Purdue ID cards can be expected to swipe at various locations outside the confines of campus in the foreseeable future.

Currently, Purdue University ID (PUID) cards are a lifeline for students across campus in order to eat at dining courts, enter residence halls and work out at the France A. Córdova Recreational Center. The cards’ software is set for an upgrade today, which will hardly be noticeable to students.

The upgrade is a necessity, as the old software is now 20 years old and no longer supported by the vendor. Administrators and software technicians are expected to find the new software simpler to use as well as more versatile than the old version. Students and other card users are not anticipated to notice any change and will only be effected by the shutdown of BoilerExpress for one to two days.

This software upgrade is only phase one of several changes to come for the PUID cards according to Richard Wells, an assistant comptroller in the Collections Office. Phase two will allow students to deposit money into their accounts online and is expected to occur sometime during the fall. The change is an effort to make depositing funds into PUID cards more convenient – the current method requires students to manually bring a check to the card services office.

“You’ll be able to log in and literally use a card to deposit money directly,” Wells said.

Phase three is the biggest change and is not expected to occur until 2014. This third development would make the cards similar to debit cards by allowing students to use them at designated restaurants and stores near campus via BoilerExpress. This step has been in the works for years and recently became a real possibility according to Kris Halter, customer service coordinator at the Card Services Office.

“The card office had been looking at off-campus use for a number of years,” said Halter. “Unfortunately, a number of issues, for example cost and security, prevented us from making the transition.”

Halter said no decisions have been made yet regarding which businesses will coordinate with Purdue to accept BoilerExpress.