OneCard Usage Policy


To identify acceptable use and ownership of a OneCard.


This policy applies to all Seneca employees and students that receive a OneCard.

Key Definitions

Declining Balance account

A OneCard client account where purchases, other than those related to parking or meal plans, will be deducted from. Declining Balance account transactions include those made for printing services, library services and at the bookstore.


Full-time, part-time and contract faculty, support staff and administrators of Seneca.

Meal Plan account

A client account within a cardholder’s OneCard record that provides benefits when purchasing food on a Seneca campus.


Official chip-enabled Seneca identification card.

Tax-free status

The duration that a meal plan remains tax exempt. The tax-free status shall expire once the duration for which a meal plan was purchased (i.e. two months, one semester or two semesters) ends.


1. Use and Ownership

1.1 A OneCard and the photo found on the front of the card are the property of Seneca.

1.2 A OneCard is used to identify the cardholder as a Seneca student, employee or volunteer and to provide them with access to various services, including parking, dining, photocopying, printing, campus bus and Seneca libraries.

1.3 Cardholders are only entitled to use their own OneCard.

1.4 OneCards are non-transferable.

1.5 A cardholder will not use their OneCard for any illegal, improper or unlawful purposes. For example, presenting their OneCard as evidence of being a student at Seneca while not registered as a student. Using another individual’s OneCard, or altering, falsifying or selling a OneCard is prohibited and subject to sanctions, pursuant to Seneca’s Student Code of Conduct Policy, and may also be subject to civil or criminal proceedings.

1.6 OneCards have three (3) types of client accounts: a Meal Plan account, a Parking Plan account and a Declining Balance account. For example, if a cardholder purchases a meal plan, the funds are applied to their Meal Plan account. If they purchase a parking plan, their parking privileges are applied to their Parking Plan account. All other funds on their OneCard (for transactions other than meal plan purchases) will be applied to their Declining Balance account. Cardholders may view their online OneCard statement by accessing their online OneCard account through the OneCard website.

1.7 Providing funds are available in their account, cardholders may use their OneCard as a debit card where accepted by Seneca service providers.

1.8 OneCards do not provide credit.

1.9 Cardholders must not purchase alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets with their OneCard.

1.10 Cash-back transactions with a OneCard are not permitted.

1.11 Seneca reserves the right to deduct any outstanding balance on a cardholder’s student account from any refund of OneCard funds they may receive.

1.12 Cardholders are responsible for use of their OneCard, including deductions made as a result of misuse of their OneCard.

1.13 Cardholders must first attempt to settle any OneCard purchase disputes directly with the service provider where the purchase was made. In some circumstances, Seneca may provide assistance in resolving disputed or declined transactions. For more information, refer to section 5 of this policy.

2. Security

2.1 Cardholders are responsible for:

  • safeguarding their OneCard against loss or theft
  • maintaining it in proper working condition
  • keeping their online account password and PIN confidential.

2.2 Seneca will not ask cardholders to divulge any of their OneCard access information.

2.3 Cardholders should change their password or PIN online immediately if they suspect another individual knows it.

3. Lost or Stolen OneCards

3.1 Cardholders must immediately deactivate their OneCard online, in person or by phone through the OneCard office if it is lost or stolen. An email or voice message does not constitute proper notification to the OneCard office of a lost or stolen OneCard.

3.2 A replacement fee of $20 (taxes included) will be charged for a replacement OneCard. A cardholder’s client accounts will be reactivated only after the replacement fee is paid, their student or employee status has been verified and a new OneCard has been issued.

3.3 Cardholders will be responsible for all transactions made on their OneCard until it is reported lost or stolen.

3.4 Seneca will not be responsible for funds or services obtained using a lost or stolen OneCard.

3.5 Cardholders will not be responsible for unauthorized use.

3.6 Once a replacement OneCard has been issued, a cardholder’s remaining account balances will be transferred to their new OneCard.

3.7 If a OneCard is deactivated, it will only be reactivated at the OneCard office with proof of identification and if a replacement card has not yet been issued.

3.8 If a new OneCard is issued, any previous OneCards will be permanently deactivated.

3.9 If a OneCard is found and returned to Seneca, the OneCard office will contact the cardholder.

4. Expired OneCards

4.1 OneCards do not expire and can be used throughout a cardholder’s academic career or employment at Seneca.

5. Charge Disputes

5.1 Cardholders must notify the OneCard office in person within 30 calendar days of the date of a disputed charge if they were unable to successfully resolve it with the service provider. Cardholders must provide the OneCard office with the date, location and amount of the transaction, along with any other information that may help staff resolve their claim.

5.2 Charge disputes are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and disputing a charge does not guarantee that it will be credited to the cardholder’s account.

6. Currency

6.1 All OneCard account funds are in Canadian dollars.

6.2 Cash deposits, certified cheques and money orders deposited in a OneCard account at the OneCard office must be in Canadian funds.

6.3 The intended amount of deposits made using a debit or credit card outside of Canada may not be equivalent to the amount actually deposited due to currency exchange rates.

7. OneCard Payment Refusal

7.1 Seneca is not responsible for refusal by a OneCard service provider to accept or honour a cardholder’s OneCard for whatever reason, including the following:

  • There are insufficient funds in their account at the time of the purchase
  • Equipment normally used to process the transaction is not functioning
  • Their account is temporarily suspended or cancelled due to a violation of this policy
  • Their card has been reported lost or stolen.

8. Refunds

8.1 Subject to this policy, Seneca’s OneCard office will provide a refund upon receipt of a written request, submitted in-person by the account holder. 

8.2 A refund on a cardholder’s OneCard account will be subject to applicable Meal Plan, Declining Balance and Parking Plan account restrictions.

8.3 A refund will only be made to the cardholder who submitted the refund form.

8.4 Refunds may be reduced by the amount of any Harmonized Sales Tax, any other applicable taxes or any discount offered by a service provider through a cardholder’s OneCard account.

8.5 A $50 administration fee will be deducted from a cardholder’s OneCard account prior to their refund being issued.

8.6 Seneca reserves the right to deduct any outstanding balance on a cardholder’s student account from their refund.

8.7 Refunds will be returned to the original credit card or in the original method of payment.

8.8 There may be circumstances where a cardholder is provided with a promotional account for purchases with their OneCard. Funds in promotional accounts are non-refundable and non-transferable and are subject to expiry as determined by the OneCard office.

9. Residual Fund

9.1 Meal Plan account

9.1.1 For more information on residual funds related to a Meal Plan account, refer to section 14 of this policy.

9.2 Inactive account

9.2.1 If a cardholder’s OneCard remains inactive for a period of one (1) calendar year, all funds remaining in their OneCard accounts as of December 31 shall become property of Seneca and will no longer be available to the cardholder.

10. Confiscation of OneCards

10.1 Any employee or OneCard service provider may confiscate a OneCard if the cardholder is using it fraudulently, without authorization or for improper purposes.

10.2 Confiscated OneCards must be sent to the OneCard office.

10.3 A cardholder whose OneCard has been confiscated will be required to use another payment method to complete a transaction.

11. Offline Transactions

11.1 If a OneCard transaction reader is operating in offline mode, a limited number of transactions may be accepted. In such cases, the transaction will be processed on the cardholder’s OneCard account once the reader is back online.

11.2 A cardholder is responsible for all transactions made while a transaction reader is offline. If the balance on their OneCard account goes into a negative balance, they must bring the balance to zero by reloading their OneCard before using it again.

12. Collection and Use of Personal Information

12.1 Cardholder personal information is collected by Seneca under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and is intended to be used to verify cardholder identity and to operate their OneCard through payment card networks. It is also to be used for the purposes of, and those consistent with, providing the services associated with OneCard; administering Seneca programs and activities; and carrying out other Seneca services and functions.

12.2 Without limiting section 12.1 of this policy, cardholders’ digital photographs will be printed on their OneCard and stored in Seneca’s database. All photos used for a OneCard, including those submitted by a cardholder, are Seneca property and may be shared with Seneca faculties, services, employees and OneCard service providers to identify the cardholder as a member of the Seneca community.

12.3 For more information on Seneca’s collection and use of personal information, refer to Seneca’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Policy.

13. Limitations on Seneca’s Liability and Indemnity

13.1 Seneca is not liable to cardholders:

  • For any loss
  • For any inconvenience to them or to others
  • for any damages (including special, indirect or consequential) or expenses of any kind that may result from the use or misuse of the OneCard
  • If, for whatever reason, their OneCard is not accepted or they do not have sufficient funds in their client accounts.

13.2 Cardholders agree to indemnify, hold harmless and release Seneca from any and all claims for losses, damages, injuries, fees, expenses, charges or debts made by any party against Seneca arising out of the use or misuse of their OneCard, including any meal plan claims related to tax benefits and tax savings.

14. Meal Plans

14.1 Seneca offers two-month, one-semester or two-semester meal plans. A one-semester meal plan is valid from September to December or from January to April. Two-semester meal plans are valid from the first day of service in September, to the last day of service in April. For more information on Seneca’s various meal plan offerings, refer to the Campus Meal Plans webpage.

14.2 Meal plan service is not provided during the December holiday period or during statutory holidays when Seneca is closed.

14.3 Some meal plans are only available at specific food areas as designated by Seneca’s Food Services.

14.4 Seneca does not guarantee that a given meal plan will fulfill a cardholder’s meal requirements for the chosen length (two months, one semester or two semesters). Cardholders are responsible for budgeting their daily food purchases and managing their personal account.

14.5 Items that cannot be purchased with a meal plan include:

  • Non-food purchases, such as books, clothing, printing services, etc.
  • Pop or juices when purchased alone or with a confectionary item
  • Candy, gum, chocolate and chips
  • Granola products and snack mixtures
  • Popsicles, pre-packaged ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt
  • Canned goods and pre-packaged groceries.

14.6 Payment for meals with a OneCard

14.6.1 Once a cardholder’s meal plan payment has been confirmed, the funds will be made available on their OneCard.

14.6.2 OneCard is the sole method of payment accepted for meals purchased under a meal plan. If a cardholder does not present their OneCard to pay for a meal purchase, they must use another method of payment.

14.6.3 If a cardholder loses or deactivates their OneCard, they will be required to use another payment method until they obtain a replacement OneCard from the OneCard office. A replacement fee of $20 will apply.

14.6.4 All meal purchases are final once a transaction is approved.

14.6.5 If a cardholder does not use their OneCard to purchase a meal (including in the case of a lost or stolen card) and uses another payment method instead, the amount of the payment shall not be credited to their meal plan.

14.7 Refunds

14.7.1 When withdrawing from the Meal Plan, the unused tax-exempt portion of a cardholder’s meal plan will be refunded, provided the withdrawal complies with Canada Revenue Agency regulations governing the tax savings program for meal plans at colleges. A written request to withdraw from the meal plan must be delivered to the OneCard office in person by the card holder.  Each request will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and may be subject to an administration fee.

14.7.2 One-semester meal plans expire the last day of meal service in December and April for the fall and winter semesters respectively. Two-semester meal plans expire on the last day of meal service in April. Any unused balance will be carried over to the cardholder’s Meal Plan account for the next academic semester, but will become taxable as the funds will have exceeded their tax-free status.

14.8 Tax savings

14.8.1 Meal plans are tax exempt when used within the duration of their tax-free status. The tax-free status shall expire once the duration of the purchased meal plan is over.

14.8.2 Some one-semester and two-semester meal plans offer a base amount for tax-exempt meals, representing savings of the HST of 13 per cent. For more information, refer to the Campus Meal Plans webpage.

14.8.3 Funds from a cardholder’s tax saving meal plan can be transferred to their Declining Balance account under the conditions described in section 14.7.2 of this policy.

14.8.4 Declining Balance account dollars used are subject to tax and are not included in any applicable tax-exempt portion.

15. Declining Balance Account

15.1 A cardholder’s Declining Balance account may be used to purchase books, school supplies, library or printing services, or food items that are not associated with a meal plan. For more information on foods that cannot be purchased using a Meal Plan account, refer to section 14.5 of this policy.

15.2 If a cardholder does not have enough funds in their Declining Balance account, they must use another payment method.

Supporting Documentation

  • None

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