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Campus card key to vending improvements at Swarthmore

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Apr 07, 2023  ||   ,

Campus vending can be an easily overlooked aspect of campus dining and auxiliary services. That could be more true today than ever before, with a broad range of options now available to students through mobile ordering, delivery and more.

A recent article in Swarthmore College's student publication, The Phoenix, highlights the central role of the college's OneCard credential in upcoming improvements to campus vending. The planned vending refinements on campus will include the addition of the OneCard -- and its digital counterpart -- as a means of payment.

In a statement to the Phoenix, Swarthmore's Director of Campus Services, Anthony Condo, said that all campus machines are now set up to accept OneCard payments and that a new payment processing system, Cantaloupe, has recently been installed.

As with any new implementation that requires card readers to be changed out, there were some instances of OneCard outages while the new systems were installed and tested. Despite the temporary OneCard outages, the overall vending experience and reliability at Swarthmore stands to improve significantly with the OneCard as a payment option for students.

Condo stressed that getting through some of the early growing pains after implementing some new systems should pave the way for a much better vending experience for students going forward.

Part of that improved experience could be the added support for Digital OneCard payments. Swarthmore began offering students a digital version of its campus credential last November.

Swarthmore's Digital OneCard isn't currently accepted as a means of payment at campus vending machines, but Condo is hopeful the change will be implemented this summer.

Beyond the campus credential, the Swarthmore OneCard Office is also the outlet for students with other vending machine issues. The card office is responsible for issuing student refunds in cases of machine malfunction or spoiled products.

Further refinements to campus vending experience include an improved restocking operation. Until recently, the entire Swarthmore campus was only being serviced by one delivery driver, causing restock delays at some machines.

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