I wanted to know how other Higher Education users are providing money for meals to their students. Right now they have access to ghost cards for airlines, hotels, trains, cars, etc. But, when it comes to buying food, they have to pay out of pocket and then get reimbursed. How have others solved this issue?
@randimoore have you considered using Per Diems? A good portion of our customers use it. Some people call it travel allowance, but it might be something you consider. Here is a link to some Per Diem FAQs that you might find helpful: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates/frequently-asked-questions-per-diem
as those people are not employees I wouldn't advise any cards (apart the one you already use for those students). In a few companies I worked for, they were providing a fix amount per month for small expenses such as transports/meals and treat it as forfait however the company wasn't obliged to providing those economical support.(in Switzerland)
I guess it would also depends on some countries which might be a requirements but I am not aware.
Did you try to approach the discussion also with Payroll as they should be able to provide details specific on the countries where those students are based.
Most of our student travel is as a group, athletics for example. In those cases the coach/trip leader takes a cash advance for the group meals and either distributes the cash as per diem amounts to the students, getting signatures and submitting as a receipt to reconcile the advance, or purchases group meals at a restaurant or grocery store. We do not allow cash advances to students directly. So if an individual student is traveling and needs to pay for travel meals, they do need to wait until after the trip to be reimbursed.
We are looking into prepaid cards for student per diem meals instead of group cash advances. The department manages the cards and amounts. The student is issued a card and then per diem for a trip is loaded on the card at the start of the travel for use at restaurants, grocery stores, etc.