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August 17, 2012

Did You Know?: Purdue Card Services

Heather Powell

Heather Powell, Card Services office manager. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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Faculty and staff have access to many free and discounted products and services on and off campus, and it’s as easy as showing your Purdue ID card.

Gas prices too high? Leave the car at home and hop on one of the many city or campus buses to get around. Fido needs a checkup? Show the card and get a 10 percent discount on most services at the Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Heather Powell, Card Services office manager who brings 15 years of university card services experience to Purdue, says that the faculty and staff ID cards are similar to those issued to students but with added bonuses.

“Like students, faculty and staff have the ability to load money on their Purdue ID card through BoilerExpress, a debit account, to purchase meals and snacks in campus dining facilities,” Powell says.

There are no sign-up fees, monthly charges or interest charges. No minimum balance must be maintained, and any balance left at the end of the year will roll over to the next year. All it takes is an application and a minimum $25 deposit to enroll.

In addition the PUID card allows faculty and staff to use University facilities, including libraries and, for a fee, the Recreational Sports Center.

Off campus, discounts have been negotiated with a host of businesses through the Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee. These include select apartment complexes, auto repair, restaurants, cellular services and much more.

Powell hopes the future will bring many more uses for the PUID card that will simplify purchasing at more places.

“We are currently replacing the software that underlies card production,” she says. “As we do that we will be able to expand where the card can be used.” For example, if there’s a department that sells items, Card Services will be able to set up an account that will accept the PUID and BoilerExpress, eliminating the need to handle cash.

“It’s more secure and creates an easier reporting structure for departments,” Powell says.

Powell says Card Services is currently in negotiations with a vendor to provide this software and is close to signing a contract.

“This is an incredibly large undertaking because it touches so many areas of the University,” she says. “I am very excited about the new possibilities and look forward to a launch in 2013.”

One of the added bonuses of the new system will be the ability to set up a BoilerExpress account online, something that isn’t available at the present time.

“When the new system is in place, everyone will have a BoilerExpress account but there won’t be value unless money is placed in it,” Powell says.

Future plans, Powell hopes, will include being able to use your card in the bookstores, spirit stores and other locations. “We hope to expand the use to truly make it a Purdue card that will work across the city of West Lafayette,” she says.