Posted January 24, 2024

Diamond Dollars to be phased out at end of spring 2024 semester

Temple’s campus-based debit card system will no longer be offered beginning May 2024. Students can still use alternative modes of payment such as credit and debit cards, Venmo and Apple Pay, among others. 

Students outside at the vendor pad
Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito
The Diamond Dollars program will end on May 15, 2024, to make spending on campus more convenient with alternative forms of payment such as credit and debit cards, Venmo, Apple Pay and others.

After a 25-year run, Diamond Dollars will retire on May 15, 2024.

“In many ways, this is the end of an era. At Orientation, parents and guardians often ask why students can’t just use their credit or debit cards, and students have told us they prefer the other forms of payment,” said Director of the OWLcard Office and Diamond Dollars Scott Brannan about ending the program. “As we look to continue convenience for our students and families, this is an opportunity to help the university as well in a small cost-cutting way.”

Since the pandemic, the program’s sales have stalled, partially because of increased competition with preferred payment methods such as Venmo, Apple Pay, and personal credit or debit cards. This corresponds to a national trend of students using apps to interact with their institutions and their smartphones to make payments.

Here’s how it worked: Students deposited funds into their Diamond Dollars account and accessed them by using their OWLcard at select vendors across campus. Unused funds from this account rolled over semester to semester and year to year.

This semester, any money remaining in students’ Diamond Dollars accounts when the program ends on May 15 will be reimbursed.

The university created the campus-based debit card system in 1999 to engage with businesses at Temple and eliminate the need for students to carry cash. At the inception of the program, many students didn’t have cards of their own or alternative modes of payment.

Now, many students have realized they no longer need Diamond Dollars. “As a junior without a meal plan, I already use personal payment methods at retail locations on campus,” said Riley Brady, Class of 2025. “Since I use my printing allocations and my own funds for merchants on campus, I don't rely on Diamond Dollars.”

Vendors also recognize the convenience of using other options. “Since we already take major payment types such as credit, debit and cash, this would make everyone’s job easier,” said Mike Ar, owner of the Bagel Hut at Montgomery St. and Liacouras Walk.

Temple students without a credit or debit card can obtain a Temple Visa® Debit Card with digital and card payment capabilities through our campus banking partner PNC. Please visit the Diamond Dollars website for more information about the end of the program and alternative payment methods.