UAntwerp goes cashless

Date: 22 December 2016

Introduction: Only electronic payments accepted at the university's restaurants, libraries and reprography office.

Grabbing a bite at the student restaurant? Buying a course book at the reprography office? You’ll still be able to do this in 2017, but only if you pay electronically. Various services at the University of Antwerp will stop accepting cash in the new year.

Following a transition period in January, bank notes and coins will no longer be welcome in the library, reprography office or Komida restaurants. The decision was not made lightly.

“Cash payments involve a lot of extra work”, explains financial manager Martin Decanq. “And there’s always the security factor, of course. Theft can never be ruled out completely. Under the motto ‘prevention is better than cure', we’re eliminating cash payments altogether."

Payment app
New payment terminals will be installed in places where electronic payments are not currently supported. Students, staff and visitors using these services can pay using three different cards (Bancontact, Maestro or the Edenred meal voucher card) or with the Payconiq app. This app is being introduced at the request of students, many of whom have already used it at student club events.

Is the university really allowed to ban cash payments just like that? Decancq says: “Businesses are legally required to accept cash, but the University of Antwerp is not a commercial company – it is an institution established by decree. Our restaurants, libraries and reprography offices are services that we provide voluntarily to our students and staff. That means we can also introduce certain conditions, such as the requirement to pay electronically. "