD Group.
“At a time when university ID cards are making headlines because of ties to debit and credit card companies, we provide an alternative that still expands the purchasing power of the card, without the associated risks,” said McCarthy. vice president of wide-area commerce for The CBORD Group, Inc. “Off-Campus Advantage operates closed-loop declining balance accounts. When a student swipes his or her OneCard at a local business, our UGryd™ Central Server checks that funds are available in the cardholder’s account. If not, the transaction is declined, with no fees or penalties to the student.”