In a bold move, the University of North Florida in conjunction with American Express are now offering a Prepaid Debit Card that doubles as a Student ID Card. According to a recent Huffington Post article, the university has been making the new cards available to students since November 2nd.
The university’s former “Ozzie Bucks” funds loading system for student purchases of laundry services, printing, copying and merchandise was a “closed loop” system and didn’t allow for students to spend money outside (open loop) of the school network. Now, the card can be used for off campus purchases as well.
Tully Burnett, Associate Director of Auxiliary Services at UNF said:
“Students have a need to make other purchases outside the network. Parents give students a bank debit card but then they can overdraw, and they’re hit with big bank fees. We wanted to put the functionality of a prepaid debit card on an ID card.”
There still may be bugs to work out and some skeptics believe identity theft or embarrassment from card declines might occur in the student body. It can also be assumed that the university will generate some of the income from the endeavor. Nevertheless, the convenience factor is apparent and the AmEx account also comes with lots of the great features offered to all cardholders like roadside assistance and fraud protection. As always, there are other options available, prepaid or otherwise in the financial market. Students and their parents should always compare and choose the best product for their needs.