University Smart Card Comes to Monmouth

The University, in partnership with Sandander Bank, now offers the Smart Card, a student ID that also acts as a debit card for those who have a Santander account. The new Smart Cards are available to freshman upon distribution at orientation. Upperclassman can apply for the card as well.

A student can still have the new ID without it being linked to Santander, according to program. If a student wants to link their ID to a Santander banking account, they must bring their ID to any Santander branch. There is a branch located on the University campus in the Rebecca Stafford Student Center (RSSC).

While making purchases, they will be deducting funds from their Santander Bank account. If a student uses the barcode located on the front of their ID, they will be using funds from their University Flex Dollars account.

Nancy Orlando, a media relations representative of Santander, said Smart Card is specifically designed for universities and is used by over 7.1 million people from 285 universities in 12 different countries. “Through the Smart Card, Santander provides cutting-edge card technology that is compatible with each university’s hardware and software. The Smart Card technology is supported by five Santander-funded research centers to ensure its industry-leading position.”

The first bank branch that the University ever partnered with was Wells Fargo. When their contract ended in 2012 the University started a new agreement with Sovereign Bank. Five years ago Sovereign Bank was bought by the Spanish bank Santander, and recently they have been rebranding and replacing the Sovereign name with Santander. Santander brought to the University the idea of the Smart Card: a combination of the student ID and a debit card.

Mary Anne Nagy, Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement, said, “Years ago, when we first established a small branch, it was Wells Fargo. Periodically, when contracts end, we go out to the market to bid. And we issued an RFP.” An RFP is a Request for Proposal for banking services. According to Nagy, this is a very competitive process and Santander provided the greatest bid to the University.

In appearance, the Smart Card looks different than the older ID. The Smart Card IDs have a background photograph of the University. At the bottom of the Smart Card is a navy blue strip containing the University logo. “I like the new IDs; in fact the older IDs were very bland and not cute at all. The new IDs have more of a Monmouth-y vibe to them, and they represent the school better,” said Jasmine Ramos, a sophomore political science major.

If a student were to lose their card, Nagy said they should do two things. “If a student loses their ID and it is linked to a Santander Bank account then they must first notify the bank first, next they should contact the Universities ID Center and get a new card,” said Nagy.

The University’s Chief of Police, William McElrath, discussed what would happen if a student’s Smart Card was stolen. “If it happened on campus, the Monmouth University Police Department (MUPD) would take an initial report of the incident. A detective would then follow up on the investigation and make an arrest if possible. If the theft occurred off campus, the local police department would investigate,” he said. The University would go about finding the culprit through traditional investigative techniques such as conducting interviews, looking at on campus and local retail establishments, examining bank records and following any other leads that may be developed,” continued McElrath.

Nagy thinks that the Smart Cards are a step forward for the University. “I think it’s a good way to go for Monmouth. People are more and more accustomed to cards and not cash. It’s convenient for students because instead of carrying many things they can carry one. I believe that they are a way to the future,” said Nagy.