Lancaster’s student discount Purple Card is being pulled

LUSU is discontinuing its student discount card, amidst competition and financial concerns

Lancaster University Students’ Union is to discontinue its Purple Card student discount card.

This comes as the Union cites “falling numbers” and “financial difficulties all businesses are facing” due to the current pandemic.

The Purple Card was used by students in the same regard as the NUS’ Totum Card, and the UniDays app – with many businesses offering student discounts to those with any valid student ID. With this in mind, the decision has been made by the Union to pull the plug on this student service.

This is the second major student service that has been discontinued by the Students’ Union in the past few months, after the cancellation of the “All In” sports scheme – an initiative that helped thousands of students to engage in recreational sport at university.

In a statement, the Students’ Union revealed that usage of the Purple Card had dropped by 85 per cent since 2012/13, and in the past year around 1,400 students had been in possession of a Purple Card. The Union has stressed that any student in possession of a card that has yet to expire will be able to receive a refund – the deadline for requesting a refund is 30th October 2020, 17:00.

A LUSU 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.”

This is yet another blow to student services, and follows on from the Union’s announcement that its budget may be slashed by up to 33 per cent in the 2020/21 academic year, and that it may be forced to close the campus convenience store, Central.

Lancaster University Students’ Union’s full announcement can be found here.