USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (HST) (CVN 75) has made history once again, this time as the first aircraft carrier in the fleet to adopt the new Navy Cash Card system.
The system, which began March 23, eliminates cash and coins from the entire ship and instead requires Sailors to add money from their personal bank accounts to one of two systems held on the cash card - the chip or the strip.
"The card has an electronic purse on the chip on the front of the card, which drives all of the purchases on the ship," said Jon Holsinger, financial contact for the Navy Cash Program Office. "There is also a strip on the back of the card that utilizes the Mastercard logo on the front. It's a Mastercard debit feature that you can use wherever you'd use a Mastercard."
According to Holsinger, Navy Cash began when it went live in 2001 on USS Rentz (FFG 46) after the U.S. Treasury and Naval Supply Systems Command partnered together to create the program.
Since then, many others have followed suit in the growing trend of a cashless Navy, with HST as the largest vessel using the program to date.
Long before Navy Cash went live on Truman, preparations were made to prepare the crew for such a large change.
"Our office did briefings, visited the ship and went through PowerPoint presentations with the upper-level officers on the ship, and developed a game plan to train the crew," said Holsinger.
Many Sailors have enjoyed the new system since it went into place.
"It took about a day for me to get used to it," said Postal Clerk Seaman Casey Moffitt. "It was simple."
"The Navy Cash Card is convenient as far as not having to carry cash around. (Sailors) can just go to the ship's ATM machine and transfer money to the chip," said Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class (SW) Rodney Goins.
The card has also made it easier for the many sales transactions that occur every day on Truman.
"As ship's servicemen, our job deals with vending machines, phone card machines and the ship's store," said Chief Ship's Serviceman (SW) Scott Nester, S-3 divisional chief petty officer. "The money we collected from that took two people on two shifts 24 hours a day to do here on USS Harry S. Truman. Now, it's all done electronically, so I can use those two people elsewhere in my operations."
Besides the cash-handling benefits, Navy Cash was also created to benefit Sailors who use the card.
"It's considered safer than having money in the racks and having to pull your cash from an ATM, and keep it in your pocket," said Carol Lentz, program manager for the industry partners J.P Morgan-Chase. "If you lose your cash, it's gone. If you lose your card, the money can be restored to you."
According to Lentz, if a Sailor loses their card and reports it to the disbursing office, the card can be frozen within the skin of the ship in five minutes and ashore within 24 hours. If the card is not reported lost or stolen, the maximum amount of money that can be used is $25, despite the $1,000 maximum Sailors can keep on the chip.
PIN protection is a safety feature added to the card to both protect and deter Sailors from theft. This added protection has helped many Sailors feel more at ease with the program.
"I feel safer knowing that my card is protected," said Sales Officer Lt. j.g. Wil Wooten. "No one wants to lose $25, but it's a lot better than losing all the money in your wallet."
One of the best benefits, however, may be never replacing a card once the Sailor has received it.
"When individuals move from ship to ship, they can keep using the same card," said Lentz.
Navy Cash cards on Truman have already made a large impact in the way the ship does day-to-day business. Overall, the crew of HST has reacted positively to the change.
"The ship has responded well to the new program," said Holsinger. "It's a great ship and I think a good match for Navy Cash."
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.