Campus Cash is being rebranded into Wildcat Cash to allow students to use their ID cards to purchase food off campus.
The initiative was not able to allow students to swipe their ID cards and use Bean Bucks at restaurants off campus because Bean Bucks are part of a meal plan exclusively contracted with Aramark. Anthony Williams, chief business services officer, was a main collaborator on Wildcat Cash.
The university hired UGRYD, a company specialized in forming off-campus transaction programs for colleges, to establish an efficient system for Wildcat Cash.
The company, which handles the informational technology and system infrastructure, is currently in the process of negotiating with multiple restaurants.
Dylan Benac, Students’ Association president and senior political science major from Boerne, has been working with SA on the advertising aspect of Wildcat Cash.
“UGRYD is a middle man between the university and the restaurants,”Benac said. “They run the system and set up everything we need. We just have to promote it, Wildcat Cash, and students just have to use it.”
Benac said the project is in its final stages and is just waiting on restaurants to confirm their participation. In fact, SA has been collaborating with creative services on creating a logo for the project.
Benac said Wildcat Cash, which was originally expected to be available shortly after Homecoming, should be accessible by next semester.
“It’s one of those things where it’s been a lot of a waiting game, because we can’t push it until restaurants get back to us,” Benac said. “There’s more to it than just installing card readers at a restaurant.”
The conversion to Wildcat Cash will not change the current process students go through to sign up for Campus Cash. For this, students can go to the Depot page on my.acu.edu, click the “other” link under the services and click the link to purchase the cash.
Williams said, ideally, using the Wildcat Cash would be similar to using Bean Bucks in the Campus Center- just swiping a student ID card and receiving food. There are, however, more benefits to Wildcat Cash, including students’ ability to spend it in the Bean, Campus Center, Campus Store, Pura Vida, multiple convenience locations on campus and the to-be-determined locations off campus. Also, unlike Bean Bucks, if students have left over Wildcat Cash by the end of either semester they will be refunded that money.
Benac said the project would be one of the best investments for juniors and seniors with a limited meal plan.
“As a student elected from a student body, I have to say what’s best for the students. What’s best for the students, in my opinion, is to buy Wildcat Cash,” Benac said. “It makes logical sense. You can use it at so much more, including what you can use Bean Bucks at.”
Since the university is still in negotiation with restaurants, Williams asked that names of specific locations not be released. However, Benac said UGRYD is targeting many restaurants on this side of town.
“These are not final because, in reality, the restaurant has to agree to it as well,” Benac said. “If they don’t agree to it, then they don’t agree to it.”
Williams said he has been and continues to work alongside many members of the administration to make this project, which started out as one student’s simple idea, a reality.