Laser card facilities to be introduced in SU shops

It has been confirmed that Laser card facilities will soon be available in SU shops on campus, as outlined in the Students’ Union Priority list for 2010-11.

This is in conjunction with the recent creation of the student loyalty card which can now be used in all SU outlets across campus. Laser cards will be accepted in all SU shops and bars throughout Belfield.

UCDSU President Paul Lynam confirmed that cashback facilities will be on offer with the Laser facilities, but that the cash-back offer “will vary depending on the shops and simply how much is in the till”. It is expected that the cashback should facilitate up to the usual €100 standard.

A minimum spend of €5 will be applied to each transaction in order to avail of Laser card facilities. “We’re looking at €5, and that would be on the basis that we don’t want students buying a packet of gum on a Laser card.” The SU will conduct a review during the year should this initial sum be unsuitable.

Lynam spoke against higher spending quotas for the Laser card facility, saying that anything higher may be unreasonable. “I would not be happy with a €10 or €12 one,” he said.

The SU priority list, formulated last July, aspired to “make financial supports available to students who are most at risk of financial problems and avoid any cut-backs to vital student supports”.

“We mean to introduce a loyalty and a credit card simultaneously,” said Lynam. “The shops and bars didn’t have a Laser card facility, and I wanted to change that. It was a simple manifesto promise.”

Decisions regarding shops and management are under the SU President’s brief, and the union has worked to establish this new facility in the interests of convenience on behalf of the students and the outlet.

This move corresponds to the recent comments by the Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern, who promoted the use of Laser cards for the reduction of high cash amounts being used. “People should be incentivised to use their cards more often in relation to smaller transactions and electronic payments. That way you’ll take out of the scenario a lot of cash.”

According to Minister Ahern, heavy use of cash imposes massive costs on banks and the state, in terms of security and cash-handling charges. On a smaller scale, this decision caters for the more direct expenditure of cash for students in UCD, by cutting out the necessity of visiting ATM machines.