Crimson Cash To Be Sold in Lamont
Vending machine offers pre-paid Crimson Cash cards and other school supplies
Campus vending machines may carry more than just sodas and sugary sundries this fall if the Harvard College Library’s pilot program for pre-paid Crimson Cash cards proves successful.
The program, which was initiated by HCL this month, sells pre-paid Crimson Cash cards via a new vending machine in the entrance to Lamont Library. The pilot program is targeted at University affiliates who have trouble using the traditional system—such as visiting researchers and international students—and aims to give them an alternative method of using Crimson Cash.
“We recognized that some of our users had problems putting Crimson Cash on their IDs because they had international credit cards,” said HCL Director of Communications Beth S. Brainard.
“Sometimes they are summer school students who are young enough that they do not have credit cards yet,” Brainard said.
The new vending machine is currently the only one that stocks pre-paid Crimson Cash cards and also carries a number of school-related supplies. Calculators, tape, note pads, pens, USB drives, and earphones are among the items that can be purchased alongside the pre-paid cards.
The cards, which are refillable, cost five dollars for every four dollars worth of Crimson Cash and can be used wherever conventional Crimson Cash is accepted. Brainard said that HCL is breaking even on the new cards and that the extra dollar fee covers the amount HCL pays for the card.
This experimental program is currently scheduled to run through the spring semester and over the summer, giving both University affiliates and summer school students the opportunity to utilize this new method of acquiring Crimson Cash.
The success of the program will determine whether or not it will be expanded to other HCL branches, but there are currently no plans to sell the cards outside of Harvard’s libraries.
“We will assess the program’s success by seeing how many times we have to refill the machine,” Brainard said. “If we are restocking Crimson Cash cards constantly, we will know that it is worthwhile to students.”
—Staff writer Derrick Asiedu can be reached at email@example.com.