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Grand Valley State reflects on year of cashless ops

Grand Valley State University is on the verge of one full year of cashless operations on campus. The university’s Cashless Campus Initiative will remain in place this fall after a successful first year.

According to a report from the Grand Valley Lantern, GVSU’s Cashless Campus Initiative started taking shape in early 2020, when the campus began only allowing credit cards and electronic forms of payment to be used on campus. The system was later integrated into campus infrastructure throughout 2021.

GVSU officials say that the cashless system is designed to improve on-campus transactions by speeding up the payment process, reducing contact between cashiers and customers, and improving the safety and security of transactions.

Another benefit to the cashless system is that it decreases potential human error in book balancing by allowing for uniform, electronic tabulation and accounting of funds.

GVSU is just one of a number of campuses to move to a cashless format for on-campus payment transactions. Vanderbilt, North Carolina State, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and others have all implemented similar systems as a means to improve on-campus purchases.

From the student perspective, the cashless system leads to faster lines at the till with more convenient methods of payment.

As for the methods of payment at GVSU, credit cards remain the most common way to make purchases but are only one of multiple ways to pay without cash. Students and employees can use Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Tap-and-Go as forms of payment on campus.

For students equipped solely with cash, the university has implemented multiple cash-to-card ATM kiosks on campus. Students can use these kiosks to purchase prepaid cards that are accepted wherever standard credit cards are used. The prepaid cards can hold up to $500 each and do not carry any additional fees.

GVSU has published an FAQ page to help its campus community better navigate its cashless environment.

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