Stony Brook University's new "Wolfie Wallet" program, a debit-card system for students, faculty and staff that is linked to their identification cards, has already begun connecting the university community and the business community.
With Wolfie Wallet, they can use their accounts to not only pay for food, laundry, concert tickets, and other merchandise on campus, but they can also use them off campus at a growing number of local businesses. According to Angela Agnello, director of marketing and communications for the Faculty Student Association, Wolfie Wallet replaces the former Campus Cash program, which prevented students from using their funds at certain places they wanted to patronize such as the University Bookstore.
"The Wolfie Wallet program was implemented to use one tender with the Stony Brook ID card at merchants both on and off campus," Agnello said in an email to Patch. "Changing to a new system has allowed the Faculty Student Association to add many more merchants on and off campus for greater flexibility for students, faculty and staff."
Among those businesses: Cool Monkey Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream in Stony Brook, which opened in July. Owner Tracy Sweeney said she looked into the program after some students asked her if the store accepted their Wolfie Wallet accounts.
"So far it's been good," she said. "We've definitely had a positive response from it."
Another business owner, Rahman Hussain of Quiznos in South Setauket, said he hasn't seen many students using it so far – but then again, it's only been around a short time.
"I see the benefit of it," Hussain said.
Some businesses pay to become part of the Wolfie Wallet program; Agnello said it varies by vendor. Some have chosen to offer a student discount with use of the program.
Also among the businesses taking part in the program: Wildberry Frozen Yogurt in East Setauket, Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt in Stony Brook, Top Stop Halal Chinese Food in Lake Grove, Star Wash Lube in Miller Place, CVS in Setauket, Cabo Fresh in Stony Brook, O Sole Mio in Stony Brook, and Subway locations in Setauket and Stony Brook.