Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 22, 1996

The card is coming: New university ID has a variety of uses

by Steve Sullivan
The ISUCard, Iowa State's new identification card, will be issued to faculty and staff during the first two weeks in May. Students will receive their cards in April. All faculty, staff and students will need to have the new ID card by June 7, when the old cards officially will be invalid.

The old card served as a combination identification-library card. The new card is considerably more versatile, giving its users access to financial and other services, said Joan Thompson, ISU treasurer. "Our goal is to provide faculty, staff and students with one card that will do everything."

For example, the cardinal red ISUCard can be used as an ATM card for those who have checking accounts with Firstar Bank. Through a bidding process, the university contracted with Firstar to provide banking services associated with the card. In addition to ATM services, Firstar will offer overdraft rotection.

The ATM feature will turn the ISUCard into a shopping card, which can be used at businesses where SHAZAM or CIRRUS symbols are displayed, Thompson said.

The ISUCard also will carry a cash stripe that can be activated by depositing up to $50 at cash-to-card machines throughout campus. The card then can be used at a variety of on-campus locations, including vending machines, the Memorial Union Food Court and the University Book Store.

"It always is important to take care of your ID card, but with the expanded services of the ISUCard, it is even more important," Thompson said. "When you use the cash stripe feature, you are putting money on your card. Lose the card, lose the money."

During the recarding process, Iowa State will offer faculty, staff and students the opportunity to sign up for expanded direct deposit services. Iowa State already provides direct deposit for university paychecks, and now will offer direct deposit for accounts receivable refunds, such as financial aid refunds.

The ISUCard will carry a photo of the cardholder, as well as a university ID number. Photos for the new ID cards will be taken during the recarding process with a video camera. The image will be digitized and stored. If a card is lost, officials will be able to verify the identity of the person seeking a replacement and quickly produce a new card. In the past, lost identification cards required retaking the photograph.

The ISUCard will be used to access various university services and facilities, such as the Lied Recreation/Athletic Center and AccessPlus information kiosks. The ISUCard also will double as a meal card for students with residence hall meal plans.

Some university departments traditionally have held ID cards as security for equipment or materials that have been checked out. Because the new ID card can be used in financial transactions, departments no longer will keep cards for checkouts, Thompson said.

While most faculty, staff and students will have the ISUCard before June 7, they are advised to keep their old ID cards until that date, Thompson said. Most ISU offices and services will accept the new ISUCard immediately, but some still will require the old card, she said.

Questions about the new ISUCard should be directed to the ISUCard Office, 4-2727.

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