How Escalating Retail Fees Are Selling Canadian Students Short

Canadian colleges and universities require alternatives to the ever-expanding fees and commissions associated with on-campus retail purchases

For Canadian students, making everyday purchases on campus has become fairly complicated mix of cash, credit and debit cards, student cards, mobile apps, and online purchases.


Having choice is generally a good thing, however, there’s one drawback that all of these payment choices (aside from cash) have in common.


Here’s a hint: it’s fees.


These range from $3.00 ATM withdrawal fees to the double-digit interest charges applied to credit card balances. These alone can cost  the average student hundreds of dollars per semester.


But at least the ATM withdrawal and credit card interest charges are out in the open. Of bigger concern are the multitude of fees associated with on-campus purchases that are costing clubs and student-owned retailers dearly.

Adding Up The True Cost of Sales

For on-campus retailers, including convenience stores, book stores, restaurants, coffee shops, parking services, and student clubs selling event tickets and apparel, the situation is much more concerning.


Here are 3 examples of the type of fees that are reaching ever-deeper into students wallets:


Example 1: a student club using a service like CheddarUp to run a fundraiser is paying 3.5% plus 45 cents per sale and up to an additional $30.00 per month to access “advanced” features such as setting start/stop times and reporting.


Example 2: a student club selling event tickets on a website like Eventbrite is paying 2% plus 60 cents per ticket, however, this rises to 4.5% plus 60 cents per ticket to access “premium” services such as multiple ticket types, pay-outs before the event, and reporting.


Example 3: a campus restaurant or coffee shop offering smartphone orders is paying a vendor like Skip The Dishes sales commissions between 15% (pick-up) and 35% (delivery).


These food app fees are so steep, in fact, that more and more independent food service retailers are finding it impossible to sustain these types of services.


The unfortunate impact on students is that they are paying higher prices for purchases from club tickets and items, coffee, and food. Additionally, there are fewer part-time jobs as retailers seek to cut costs in order to manage fees.

An Alternative To Escalating Fees

At ChangeJar, we see this complex web of fees and commissions as a serious and growing problem. The interesting thing is that our solution is so simple it’s almost revolutionary.


We’ve based our mobile commerce solutions on cash, not debit or credit cards, and simply by doing this we’ve been able to reduce merchant fees by up to 5, 10 or even 15 times compared to existing online selling, ticket, and food ordering services.


Here are our prices:


  • 25 cents flat rate per online sale
  • 10 cents flat rate per in-person sale

That’s it.  There are no subscriptions, rentals, or commitments.

How Mobile Cash Works On Campus

ChangeJar supports a suite of cash-based buying experiences for campus retail from a super simple online and in-person sales solutions through to time-saving mobile ordering solutions for bustling coffee and lunch spots.


Here’s how it works:


  • Students open their free ChangeJar mobile wallet for iPhone, Android, or Facebook Messenger and load it using a standard Interac e-Transfer. This eliminates the need for credit cards and reduces visits to the ATM.
  • Campus clubs and associations create a free ChangeJar account to sell merchandise and tickets online or in-person, avoiding the cost and complexity of current online sales solutions. This keeps prices down and fundraising up. 
  • Campus restaurants and coffee shops sign-up free to ChangeJar to offer mobile ordering services at up to 10 times less than the global food apps. Students get the time-saving convenience and merchants avoid unsustainable commissions.
  • Campus stores use ChangeJar Merchant, our mobile checkout service, to accept ChangeJar wallet purchases for a flat $8.50 per month and NO TRANSACTION FEES. This can be used in combination with existing POS systems to keep track of inventory.

Mobile Commerce Solution For Student Associations

ChangeJar works with student associations to introduce mobile cash services to campus retailers and clubs.  This includes the creation of an umbrella ChangeJar account to streamline and simplify club sales:


  • Maintain a club sales under one roof
  • Allow club funds to unload to one Student Association bank account (not dozens of personal accounts)
  • Let third parties (such as graduate schools, alumni, sponsors) pay for student discounts on ChangeJar purchases
Click below to book a convenient time to discuss how ChangeJar can help lower costs for campus retailers and clubs, reduce prices for students, and streamline campus commerce management.
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