Wayne State University is making its move away from cash transactions at campus dining. The university’s initial push towards a cashless dining experience began with the onset of the pandemic and a trend for retail businesses to move away from cash-based transactions.
Businesses under Wayne State’s dining services operations, which include Starbucks, Midtown Market, Tenders Love & Chicken, Panda Express and Taco Bell, have all done away with cash transactions, according to an official university release. In addition, Sushi Kabar, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts and WSU’s two residential dining halls have also moved to cashless payments.
“One reason was to limit the passage of cash itself, which was probably not considered 100% sanitary even before the pandemic,” says Alex McKenzie, resident district manager of WSU’s Dining Services. “But then – and somewhat well publicized – there was actually the difficulty of getting cash through banking and courier services. It was no different for us. So, we also had to move out of necessity.”
According to Mackenzie, cashless made sense for Wayne State even before the arrival of COVID-19.
“Cash for us, in particular, made up a very small part of past transactions. The pandemic just led to things that were already happening naturally,” McKenzie says. “And that’s when we replaced cash on campus. Speaking of, we’re talking about OneCard, Warrior Dollar, debit and credit cards, and Apple or Google Pay.”
“Also, the rise in mobile, since we use GrubHub on campus, is obviously a cashless transaction as well. Before COVID-19, we already knew that most transactions took place in those payments, says Mackenzie.
Students have several options available to them, including campus cards, where funds can be easily loaded to shop around the Wayne State campus.
“While few people have been aware of this for some time, we want to make sure the entire campus community understands why many of our on-campus businesses aren’t taking cash for payment,” said WSU’s division associate says Vice President Tim Michaels. Student Support Services. “We also want to raise awareness of other forms of payment, including easy loading and use of OneCard Dollars on ID cards. OneCard cash deposit machines are located at the student center and in several residence halls.”
Wayne State joins several other higher-education institutions in the state to switch to a cashless retail system. Wayne State will also join neighboring Detroit entertainment venues — the Mike Illich School of Business, Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park and Fox Theater — that have phased out all-cash payments.