RamCard Plus Combines Identification Features and Debit Card Services for CSU Students

Colorado State University has released a new student identification card that also serves as an ATM and debit card. The new RamCard Plus is linked to a First National Bank free checking account and Visa debit account that allows students to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide.

The RamCard Plus was released this summer and offered to students attending Preview Orientation. To date, 600 RamCard Plus cards have been issued. Continuing students as well as faculty and staff can turn in old RamCards for the new RamCard Plus at no cost. The RamCard Plus is an optional debit card, not a credit card.

"It was important for the program to offer a traditional debit card rather than a credit card to protect students against debt and to promote financial literacy," said Neal Lujan, director of the RamCard Office.

The university agreement with First National Bank also includes financial literacy seminars as a service for students.  These seminars may include such topics as budgeting, investing, effectively managing credit card use, financial planning, and protecting personal finances.

CSU is the first in the country to receive Visa USA approval for a product offering like this, which includes the following program features:

– Instant Card Issue – First National Bank and the RamCard Office have developed a coordinated process that delivers the card to customers within 10 minutes of opening an account.

– University card technology – Special Visa USA approval was obtained to generate Visa debit cards on a card platform that has specific technology for campus uses including a magnetic stripe and barcode for identification, a separate magnetic stripe for the university RamCash account, and a smart chip for keyless door access to University buildings.

Students have the added bonus that their residual financial aid can be directly deposited to the First National Bank account and access it via their RamCard Plus. Students away from campus on internship or study abroad can access their financial aid refunds through the banking convenience of First National Bank and the RamCard Plus.

Students use their RamCard identification card for access to meals, services, and athletic and cultural events on campus. Students with RamCards also receive discounts at several local businesses.