Trailblazing 'Tiger Card' opens many doors

FHSU thanks Commerce Bank, area merchants for services that benefit students, faculty and staff

9/1/04 ks

HAYS, KS -- With help from Commerce Bank, Fort Hays State University was the first school in the state and one of the first in the nation to implement an all-purpose university card for its students, and that pioneering partnership was extended for another five years under a recently signed contract.

Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, received a $29,000 check from Commerce Bank President Tom Thomas this morning during a news conference on the university campus. The check covers part of the new contract, which extends to April 30, 2009.

Under the contract, Commerce Bank operates a branch bank on the second floor of FHSU's Memorial Union and provides a variety of banking services through the Tiger Card. Dozens of local merchants and service providers honor the Tiger Card.

"We appreciate this partnership with Commerce Bank, which has long been a supporter of our university," President Hammond told Thomas as he accepted the check. "That support extends well beyond business arrangements. For example, you are the main sponsor of our annual Back to School Picnic, an event that brings the campus and the community together at the start of school each fall."

The president also thanked the local businesses that have invested in scanners that allow them to "swipe" the Tiger Cards so that students can use them for purchases off campus.

"We're excited to be part of the university family and to promote our banking services on campus," Thomas said.

The president emphasized that the Tiger Card is a debit card, not a credit card. The card allows students to pay for purchases from an existing account at Commerce Bank rather than creating debt.

"This partnership with Commerce Bank, and by extension with area merchants, gives important support to the university's theme of 'Quality' this academic year," President Hammond said. "Quality begins in the classroom, with our faculty, but it also extends to support services that enhance the educational environment. The Tiger Card creates wonderful convenience for our students, and also provides benefits to faculty and staff."

Here's how the Tiger Card works:

During the enrollment process, new students are directed to the Tiger Card Center on the second floor of the Memorial Union. Their picture is taken, and they leave in a matter of minutes with a card that will remain valid during their entire tenure at the university. For students who receive financial aid, excess money left over after paying for tuition and fees, housing plans, and meal plans is deposited into their Commerce Bank account. While Commerce Bank has exclusive rights to operate on the campus, students are free to transfer the money to another bank if they choose. For the majority who retain a Commerce Bank account, they can also go to the bank and receive a PIN that allows free use of any Commerce Bank ATM, including the one in the Memorial Union lobby. They also have the option of putting up to $50 on the card to be used in campus vending machines, copying machines and residence hall laundries.

The Tiger Card can be used to purchase "flexicash" from Food Services for meals in university cafeterias, to buy books at the University Book Store, to buy tickets for the Encore Series and other events, and to shop at the participating local businesses.

The Tiger Card is truly a multi-purpose card. Besides the financial functions, it serves as the official university identity card, giving students access to athletic events, laboratories, recreation facilities, and services at the library and the Student Health Center.

New faculty and staff also receive a Tiger Card to use as their official university identity card. They can opt for Commerce Benefit Banking, a program for employees of the bank's business partners, such as FHSU, that entitles the employees to free checks, discounted loan rates and other special banking services.

The Tiger Card was the prototype program for Commerce Bank, according to Don Becker, the bank's marketing officer for university cards in Kansas City. He said that after the card was developed "in conjunction with the folks at Fort Hays State," the bank expanded its card program to Wichita State, Kansas State and then the University of Kansas.

Under the new five-year contract, Becker will be working with FHSU Student Affairs personnel to develop workshops for students on such helpful topics as money management and credit card management. The Commerce Bank branch will be moved to a more convenient location on the first floor of the Memorial Union during the extensive renovation of the building that will be starting soon. There is also a possibility that a second ATM will be installed somewhere on the campus.

Area businesses that honor the Tiger Card:

ALCO Discount Store, 2702 Vine; Auto Tech, 600 S. Vine; Cedar Lodge Dental Center, 1001 Cody; Corner Book Center, 509 W. Seventh; Curves, 1702 Vine; Davis Automotive, 813 E. 11th; Domino's Pizza Delivery, 501 Vine; Eagle Cable TV & Internet, 2703 Hall; Essence, 738 E. Eighth; Flowers by Frances, 2412 Vine; Fort Hays Municipal Golf Shop, 1450 Golf Course Road; Franklin Crafts and Franklin Framing, 1305 Main; G Wilikers, 507 W. Seventh.

GB Records, 104 W. Ninth; General Hays Inn, 4820 Hwy. 183 Alt.; Golden Q, 809 Ash; Greek's Pizzeria, 130 W. Ninth; Hays Daily News, 507 Main; Hays Medical Center Auxiliary Gift Shop, 2220 Canterbury; Hays Municipal Court, 105 W. 12th; Hays Veterinary Hospital, 1016 E. Eighth; Hess Medical Services, 2201 Canterbury; Kansas Pathology Services, 105 W. 13th; Kendall L. Krug, 2203 Canterbury; Mane Attractions Salon, 2502 Vine; Midland Marketing Co-op, 201 E. Eighth; Midwest Drug Center, The Mall; NexTech, 2418 Vine.

Northwestern Office Suppliers; 800 Main; Pizza Hut, 1308 Vine and 2102 Vine; Radiology Associates, 2501 E. 13th; Southside Convenience, 703 Vine; Staab Repair, 611 E. 13th; Stonepost Buckles 'N' Stuff, 116 Pfeifer Ave.; Styles by Ayre, 806 Allen; Taco Shop, 333 W. Eighth; The Touch, 1111 Main; TR's Sportswear, 1003 Main; University CX, 335 W. Eighth; Victor Eddy, M.D., 105 W. 13th; Westlink Communications, 4325 N. Vine.

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Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |