What was once a pretty good source of cash donations to the visitors center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center just sort of recently trickled out. And nobody could figure out why. Until it hit them…
Their cash donation box was just that – cash. And who carries much cash any more? Debit and credit cards rule. So HMSC staff jumped into action to make the visitors center “card friendly.”
But they quickly hit a brick wall – KA-POW!
Staff quickly learned that because of security issues, the center was not allowed to offer card swiping donations, or any other remotely operated kiosk services, which has always been kind of a pain for OSU Extension agents and workers.
But staff wouldn’t take no for an answer. They tracked down a fellow who manages what’s called “Oregon E-Government and Voice Services.” Manager Wallace Rogers figured out a way for the visitors center to become “payment card industry” compliant. He does it, on behalf of many state services, through a third party company called NIC-USA. And straight-away Rogers’ office was able to convince the state Department of Justice to do a legal sufficiency review of the visitors center request. And DOJ said “okay!” They did. And they approved it!
The visitors center unmanned kiosk will be installed in January. And what’s more, it may allow OSU Extension agents and others, who may have various items to sell, to be able to do so at a variety of locations outside of their offices. MASTER GARDENERS ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION??!!!
Everyone involved with the “solution” is grateful that everyone else thought outside the box which, if successful, could become THE method by which other Oregon universities and colleges and state agencies can become more engaged in providing products and services to the citizens of Oregon.
Congratulations to Hatfield Marine Science Center staff for sticking with it, and who now expect those shrinking donations to start rising again!