UW cafeteria experiments with going cashless

SEATTLE -- Cash is no longer king on campus at the University of Washington.

School officials say they're eliminating the old fashioned greenback in some areas of the campus and going entirely from cash to plastic.

The move comes after UW staff noticed more than $4,000 missing from a cafeteria's kitchen safe the first week of March, so they decided to take the temptation away from thieves.

"Kind of an interim security measure during the investigation and internal audit process," said Uw's David Rey.

Rey said going cashless was an easy transition, since only 3 percent of those who eat at the cafeteria pay with cash.

All students and staff must carry the Husky card to move about campus, and Rey said the majority already use that card to pay for their meals.

The move hasn't seemed to slow down students.

"I don't think many students in general use cash here," said freshman Vlad Sepetov.

While going cash only at the cafeteria isn't causing a stir, some students aren't sold on the idea of the entire campus going cashless.

"I also think it poses a little bit of a danger when you're working with cards you have RFIDs and you have numbers that people potentially could steal. Not a full proof system," said student Sam Wishkoski.

Rey said the Housing and Food Service Department administers the Husky card and takes security very seriously.

"It's an internal system we have lots of good internal security controls on that," he said.

School officials will look at how well the cashless cafeteria worked after the school year ends and decide if it will be back in the fall and if it will expand to other areas of campus.