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AS recommends merging Lancer ID and debit card

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     The Associated Students Board has recommended connecting the Lancer ID card and a US Bank debit card.

     If adopted by the Board of Trustees, US Bank would take over the disbursement of all student financial aid, and all students would receive a student ID with their photograph, the PCC logo, the US Bank Logo and the Mastercard logo. 

     “We are heading into the 21st century,” said Simon Fraser, president of the Associated Students.  “We know that technologies like these are needed and widely used and we are lagging behind the rest of the community college system.”

     If the new debit card is adopted, students will have two options. The first is to not activate the card, and receive their money from US Bank by check or by direct deposit into the student’s bank account. 

     The other option is for students to sign up for the debit card and receive their funds directly on the debit card. 

     If students sign up for the debit card, they will have the choice of a basic or deluxe card.  The basic card will allow only deposits from PCC onto the card, while the deluxe card will allow deposits from friends, family or employers.

     Scott Thayer, assistant dean of student affairs, said it was initially narrowed down to three banks. “We had Higher One, a federal credit union in Pasadena, and US Bank,” said Thayer.

     “We ruled out Higher One instantly,” said Fraser.  “We were determined to not allow any fees for students above and beyond what any other regular bank charges than a free checking account.”

     According to the United States Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund, “Higher One, makes 80 percent of its revenues by siphoning fees from student aid disbursement cards.”

      Tal Vaadia, US Bank regional sales manager for campus banking, in his presentation to the AS, was upfront about US Bank’s reasons for wanting to be at PCC.  “What we are hoping is that we do such a good job that you will choose to remain loyal US Bank customers.”

     “They [US Bank] are not making money now, it is an investment for them,” said Fraser.  “This program in particular, is good for students because it is not a predatory scheme.”

      According to Joseph Simoneschi, executive director of business services, the only cost savings to the college will be in time saved as the college will not need to print and hand stuff 13,000 checks into envelopes twice a semester. 

     “We know that this is not going to result in anyone losing their job on campus,” said Fraser. 

      Simoneschi said that it would “streamline processes so that college staff would be able to dedicate more time responding to student questions and other needs.”

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2 Responses to “AS recommends merging Lancer ID and debit card”

  1. jennifer says:

    Apparently the AS needs to have a committee for social responsibility. Higher One and a corporate bank should have never been in the running.

  2. --- says:

    I am do not support merging Lancer IDs with a debit card. I have a sibling who attends Mt. SAC whose ID card is with Higher One debit. I can’t express how much frustration that was involved when my sibling was dealing with having her ID card as her debit card. I don’t want any problems with any bank, and I don’t want anyone handling my financial aid besides myself.

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