Nov. 3 marks the start of the Cougar Cash campaign, a two-week promotion to spread awareness of the planned rebranding of the student signature card at BYU.
The campaign’s main slogan, “Bring Home Your Bacon,” is just one of six catchy phrases designed to highlight the latest feature of the card: the ability to upload money directly to students’ cards through the BYU app.
Students can visit the Cougareat Nov. 3–17, pick up a free maple-bacon bar and learn how to use the new system. Students who use Cougar Cash in the Cougareat will receive a free fountain drink for the full two-week promotion period as an added bonus.
The campaign also plans to raise awareness for other student and faculty benefits of the card that already exist.
Nathan Hessing, a BYU publications and graphics student who helped put the campaign together, said the change in the signature card is a great thing for campus because many people are not aware that using a signature card saves students and faculty from paying taxes for many items on campus.
“And that can save students a lot of money,” Hessing continued. “Dining services on campus are completely tax free when you use your student card.”
Saving students and faculty from the tax on food is only one advantage of the Cougar Cash concept. Students and faculty who use a BYU signature card also help the university save money.
John Leatherwood, assistant treasurer of the Treasurer’s Office on campus, said students who use debit or credit cards cost BYU merchant fees to process the payments, a practice that can be decreased significantly if more people use their signature cards on campus.
And debit cards are actually more expensive for BYU than credit cards are because of the flat rate charged per swipe, no matter if the owner is spending $1 or $50.
“The current history average of signature cards used is 8 percent, compared to the 92 percent who use credit cards. Which costs (students and faculty) 20–35 cents a swipe,” Leatherwood said.
Even those who use cash are spending more on food because tax is included with any method of payment except a signature card.
“There is no reason we ought to be paying the food tax when we don’t need to be,” said Charles Cranny, digital production manager of publications and graphics. Cranny helped generate marketing ideas to spread the word about Cougar Cash.
He helped create the slogans “Maintain Your Mula,” “Preserve Your Pesos,” “Unshackle Your Sheckles,” “Keep Your Cash,” “Develop Your Dineros” and, of course, “Bring Home Your Bacon.”
These alliterative themes will be displayed around campus on vending machines, banners, point-of-purchase displays and even on the t-shirts that will be worn by dining service employees, according to Cranny.
Andy Coats, merchant services manager in the Treasurer’s Office, said the goal of the campaign is to “spread awareness and (emphasize) the win-win benefit of Cougar Cash.”
Coats and the rest of the team hope to see the number of signature card users raise to 50 percent by the time the promotion finishes.
“Due to the sacred nature of the funds here at BYU, and based off studies we’ve done, I think people will jump at the chance to save the university money because people believe in BYU; they believe in making it better,” Coats said.