Auxiliary Services’ cash dining now accepts debit cards across campus

Students are given the opportunity to pay with credit or debit cards in all on-campus eateries. (Alexander Simone | The Oswegonian
Students are given the opportunity to pay with credit or debit cards in all on-campus eateries. (Alexander Simone | The Oswegonian

A year ago, Crossroads was the first on-campus eatery to accept debit and credit cards. This fall, Auxiliary Services has expanded this service across campus.

“We decided to do the test with Crossroads last year,” said Director of Cash Dining and Catering Stephen McAfee. “Our customers are happier to be able to use another form of payment. We had heard them asking for it.”

Two years ago, Auxiliary Services renegotiated their rates to accept credit cards until their fee was to an affordable cost of business.

“The board of directors for Auxiliary Services this past spring and April decided to expand it to the outlining buildings that don’t have access to an ATM or are in the Campus Center,” McAfee said.

Sophomore Brian Swider explained purchasing items without a bankcard is difficult in a small town like Oswego.

“It is more accessible for students on campus,” Swider said. “Honestly, there are not many banks in Oswego. This will definitely be easier for everybody.”

For over 8,000 students at Oswego State, there are eight banks near the university. Most are a mile or more away from campus. According to Auxiliary Services, implementing credit and debit card machines ensures convenience for students.

Despite approval from students, on Thursday Oct. 1, the bank cards will cost Auxiliary Services six to 25 percent more than in prior weeks due to a fiscal security update.

“We are seeing positive and negatives,” McAfee said. “To be in compliance it costs more to do that, and a significant portion. It cost more than we had expected, but we will be in compliance to make sure we provide customers with the greatest financial safety we can.”

According to McAfee, if a student charges $1 on a credit card, the flat rate can vary from three cents to 25 cents. However, the cost is dependent upon the card held and the amount of the transaction.

Since the campus began using bank card machines, there has been an increase in student services by four percent.

“It’s a little bit more in some locations and a little less in others,” said McAfee. “We are watching it as we go through. At Crossroads we started off very slow, but as we got near to the end of the semester it picked up. The spring semester started higher than the fall.”

Sophomore Maria-Ray Ossino explained the bankcards offer her a second option when dining dollars are low.

“It’s a lot easier, because we run out of dining dollars so quickly,” Ossino said. “I only have $6 something left on my dining dollars and it’s only October. It’s great for students to spend their money at the school.”

McAfee explained the technology is important to the expansion of on-campus amenities.

“One of the things we do through our board is listen and add value to what we do,” McAfee said. “We have been hearing for many years customers asking for it through comment cards, emails and talking to members of our board of directors. That’s important to us, to listen and fulfill those needs.”

Auxiliary Services also plans to incorporate a incentive for students to add more money to their Laker dinning dollar.