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Memorial's Campus Card gets an upgrade

Memorial University's Campus Card system will receive its first major upgrade on the St. John's campus since 2003, a transition that will be good for the end user, the university and potentially, local business.

The upgrade brings some service improvements, as well as future expandability and increased security of funds associated with user cards.

There's no rush to get a new one, though; all current and previous Campus Cards are still fully functional under the new system.

"The biggest change is that anything which previously used the chip located in the card, like printing and photocopying, will now be activated instead by the magnetic strip," said Tim Griffin, campus card co-ordinator with Student Affairs and Services (SAS). "New cards will not have a chip at all, but it's important that everyone knows their current card is still functional."

As with any technology, Memorial's previous system was becoming dated.
"We've come to the end of the lifespan of the old system," said Tom Brophy, director of Student Success Programs at Student Affairs and Services. "We were requiring two different technologies in the same card in order to accommodate different uses around campus. The new system is much simpler, more cost efficient and more user friendly. It will allow users to better manage their funds, and allow us to reach out to more opportunities with different vendors on campus and around the city."

Users of the Campus Card will notice two major changes under the new system. All financial transactions will now take place using the magnetic strip on the card. All devices on campus which used a chip reader for financial transactions with Campus Cards have been replaced with a swipe reader.

The second change is the introduction of a web-based system for managing funds associated with Campus Cards. Previously, any funds added to a Campus Card were linked to the physical card itself. The new system will store funds in an online account, which can be accessed and managed from any computer with an Internet connection. This is probably the biggest advantage to users, says Mr. Griffin.

"With the previous system, if you had funds on your card and you lost your card, you lost your money. But now your funds will be linked to your account like your bank card, not stored on the card, so if you lose it you don't lose your money."

Users will have the ability to add funds to their Campus Card accounts via an online credit card transfer. A limited number of cash upload stations will also remain, located in the QE II Library lobby, the University Centre food court, the Faculty of Business Administration's computer lab (B-1012), the Marine Institute Library and the Health Sciences Library. These stations will allow users to add funds to the Campus Card via cash (non-credit card) transactions.

The new account-based system will take effect on the St. John's campus during the fall 2012 semester. Users will be required to transfer any balances currently on their Campus Cards to their online accounts. The transfer can be done by visiting EasyConvert stations around campus throughout the fall and winter semesters or by visiting the Answers office (UC-3005). EasyConvert stations will be located at the Marine Institute Library, the Faculty of Business  Administration's computer lab, the QEII Library lobby and the Health Sciences Library.

Users at the Marine Institute and Grenfell Campus can also expect to see the new system roll out during the fall 2012 semester.

For more information about the upgrade, visit www.mun.ca/answers or Answers at UC-3005.

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