Using IDs as a debit card will help students

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket, Date: November 5, 2015

This semester, SRU discontinued the Rock Dollars function on our student IDs. For those of you who don’t remember, Rock Dollars were deposited into students’ accounts and could be used at various locations on and off SRU’s campus through swiping a student’s ID.
The function was pretty much useless if a student had a credit card, and as such, they were eliminated.
Now, SRU is offering the same function on our ID cards, but instead of the money being synched through SRU’s website, the money is being synched in an account by PNC bank. This function is currently being promoted on the front page of MySRU under the campus announcements tab.
While there are many flaws that can be anticipated in the beginnings of this new program, overall we see it as a good idea, and as a more superior system than Rock Dollars.
With the Rock Dollars system, only select businesses accepted payment with a student ID. With the new system, the debit feature will be linked directly to your PNC account, so the feature will be usable at any location that takes debit. At this time, however, the card cannot be used in places that only accept credit payments.
One of the big pluses with linking a student ID to a bank account is that students would have one less card to carry around, and it is easier to keep track of. With this new system, you could put your ID in your pocket or slip it in your backpack without the fuss of remembering an extra purse, bag or wallet.
Students are constantly losing their student IDs, but if the ID were linked with their bank account information, we think that they would be more apt to hold onto their IDs, and would avoid accidentally leaving it at home when you needed access to places like Boozel or the ARC.
This option would also be beneficial in places where student discounts are offered, as students wouldn’t have to present their ID in addition to their card. In a situation where a student was unaware that a store offered student discounts, the clerk may apply the discount without being asked when presented with a student ID instead of a bank card.
Students also would not have to present identification when swiping their card, which would save students the hassle of digging through their bags in search of their IDs when using their debit cards.
As such, another person could not swipe your card and pose as you, which could happen easily with a debit card. This could also pose a problem for students if they look nothing like they did when starting their freshman semester here. If someone underwent a drastic hairstyle change, then it has potential to render the card useless if people check the face on the card.
Students could also run into a situation where they don’t swipe the card themselves, but instead hand their card to a vendor to swipe. In this situation, the vendor may be skeptical and hesitant to accept the ID card as a credit card, and may even go so far as to not accept it because the feature is so new.
While there are some features we are excited about, we are not entirely convinced that this new system is bug free. A member of our staff  witnessed a student try to use the debit feature from her student ID at a card reader on campus. After several failed attempts, the student had to pull out her debit card and pay with her card. Because the system is new, we aren’t convinced it will be efficient until it has been utilized on campus for a while.


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