This fall, Campus I.D. Card Services will be working to expand the Pirate’s Gold program to provide students with greater access to area merchants and foster a more cooperative relationship between local vendors and the university.
Campus I.D. Card Services is planning to add Diamond Cleaners, Quality Auto, Fine Foods, and Soleil tanning in Millburn to the list of local vendors accepting Pirate’s Gold. In April, Frank’s Trattoria joined Cluck U, Village Pizzeria, Pirate’s Pizza, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Town Hall Delicatessen, It’s a Wrap, Bonte, Eden Gourmet, Haru and Reservoir Pizza as the newest member of the Pirate’s Gold Program.
Mary Goff, director of Campus I.D. Card Services, has high hopes for the program and is working to extend the program to new vendors and will be trying to get larger signs for vendors to alert students to participating merchants.
“I want to get out to the mall, because now that the SHUfly is going there, students should be able to use (Pirate’s Gold) there,” Goff said.
Goff went so far to say that she would eventually like to co-brand the card with a banking company, such as Visa, so that Pirate’s Gold will be accepted wherever students would like to use it, like wherever Visa is accepted for example. In the 2004-2005 academic year when Goff came to Seton Hall, the Pirate’s Gold program processed about $300,000 worth of transactions.
Now, “we are around a million and a half,” Goff said. The program has grown off campus as merchants continue to join the program. In a good month, Goff said, the Pirate’s Gold program does around 2,000 individual transactions.
The program exists for a variety of reasons, and one of the most significant is the convenience it offers students as well as the security the program offers for the funds in the program.
“When students go off campus I really don’t want them to carry cash, because if it’s gone its gone,” Goff said. “Let’s face it, in this world, we are not in the crimeless society that we’d like to be. Most times, if a student loses their I.D. they can get a temporary at Public Safety or they can get a replacement here (at Campus I.D. Card Services), it’s not like they lost the money.”
Additionally, the pictures of students on the card provide security because, as Goff said, the merchants should check a student’s I.D. for the picture before accepting payment via Pirate’s Gold. Should a student lose their I.D., or have it stolen, Campus I.D. Card Services does what they can to return stolen or lost funds to students, whereas cash is simply lost.
“If they lose their I.D., it can be stopped, it can be made whole,” Goff said. Students who lose their I.D. card can receive a temporary card at Public Services until they can have it replaced or deactivate use through the MyInfo tab in PirateNet. Students who had their I.D. cards stolen will not be charged for a replacement. Merchants have found the Pirate’s Gold program a help to business.
“It’s the best. It brings more business,” Frank Nash, owner of Frank’s Trattoria on Valley Street across from Ora Manor said.
Nash stated that business was slow at first, but as students find out that Frank’s is now accepting Pirate’s Gold his sales through the program have picked up. Pirate’s Gold is finding popularity among students who enjoy the ease of carrying one card.
“I use the Pirate’s Gold program mostly at Eden Gourmet, Haru, and Domino’s Pizza,” sophomore Rebecca Rivard said. “I use Pirate’s Gold off campus because of its convenience. I always have my I.D. on me, so I do not have to carry other cards or cash around.”
Where the program falls short, sophomore Kathryn Miller said, is that students cannot use Pirate’s Gold to place orders over the phone.
“I would love if you didn’t have to go to the store in order to use your gold, if you’re allowed to order it over the phone,” Miller said. “It’s happened to me plenty of times at Cluck U and it’s annoying.”
Additionally, Miller and Rivard both said they would like to see more vendors accept Pirate’s Gold, especially Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, El Greco’s and Cold Stone Creamery.
Brenden Higashi can be reached at email@example.com.