Ohio State students have the opportunity to pay at 15 local merchants including Formaggio Pizza, Across the Field, Kafe Kerouac and Kildare’s Irish Pub using a new form of currency: their name. Students can become members of Moocho Open Tab for free by entering their debit or credit card information at moocho.com. After shopping at a Moocho merchant, members present a photo ID to charge their purchases to their Moocho accounts and automatically receive discounts.
CEO and founder of Moocho, Matt Levenson, said he hopes to offer the option of linking BuckID cards to Moocho accounts soon.
As members of Moocho, students receive exclusive discounts at participating merchants and earn credit every time they spend a certain amount at each merchant.
“You start out with 28 free dollars,” Levenson said. “On top of that, for all of the merchants except Campus State Liquor Store, you earn $1 of free credit for every $10 you spend. For that one (Campus State Liquor Store) you earn 50 cents for every $20 you spend.”
Levenson said the benefit of this program is that the available merchants run specials for Moocho members that allow members to save, on top of the free credit they earn as they spend money at the merchants.
“You can get 10 percent off at Hookah Rush, or $1 cherry bombs at the Loft. There are new specials every day,” Levenson said. “Moocho allows you to make yourself a VIP.”
Levenson said details regarding the specials are available on Moocho’s website, and members also receive email alerts for new deals, receipts and credit balances.
One merchant offering access to Moocho is Formaggio Pizza, located at 20 E. 13th Ave.
Formaggio owner, Fadi Michael, said it is hard to tell how or if the program will benefit his business at this time.
“(Moocho) is still very new,” Michael said. “We don’t know what to expect, but we hope it will work well for us. It should work out.”
Michael said since the program is new, he hasn’t had any students use it yet, but he said he thinks it is a convenient way for students to save money.
Formaggio offers $1 pizza slices to Moocho customers from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the Loft at Formaggio offers $1 cherry bombs during the same time span, according to Moocho’s website.
Levenson said there are about 3,000 OSU students signed up for Moocho, a number he hopes will grow.
Another number Levenson said he expects will increase is the number of businesses who accept Moocho.
“We absolutely expect to expand,” Levenson said. “In the next few weeks, I hope the number expands by 10 or 15 merchants.”
Some students, such as Adam Chatlain, a second-year in business, said he would also like to see the program expand.
“It’s a good idea, but I don’t know if I’d use it,” Chatlain said. “I’d be more interested in it if there were more options, maybe some more big names or popular places.”
OSU is one of only seven college campuses nationwide where Moocho offers its program.
“We chose OSU because it’s the best,” Levenson said. “(It’s) vibrant college community who really backs the local community.”