The current cash-to-card payment system used for printing and parking services at UMD has worked well for about 14 years but it is a technology long past its prime and no longer supported by vendors. During Winter Break 2012, we will replace our current "Debitek" cash-to-card system with new technology. We expect it to be easy to use and to have added security and convenience.
If you look carefully at the back of your current UCard, you will see that there are two magnetic strips. The thicker strip near the top of the card is much like any ID or credit card - it contains some identifying information about you. The thin magnetic strip near the bottom of the card is more like a disk drive - it actually stores re-writeable data. It has been used to track cash value for things like Chemistry equipment, parking, and printing. This technology, supported by a company called Debitek, is at the end of life and will no longer be supported.
The new system will rely on the wider strip and cash value will be tracked in a database separate from the UCard, much more like Dining Dollars are currently tracked. We expect the new system to be easy to use and to have added security and convenience. There will be a transition period for customers to use up or transfer existing Debitek funds. Watch for more details soon.