On any given day, a typical GW student will use their GWorlds multiple times at various locations. But when students log onto GWorld 2.0 online to check their GWorld balances at the end of the day, they no longer have the ability to see the locations of individual purchases. The recent instances of vendors overcharging students and of students’ GWorld cards being stolen have highlighted the fact that it is more difficult to track and report these instances of overcharging or fraud. This is a major flaw in the GWorld 2.0 system that the University needs to fix.
With the new GWorld 2.0 system, students cannot see itemized details of where they spend their funds online, and there have been recent instances in which students have either been overcharged or been the victims of fraudulent GWorld activity. Typically, in the past, students could go to the online GWorld resource to keep up with their spending, but this is not a feature of the upgraded system.
Though students can personally go to Colonial Central to raise concerns about fraudulent or accidental charges, how will students know whether they should make the trip if they can’t identify how they were overcharged? Major fraudulent activity is easily detectable, but minor instances of overcharging can easily slip under the radar. Last year, students had the ability to personally go online and check where they made their purchases, and this was ultimately a helpful and favorable aspect of the system.
If GW cares about students’ finances and the success of GWorld 2.0, the University needs to go back into the system and reimplement a program that allows students to track where they spend their Colonial Cash. GWorld transactions should be as transparent and accessible as possible, as this would allow students to manage their money better and handle problematic transactions in the best way.
For even more transparency for GWorld transactions, the University could take it a step further by partnering with a financial services institution that would provide students with more details about their GWorld activity. For example, websites such as Mint, Rudder or Xero are popular services that help users track spending trends and provide up-to-date specifics about where users spend money. If GWorld worked closely with one of these websites, students would have even more options to ensure they are spending their Colonial Cash or dining dollars responsibly. Though not all students treat GWorld funds in similar ways, this method would benefit students who want to spend wisely.
GWorld 2.0 may have many advantageous features, but the lack of an online option to track where a purchase was made is disappointing. The University needs to change this feature and ensure that the process is transparent, accessible and helpful for students. In the meantime, students will simply have to keep an eye on where they spend their GWorld money, and how much they are charged.
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