GWorld tests new payment process

Whole Foods is piloting a new GWorld system that allows venues to swipe cards through regular credit and debit machines instead of GWorld-only devices.

Foggy Bottom’s newest grocery store is the first GWorld partner to test the system, University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said.

The store switched to the pinpad pay method last Tuesday, but decided Friday to temporarily revert to using the GWorld machines due to internal glitches, Adim Okwudishu, a customer service team leader said.

“We decided the integration failed and we have asked cashiers to process student purchases through the separate GWorld machine,” he said, adding that the store’s information technology is working with the University’s GWorld office to resolve issues.

Okwudishu said the system experienced intermittent failures, double-charging several students. The University worked with the store to refund all charges, Sherrard said.

“GWorld has been working closely with Whole Foods to address any issues that have arisen,” Sherrard said. “Presently their integration is working without issues.”

Even though Whole Foods is only testing this new system, it plans to eventually remove the GWorld card machines, Okwudishu said. Whole Foods hopes to return the GWorld machines to the company they bought them from after they’ve made the switch.

The University has yet to set a date to roll the program out publicly.

Under the new system, venues would not need to purchase GWorld machines to accept GWorld, although University charges for using that method of payment would still apply. A manager from a venue that carries GWorld said it is against their contract to reveal the cost of a GWorld machine.

Ed Schonfeld, senior associate vice president of administration, declined to share the commission charges for GWorld purchases. One store owner told The Hatchet the venue pays $.08 for every $1 charged on a GWorld card, plus an additional $.25 for every swipe. It also costs $40 a month to rent a terminal.

Another manager from a local venue said the fee would prevent the new system from making GWorld profitable.

“We’ve spoken to GWorld pretty much every year and asked them to cut the students a fair deal on the way they handle their credits and they refuse to,” the manager, who spoke anonymously as not to hamper a relationship with GW, said. “We don’t carry GWorld because the best interest is not students. It’s their own lucrative business.”

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