Campus Cash Canceled

Helen Wajda
Vendors off campus will no longer accept campus cash.

For years, NYU students have been able to use their NYU IDs as a form of payment at local businesses. This fall, however, the program has come to an end; local retailers are no longer accepting Campus Cash.

The program previously allowed those with NYU IDs to use their IDs as debit cards at a variety of nearby retailers and vendors. Local vendors that previously accepted Campus Cash include Bareburger, The Food Emporium, Pressed Juicery, Kellogg’s NYC, Gristedes, Whole Foods Market, Space Market and Boba Guys. To use Campus Cash, students deposit money into an online account linked to their NYU ID.

Students will still be able to use Campus Cash at on-campus locations such as dining halls, the NYU Bookstore, laundry machines, mail services, printers and vending machines. To the confusion of many incoming students, the Campus Cash program is distinct from Dining Dollars, a form of payment that can only be used at NYU dining halls.

Shonna Keogan, NYU’s director of Executive Communications, said NYU’s decision came after surveys showed the program to be increasingly unnecessary.

“The equipment used by vendors to process Campus Cash payments is outdated at this point, and most vendors are more interested in prioritizing electronic payment systems that are used by both NYU students and the wider population,” Keogan said in an email to WSN. “The discounts that were built into Campus Cash with outside vendors are now generally available to all NYU students simply by showing their NYU ID, regardless of the method of payment.”

Several NYU students, like CAS sophomore Marisol Toscano, told WSN they rarely used Campus Cash with local businesses and aren’t worried about NYU’s recent restriction.

“I only used it for laundry purposes. A lot of us are commuters, so we don’t really need [to use it]. I put it once or twice into a vending machine,” Toscano said. “Everybody has cash on hand or a credit card, so there’s no need to add money to your NYU [ID], unless it’s for laundry.”

Other students said the program seemed useful upon arriving at NYU, but eventually found Campus Cash more inconvenient than simply using a
debit card.

“If I was at a restaurant [off campus], I would just use my card, but it was nice to not have to use my own money to go to Starbucks,” Steinhardt sophomore Isabella Bruder said. “I definitely used it freshman year, but after that I didn’t, because I didn’t really see the point in adding money onto a separate card that isn’t my debit card.”

Local store owners are unconcerned that the end of Campus Cash will negatively affect future business. Broadway Fresh&Co Manager Adrian Zavala felt that Campus Cash was more inconvenient than other, more traditional methods of payment.

Probably five to seven percent of our business came from Campus Cash,” Zavala said. “The downside to Campus Cash was that we had to use a different terminal … it added an extra step.”

Pizza Mercato employee Francisco Romano echoed Zavala, noting that students have no grievances about using other forms of payment.

“It definitely is not affecting business at all,” Romano said. “Because if we say, ‘we’re not taking that anymore’, [NYU students] pay with cash or credit card.”

Campus Cash will still be accepted at over 250 on-campus locations. Food vendors that will continue accepting Campus Cash include University Hall Dunkin’ Donuts on 14th Street and Starbucks at Faye’s.

Editor’s note: Pizza Mercato runs ads in WSN in exchange for 10 pizzas a week.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 10 print edition. Email Helen Wagda at [email protected]

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