ASU's 11-year partnership with MidFirst Bank will not be renewed, ending the Pitchfork ID card program and resulting in the closure of two on-campus locations on April 29.
According to the latest required report in July 2021, the Pitchfork ID provides around 30,957 students with the convenience of a combined debit and University ID card. Students already in possession of the Pitchfork ID can continue to use the card as usual, according to a University spokesperson.
The University profited from the partnership during the contract period, with the agreement worth potentially over $4 million. ASU gained $15 for each new student account opened, along with $2.50 for each year that the student was enrolled and four cents each time the card was swiped.
The cards began to function as MidFirst debit cards following the contract's expiration in December. MidFirst said in an online statement that banking services will experience no disruption.
"MidFirst is committed to serving the ASU community and is opening two new banking centers near campus, one in Tempe and one downtown, which are expected to be open by the fall semester," said Grant Griswold, senior vice president and director of marketing at MidFirst, in an email. "There will be no impact to customers' accounts."
However, the on-campus banking services will cease to operate following the location's closures. MidFirst locations in Tempe's Memorial Union and downtown Phoenix's University Center will close at the end of April.
Furthermore, the University will not provide incoming students with the option of the MidFirst Pitchfork ID card.
Throughout the past 11 years, Sun Devils took advantage of the combined card's efficiency and the bank's locations in close proximity to dorms and student housing.
As a freshman in 2019, Sydney Wilcox, a senior studying computer science, found success in her decision to use the Pitchfork ID.
"I needed a new bank when I moved to college since my bank was only on the East Coast," Wilcox said. "It was more convenient to carry around, and the bank was right on campus if I had any issues."
This option made it easier for college students to use on-campus stores and resources that took Maroon & Gold Dollars and money from their MidFirst accounts. However, the cards presented challenges when students ventured off ASU property.
"At ASU and the surrounding areas, the combined card didn't give me many problems as people have seen it before and know the difference between the (magnetic) stripes and their uses," said Jeremy Gaudet, a senior studying construction management and technology. "Traveling further away from campus provided difficulties as people hadn't seen the card before and resulted in a lot of confusion with cashiers."
Despite some off-campus challenges with the combined card, students feel that future Sun Devils should have an option similar to the MidFirst Pitchfork ID.
"I think it really helps kids coming into college learn how to manage their own finances," Gaudet said. "They should have the same opportunity we did."
ASU plans to replace on-campus banking services to offer similar options for incoming students. However, according to a University spokesperson, the results of the request for proposal are not finalized.
While ASU campuses say goodbye to MidFirst, their banking services will continue to value the Sun Devil community.
"MidFirst is excited to continue serving ASU students, faculty, alumni, and fans with banking services and financial education throughout the community," Griswold said.
Edited by Sadie Buggle, Reagan Priest and Anusha Natarajan.
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