The Students’ Union has taken a decision to end its Purple Card discount scheme because of falling numbers using it and the financial difficulties all businesses are facing due to the COVID19 crisis.
All students who have bought cards which have remaining years left on them will receive a refund if the card expires after October 2020 – simply email the students’ union to process the refund.
In recent years the use of the card has declined among students at Lancaster. In 2012/13 there were 9,501 cards purchased, by this year that figure has fallen to just 1,421.
Coupled with this, the COVID19 crisis has meant that fewer businesses are able to offer discounts for the card, resulting in less value for students. The card is also facing competition with the NUS’s own discount card Totum, UniDays and many stores offering student discount with a student ID card.
The union will issue refunds to students who have purchased multiyear cards. Refunds can be claimed until 30 October 2020, 5pm. Please note all refunds will be processed in October and November.
Students holding a purple card should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a refund of the outstanding time on the card.
Purple Cards will not be offered to staff in the Flexible Benefits enrolment window this year. Monthly deductions will end for last year’s cards with September’s salary.
A Students’ Union spokesperson said: “Unfortunately this decision has been forced upon us by the declining use of the card and the challenging economic circumstances caused by COVID19. The Union must prioritise and manage its resource especially when the Union is facing significant financial challenges.
But we do not want to allow any student to lose out and will be offering refunds for cards that still have years to run on them.”
We would like to thank everyone who has supported the Purple Card over the years.