The days of waiting anxiously in line as students count out their coins at various campus eateries might now be over thanks to the recent implementation of credit card machines at venues around campus.
The gradual implementation of credit card machines took another step forward last week with the addition of credit card capabilities to LiteraTea. Credit card machines were also added to Café 84 at the beginning of the month as part of a larger renovation to the facility.
Director of USC Hospitality Kris Klinger said the new credit card option was added at these locations because of requests from students and faculty.
“There were quite a few people who were questioning if we accepted credit cards,” Klinger said. He added that people would sometimes leave when they discovered that a certain location did not take credit cards.
LiteraTea and Café 84 were two of the final steps in the gradual addition of credit card machines across campus, Klinger said. Trojan Grounds and The Lot added the option of paying with credit cards earlier this year.
This was a gradual process, Klinger said, because of the amount of resources and money it takes to add new features to USC Hospitality facilities.
“It’s about resources and getting them in place,” Klinger said, noting that registers are approximately $3,500 each, while credit card machines are about $500 each.
Klinger said sales were already being affected by these changes.
“The sales at both LiteraTea and [Café] 84 have increased since we brought in credit cards,” Klinger said. He noted, however, that the increase might also be a result of the new products that have been introduced, not just the new payment system.
Despite the new credit card capabilities, Klinger said that most people still pay with their USCards because of the convenience of doing so and that both dining dollars and discretionary are by far the most popular payment method on campus.
Across campus, the general consensus is that students are happy about the new option of paying with credit cards.
Ann Austria, a junior majoring in communication, said she usually pays with her credit card or USCard and said she finds it a hassle when certain eating locations do not have the credit card payment option.
“Sometimes I don’t have cash on me so I want to use my credit card,” Austria said. “Having to go to an ATM and getting cash and then going to go eat is sometimes an inconvenience.”
Dan Darwish, a sophomore majoring in neuroscience, said he does not own a credit card but that most of his friends prefer paying by credit card to paying in cash.
“Whenever I go with friends to places they always pay in credit card only,” Darwish said. “They don’t use a lot of cash.”
Adriana Granados, a junior majoring in psychology, said her decision about where to eat on campus is often affected by whether or not the location takes credit card. Also, the speed with which the transaction is processed is very important to her.
“There are places in The Lot where it takes forever to pay with credit card,” said Granados, adding that she prefers The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf because of its quick transaction time.