Most students opt out of new Pitchfork Card

The MidFirst Bank Pitchfork Card, introduced this year as an alternative to the Sun Card, has had little success with upperclassmen. However, approximately 25 percent of freshmen opted for the card. (Photo by Jenn Allen

The Pitchfork Card, a combination student identification card and debit card introduced this year, is popular among incoming freshman but has not had much response from the rest of the student body, ASU Marketing Manager Aaron Bryant said.

About 25 percent of the freshman class chose to set up a checking account with MidFirst Bank and receive the Pitchfork Card instead of the Sun Card, Bryant said.

He said it has had significantly less success with older students, though he does not have statistics on how many upperclassmen joined the more than 2,000 freshmen who have switched to the new card.

“It’s a slow start for upperclassmen,” Bryant said.

ASU decided to pursue a bankable identification card after the Sun Dollar program started to decline, he said.

In the past, students could put money on their Sun Cards in the form of Sun Dollars and spend them at select restaurants and stores around the four campuses.

Bryant said more students began using debit cards instead of Sun Dollars.

The cost of processing Sun Dollar transactions for merchants had increased, according to a press release ASU published in April.

MidFirst Bank competed with other financial institutions to partner with ASU.

Nationally, about 8 to 12 percent of students opt for a bankable university identification card.

He said ASU is happy with the response so far and hopes the level of interest in the card stays the same for the next freshmen class.

“(ASU) only actively promoted the card to freshmen,” Bryant said.

Upperclassmen might be less likely to make the change, he said, because they have already established their banking habits.

“The important thing to know is that it’s a choice,” Bryant said.

Secondary education freshman Nicole Jakubczyk said she chose the Pitchfork Card because she had never had a checking account before.

“I thought ASU would be helpful to ease into that transition,” Jakubczyk said.  “It’s nice to have it all in one card.”

Psychology sophomore Keighley O’Leary said she decided to switch to the Pitchfork Card and MidFirst bank this year because she was dissatisfied with her experience at U.S. Bank.

“It’s just a lot easier,” O’Leary said.

She said having a MidFirst location on campus simplifies everything and makes banking more convenient.

Communications junior Jimmy Bunn already banks with another institution and kept his Sun Card.

“I didn’t really know what I would need it for,” Bunn said.

 

Reach the reporter at tnhoman@asu.edu