Students may no longer need cash to make purchases both on and off campus, said sophomore Tre’Ellis Scott, Duke Student Government vice president for services.
Ivy, a new online payment system, will allow students to electronically wire money to one another or to any other member of the system. The accounts can link directly to a participant’s credit card number or directly into their bank account. Scott and freshman Alex Semien, senator for services, presented the new payment plan at the DSG meeting Thursday.
Scott said if the program is successful with the student body, the administration may connect Ivy with DukeCard accounts.
“Ivy is really innovative and it is quick,” Semien said. “Honestly, it is the fastest peer-to-peer system that I have seen. Students almost never have cash with them anyway.”
Duke administrators, including Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta and some professors, had the opportunity to begin using the website earlier this semester. The mobile application is scheduled to be launched soon. Scott said in the first week of use on campus, more than $10,000 in transfers were made. He added that the platform will be useful when students need to share a taxi or split a restaurant bill.
Ivy, however, will be more helpful within organizations on campus, Scott said. If a group charges students and members through Ivy, there will be a record of their expenses.
“With this, groups will be able to pay each other and have a lot of transparency of their records,” Scott said. “ Imagine if you wanted to donate to a group that was tabling, but you didn’t have time to stop. With this, you could donate straight from your account without stopping.”
He added that there have been no complaints with the system so far, and it is safe to trust with personal banking information.
Semien said the technology is available if administrators wanted to make food and Flex accounts part of the Ivy platform.
“We want a lot of student support for Ivy, so we can have more pull with the administration if this is something that the student body wants.”
Ivy is free of charge and open for new members to join. The platform was created by Zach Abrams, Trinity ’07, and Sean Yu, a former Duke student who left during his junior year to work on the company.
“I’m really excited about Ivy’s potential, and it’s great that it was developed by a former Duke student,” junior Patrick Oathout, DSG executive vice president, wrote in an email Thursday. “We’ll need student and administrative support to make Ivy a reality, which I think we can achieve through effective marketing.”
In other business:
Junior Stefani Jones, vice president for equity and outreach, said the executive board is in the process of discussing reforms to the Young Trustee nomination process.
She added that she is working with representatives from greek organizations on campus to create a “statement of principle” for groups to take responsibility for their actions as leaders on campus.
Jones noted that this is not strictly in response to the recent suspension of Kappa Sigma fraternity, but that it is in an effort to move forward towards a “more inclusive campus.”
Oathout presented the results of the Young Trustee election exit poll. Less than half the undergraduate student body voted, and about 10 percent of those who voted completed the exit poll.
He noted that according to the poll, “a lot more females voted than males.” Most people cited they chose their candidate because of a “personal relationship,” but he added that it is possible that only those who felt invested in the campaign filled out the exit poll.
“This election shows that close, personal relationships still really matter in a small campus like Duke,” Oathout said. “Videos and flyers don’t matter as much. They might have some impact, but they aren’t the deciding factor at all.”