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From South Georgia College in Douglas, Georgia, comes news of an innovative use for pre-paid cards. A nearby location of fast-casual chicken restaurant Zaxby's is offering said cards to students as part of the college's student meal plan. So far, according to sources, the program has been a success.
The college adopted the supplemental meal plan because the on-campus cafeteria, which services the college's 1,400-plus students, is closed at 7 p.m. each week night and all day on weekends.
"Before, when students wanted to eat on the weekends, they either went out, or they went hungry," said Wanda Lloyd, vice president for business at South Georgia College. "Now, instead of paying as they go on the weekends, they can budget for weekend meals along with the rest of their living expenses."
Danny DeMersseman, a licensee of Zaxby's in Douglas, said the meal card program has been a win-win situation. "It's helped increase our store traffic throughout the week, and it's providing the students with a good meal any time they need it."
The pre-paid cards are part of the FlexCache stored value card solutions offered by Paymentech, a Dallas-based electronic payment processor.
"This is really a reflection of a trend in pre-paid cards," said George White, Paymentech's chief operating officer. "What began primarily as a use for gift cards has exploded into an entirely new form of payment."
Today, businesses are finding innovative uses for pre-paid cards, for things like merchandise returns, employee meals, and retail incentives. The cards are even growing in popularity in new industries, as well. Holiday gift card sales at the 72 state-run liquor stores in New Hampshire made up 62 percent of its total gift card sales last year.