Camden: On the Rutgers website, there are more than 100 places to use RU Express on and off campus. This is far from true at the Rutgers Camden Campus, where there are barely 15 places to use Rutgers Express on and off campus combined.
Students at RUC are curious and concerned. “It doesn’t make sense to me why there wouldn’t be more choices to pick from for students” said Brianna Thomas, a biology major at RUC. Students would like more food choices, especially at the Subway Deli, which is ironically built into Rutgers’ newest apartment building.
RU Express is a debit card embedded into every students Rutgers identification card. Each card is equip to become an RU Express by simply adding money to the card online through many debit and credit cards or at the Rutgers cashier’s office with cash, check, or money order. This card enables students to have an alternative way to have spending money on campus with the luxury of using a card student’s carry everywhere, while being safe from theft. It also gives parents and guardian’s peace of mind and enables them to add money to the card while students are away at school.
Rutgers Camden has nothing to do with the choices made on which businesses can or cannot have RU Express. Rutgers New Brunswick hires an outside agency to recruit businesses and supply them with the term, conditions, and equipment. Although the Rutgers Camden campus does not recruit, a business can personally reach out to New Brunswick to obtain RU Express.
RU Express can be used at the following places on and off campus:
- Bridge Café – Law Building
- The Gateway Café Dining Hall
- Starbucks – Campus Center
- The Corner Store
- University Book Store
- IMPACT Booth
- Vending Machines
- Laundry Machines
- 7- Eleven
- The Victor’s Pub
- Market Street Pizzeria
- Market Gourmet
- La Unique Book African American Books
- A Little Slice of New York
- Friends Café
Owner Peter Toso, of A Little Slice of New York, says “it (RU Express) does not help local business at all.” When Toso was making the decision to acquire RU Express or not, he did his research and called a few businesses in New Brunswick who were already accepting the card, “They said Pete you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t” Toso reiterates.
Each transaction with an RU Express cost the merchant 11% of every gross sale, plus 15 cents per swiped transaction, while using a separate debit machine that cost 25 dollars each month. To put that in perspective, American Express credit cards have the highest percentage rate out of all credit/debit distributors, and the rate they charge between four and five percent. Toso loses roughly $152 on every $1,000 he takes in using RU Express. That does not factor in the cost of product or the seven percent sales taxes from the state of New Jersey.
Luckily Toso doesn’t have many paying customers that use RU Express otherwise it may be hurtful to his business.