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Harvard To Phase Out Crimson Cash Beginning July 1

On July 1, campus vending machines will stop accepting Crimson Cash.
On July 1, campus vending machines will stop accepting Crimson Cash. By Connie Yan
By Elyse C. Goncalves, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard will begin to phase out Crimson Cash — a system that allows students to link their Harvard IDs to declining balance accounts — starting July 1, according to an email sent to Crimson Cash account holders Tuesday.

“This decision was made in close consultation with University partners and stakeholders and based on significantly reduced utilization of the program due to the evolving purchasing habits of the Harvard community,” the Crimson Cash Program Team wrote in the email.

Students currently use Crimson Cash to deposit money into an account associated with their Harvard University IDs, which can be used to pay for on-campus laundry, printing, vending machines, and dining, as well as some off-campus dining options.

While vending machines already accept alternative forms of payment, on-campus laundry and printing services exclusively use Crimson Cash.

The email did not describe how or if Crimson Cash would be replaced, but added that the program team would share more information over the coming academic year.

“Leadership is looking at options to streamline laundry, print, and copying funding and payment methods,” the email stated.

The email outlined three phases by which the system would be retired for different services, with the earliest changes taking effect at the start of next month.

On July 1, on-campus undergraduate residential dining services, vending machines, gyms, and off-campus merchants excluding GrubHub will stop accepting Crimson Cash in the first phase of changes, according to the email.

The second phase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2025, when on-campus retail dining will phase out Crimson Cash as well, followed by laundry locations, campus print and copying, GrubHub, and student grilles on July 1, 2025.

Account holders will be eligible for a refund of their Crimson Cash balance until June 30, 2026, though the email did not specify when refunds could begin.

—Staff writer Elyse C. Goncalves can be reached at elyse.goncalves@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @e1ysegoncalves or on Threads @elyse.goncalves.

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