The Faculty Student Association's plans to make UB Card usage easier through the Web have come to fruition with www.myubcard.com. The site, maintained by FSA, enables students and parents to add Campus Cash and Dining Dollars to student accounts as well as check their account balances online.
The Web site has been up on a trial basis for the past 12 weeks, but is not currently running. Web site operations ran smoothly during the three-month trial period, according to FSA who anticipates having the site running at full capacity in time for the spring semester.
"It's been very helpful," said Mitch Green, executive director of FSA. "We've probably had close to 1,000 transactions take place online."
The site has succeeded, said Green, due to the ease with which parents can utilize it - less time than spent on the phone or mailing checks.
Two online methods were available for adding Dining Dollars and Campus Cash to cardholder accounts. The first allowed students to bill their charges directly to credit cards in real-time transactions but is currently unavailable due to technical difficulties. The second method allowed users to charge to their student accounts, which will later be billed to the student or their parents.
"It's a really good program because it's hard to find time between class to wait on an hour-long line to put money on your card," said junior mechanical engineering major Andy Podzorov.
Junior film major John Erich agreed.
"I think it's a very good program. Any time they eliminate a line on this campus, it's a good thing."
Students are not the only ones who see the benefits of the new site. The staff of the UB Card Office in the Commons, previously the only location students were able to go to add money to their accounts, has also noticed a decrease in the lines this semester.
"I think it was a real good thing. I think more plans run faster and sooner for the students and the lines are definitely not as long as they have been," said FSA Customer Service Representative Kathy Leber. "I have to attribute it to the online program."
The online services are currently available to all university students with the exception of current freshmen and certain first-year transfer students. Freshmen cannot buy a meal plan online because they are automatically signed up for the "Flex 14" plan, but they will be able to add Dining Dollars to accounts when the online service becomes fully operational.
According to Green, the system is not yet sophisticated enough to allow freshmen to make changes to meal plans, but may be in the future.
"Because it is a new process and a new system, there were a few problems, but we resolved them as soon as we became aware [of them]," said Green.
To utilize the existing online services, students must go to http://www.myubcard.com and register at the UB Card Online Account Management Center using their UB IT login name. Online services are available two business days after registration.