The future of the student ID: new technologies are expanding the capabilities of campus cards.


A University Business Web Seminar Digest * Originally presented on May 17, 2016

Campus cards are a critical component of campus life, serving not only as a student's identification, but also providing access to facilities, meals, disbursement funds, events and more, interconnecting the institution and the community. New technologies are continually expanding the capabilities of campus cards, including the physical form they take. Institutions have an ever-growing number of options for providing secure and convenient IDs to students, faculty and staff.

In this web seminar, panelists discussed how the next-generation campus card has literally become more than just a card, highlighting the benefits and capabilities of near-field communication (NFC) contactless cards, student IDs on mobile devices and biometric student IDs. The director of Georgia State University's PantherCard program also described the university's innovative card system and how it benefits the institution and the community.

Jeff StaplesiThere have been a lot of different iterations of credential technologies over the years, everything from a plain piece of plastic with a magnetic stripe or barcode, up to and including secure contactless technology. There are many different options for an institution to choose from today.

We have found great benefits for the institutions that use secure, contactless and ISO-format credential tech nologies. One of those benefits is something we call "first-time read rate"--that is, how many times do I have to present or swipe a card in order for it to be read successfully? A mag stripe can be problematic because it can degrade over time, but contactless reads quickly and securely, and allows the cardholders to get on with their business. They don't want a lot of hassle when it comes to using their card; they just want to get into that building or other facility or just buy their lunch.

Over the course of the last five to eight years, we've seen the adoption rate of contactless technology to be extraordinarily high. But this is not at the exclusion of the legacy technologies, which we've seen coexist and function very well.

We've also seen enhanced levels of credential security emerge. Many of us have witnessed the vulnerability of mag-stripe technology. It's been a phenomenal utility for years now, but it wasn't meant to be a secure technology. As the fraudsters have learned to take advantage of its weakness, and tools to do so have proliferated and the...

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