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Introducing the New BengalCard Plus
- Credit: The Bengal, 04/27/12
Robert Taylor, President and CEO of the ISU Credit Union, said the card is "a new piece of technology for Idaho State University that
combines the benefits of the Bengal card…but also has the addition of being a debit card that can be used off campus by students, faculty
and staff who are also members of ISU Credit Union."
By showing this card to merchants out in the community outside of ISU, "It takes the university brand out into the community," said Richard
Cheatum, Marketing Manager of the ISU Credit Union.
Taylor pointed out that this card is exclusively a debit card as opposed to a credit card. By being a debit card, this allows card users to
only use funds that they have invested into their account, rather than buying on credit. Parents of students can also visit one of the 4,300
other credit union locations that the ISU Credit Union works with throughout the country to deposit money into their students' accounts.
Another big change that ISU is working with the ISU Credit Union is that students can expect to find a new ISU Credit Union branch in the
Pond Student Union Building this fall as well. At this branch, a newer service philosophy in the banking industry called "dialogue banking"
will be used. Through this type of banking, students will be a more integral part of the transaction. They will stand next to the teller and be
able to see all their information as the transaction is being done. Through this banking system, it will build a higher level of trust as well
as reduce the chance for human error. "It's just a very easy way of doing your banking with the credit union," said Taylor.
There will also be a "power station" with USB ports in this branch where a credit union member can power up his or her phone, iPad or
laptop to speak with member service representatives and to use the Wi-Fi Internet. To make this entire program easier, Bengal card
services will be moved from the Public Safety building to the PSUB over the summer as well. It will be right next to the credit union so
getting the BengalCard Plus will be quite simple.
If someone already have a Bengal card and an account with the credit union, the process is quick. In the fall, interested credit union
members can go to Bengal card services, get issued a new card and then walk a few paces away to the credit union where they will then
get the BengalCard Plus. If students do not currently have an account with the credit union, the only extra step is opening an account. For
students deciding whether or not to open an account with the credit union, Taylor said that among the many programs and services they
offer to members, "We're one of the lowest cost institutions in the area."
"We think students will quickly see the benefits of the BengalCard Plus," said Taylor. "[The credit union was] established in 1952 by staff
and faculty," said Cheatum. Taylor added, "The credit union was established by the university for the benefit of the university." The ISU
Credit Union has had a close relationship with the university from its first establishment. The credit union sponsors the ISU rugby team
and gives a number of scholarships to ISU student members, among many other contributions and relationships that the credit union
has with the university. "It just made sense to enter into this program with the university," said Taylor.
On April 6, the Idaho State University Credit Union officially introduced the
BengalCard Plus that students will be able to get in the fall 2011 semester. The
card will have two magnetic strips on the back of it. One will be for the traditional
Bengal card uses, such as getting into campus events or gaining access into
The other magnetic strip will be the debit card aspect of this new card. The debit
card aspect will be connected with an account that students, staff or faculty will
have with the ISU Credit Union.
According to Taylor, another benefit of the card and program is that "there is a merchant
rewards program where select merchants will be offering some sort of a discount for
students, faculty and staff that use their BengalCard Plus."
Taylor got the idea for this card program after he spoke with good friends of his at another
credit union who had success in using this program at another university. "This new card
really puts Idaho State University at the very top of an elite group of schools in the country
that offer this type of service to the campus community," said Taylor. A portion of each
transaction that a card user makes will also be allocated back to the university. In this
way, Taylor said that it helps each student, staff and faculty member help give back to the
university which in turn helps everyone on campus.
© 2012 Runge & Company
|Management Consulting for Strategic Debit Card Programs