Robert Taylor  Bengal card
Doug Lindley\u002fIdaho State Journal\u000dRobert Taylor\u002c president and CEO of the Idaho State University Credit Union introduces the new student ID card that is also a debit card Wednesday morning\u002e

    POCATELLO — Officials with Idaho State University and the ISU Federal Credit Union have unveiled a new student ID card that doubles as a debit card, with 10 percent of the transaction fees going to the university.

    Also during a Wednesday morning press conference, they announced plans to open a new ISU Federal Credit Union branch inside of the Pond Student Union Building.

    “Students are not going into debt for this,” said Robert Taylor, president and CEO of the credit union. “The interchange from swiping the card at different businesses will be shared with the university.”

    The cards should be available in July for current faculty, staff and students. The new BengalCard Plus combines an ISU ID card and a Mastercard debit card and is only available to ISU Federal Credit Union members attending or employed by the university.

    The new card will have two swipe strips, one orange and one black, on its back side. The orange strip will offer the same access to university libraries, facilities, events, meal plans and commuter busses as the regular Bengal Card.

    The black magnetic strip will allow card holders to make purchases on and off campus from their ISU Credit Union account. The front of the card will have picture identification of the cardholder and their university status.

    An account at the credit union is not required for those students who just need the ID card.

    Taylor said since 1952 the credit union has made “considerable commitments” to the university, including proving $8,000 in student scholarships each spring and sponsoring events and clubs at ISU.

    Lowell Richards, the ISU executive director of student unions and involvement, said the new branch will be located inside the student union building in the current waiting area on the second floor between the Chartwell’s offices and the food court.

    The branch will facilitate “dialogue banking” for members to see the transaction process alongside the tellers. The new location of the card office will be adjacent to the credit union branch, for a “one-stop shopping” experience, Richards said. The branch could be operable in June.

    Richards estimates that the older model Bengal Cards will be phased out over the next three to six months.

    For more information on the new BengalCard Plus, visit