SCU offers San Jose vendors option to accept student access cards for payment

Guest Blogpost by Kate Laughton: SCU Senior Fellow, Leavey School of Business

With a quick swipe, Santa Clara University’s student access card allows students easy on-campus purchases of food, library check-outs and access to dorms and gym.  Now, through the Vendor Flex Program, the card can be used off-campus for retail purchases. Similar to a debit card, students can deposit money either online or at an ATM on campus to their student access card, which then can be used at participating vendor locations.

The Vendor Flex Program allows students to use their student access card at participating off campus locations. Vendors get funds deposited directly into their accounts the next day. As with other card services, there is a one-time set up fee, a monthly rental fee for the equipment (which includes 24/7 customer service) and a five percent commission on sales. While most participating vendors are within walking distance of Santa Clara’s campus, vendors such as Pluto’s and Power Bowl in San Jose have received significant foot traffic from Santa Clara students who are looking to venture off campus.

The student access card has the same attributes as a debit card, but also includes a picture of the student. This is an advantage for students, because the picture eliminates the risk of someone else fraudulently using their card, and because the access card doesn’t work for online purchases. Instead of having to carry a wallet with cash and/or a debit card, students only have to carry their student access card.

I am one of the many students at Santa Clara that have enjoyed exploring the San Jose area and experiencing the culture – whether going to a Sharks Game at the SAP center, a comedy show at the California Theatre, or eating out at San Pedro Square. I’m hoping more vendors in San Jose will see the advantages of partnering with the Vendor Flex Program, ensuring that more students will be encouraged to venture out and use their student access card to enjoy the variety of experiences San Jose has to offer.

For more information about SCU’s Vendor Flex program, contact SCU Access Office: call 408-551-1944 or email