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Mercer University Auxiliary Services and Mercer Dining will introduce Transact Mobile Ordering to its students this August. The move will enable Mercer students to order ahead and skip the line for pickup at the university's retail dining locations.

According to an official university release, Transact Mobile Ordering will support students orders at Chick-fil-A, Panda Express, Which Wich, Brewed Awakenings, Einstein Bros. Bagels and the Side Bar Café.

“In today’s environment, health and safety is paramount. Everyone is looking for efficient and safe ways to serve our customers,” says Ken Boyer, associate vice president for auxiliary services at Mercer University. “We are confident that the app will be a viable way of providing our community with safe, contactless and convenient access to the dining options that work for their individual needs.”

Students simply download the app from the App Store or Google Play and log in with their Mercer credentials. The app will also be available on the official Mercer website this fall.

Once logged in, students can add their credit or debit card or elect to pay with their campus card account via Dining Dollars or Bear Bucks. Following initial setup, the app will then keep users logged in for convenient future use.

The Transact Mobile Ordering app sends students a push notification when their food is ready, signaling that the student can make their way to the dining location. Using the app is expected to save students time by both enabling them to plan orders ahead, and effectively skip long lines for order pickup.

Mercer also has plans to implement a loyalty rewards program with Transact Mobile Ordering later in the year.

Nelnet Campus Commerce, a provider of secure payment technology for higher education institutions, is expanding international student payment options via a new partnership with MTFX Group's payment solution, PayMyTuition.

PayMyTuition enables international students to pay their tuition and other fees in their home currency, in some cases saving students thousands of dollars on currency exchange and transfer fees. These savings are the result of PayMyTuition offering international students wholesale rates on transactions.

"Nelnet's new partnership with MTFX incorporates PayMyTuition's feature-rich digital payments capability directly into our platforms with real-time integrations," says DeeAnn Wenger, President of Nelnet Campus Commerce. "We're thrilled to provide additional tuition and fee-related transaction resources for international students."

"We are pleased to partner with Nelnet and provide our PayMyTuition cross border tuition payments solution to their education partners and students," says Arif Harji, Chief Marketing Strategist, MTFX Group.

"It's a much more efficient and safer process to have our international payments made online with PayMyTuition, especially when we have foreign students arriving with large sums of cash to make their tuition payments."

-- Greg McCoy, Director of Student Financial Services at Auburn University

To make a payment via PayMyTuition, a student would first secure the exchange rate, and fund the transaction with the specified amount in their native currency. From there, PayMyTuition delivers the equivalent value directly to the educational institution in the institution's local currency.

The company says the process takes two days from when the funds are first sent, and PayMyTuition tracks and notifies the student at every step of the process and when the payment is complete.

"PayMyTuition was seamless to implement. The PayMyTuition dashboard was easy to use and helped our staff see the status of student tuition payments."

-- Carly Crossman, Manager, Accounting and Revenue at Thompson Rivers University

"By way of this payment technology, families will be able to quickly and easily pay tuition and fees across borders by the click of a button," says MTFX Group's Harji. "Adding this international payment solution as one of several options that Nelnet Campus Commerce provides to partners will empower families to make the best choice for their students studying abroad."

Boston’s Suffolk University has partnered with Grubhub to provide its students with another dining alternative. The move will expand the dining options available to Suffolk students and enable greater use of the campus card for payment. The partnership comes during a time of transition as the university community adapts to a new campus normal and prepares to welcome students back.

Suffolk’s Campus Card Services has made it a personal mission to constantly improve upon student satisfaction. Specifically, the card office looks to implement new technology and emerging services to the Ram Card offering wherever possible.

“Members of the department routinely attend town hall meetings, conduct focus groups and student surveys to figure out what our students want and need,” says Mikhail Ilin, Manager of Campus Card Services at Suffolk University. “Most frequently, we hear our students’ desire to add to our already robust network of merchants that accept the Ram Card. But adding new merchants can be a daunting task.”

As with other universities in major metropolitan cities, Suffolk University – located in the heart of Boston – has no shortage of restaurants, supermarkets and other service providers that are all readily available to students.

“When a merchant partners with us, they get a full slate of marketing services run by students for students,” says Ilin. “But I am always on a difficult discovery mission to bring more merchants to the network – until now.”

In early April, Suffolk Campus Card Services formed a partnership with Grubhub. “We saw this as a way to increase our merchant base and provide options for students instantaneously,” says Ilin.

“We’re proud to help Suffolk expand its off-campus dining program and bring more options to students,” says Lyle Margerum, Director of Technical Operations for Grubhub Campus. “Working in partnership, we were able to onboard Suffolk University in a matter of hours. It’s been a quick and easy process for everyone.”

“The Ram Card has always been convenient because we can use it on and off campus while in Boston. Partnering with Grubhub means there's no location limitations anymore. This makes students’ lives easier by enabling them to use their Ram Card funds from anywhere in the US.”

– Caroline Martel, graduate fellow, University Card Services, Suffolk University

“Just a few easy taps on a smartphone is all it takes to tie the Ram Card to the student’s Grubhub profile and they’re ready to order,” says Ilin.

Also core to the agreement is Suffolk’s card system vendor, CBORD. PCI compliance, monthly settlements, and other financial functions are handled behind the scenes by the UGryd team at CBORD, says Ilin.

“Suffolk has been a long-standing partner with CBORD, and has implemented several solutions created by us and our partners,” says Sami Takieddine, Director of Platform Operations, Patron Engagement at CBORD.

“The expanded Grubhub partnership leverages our GET CBORD Student and UGryd platforms,” adds Takieddine. “There was no additional cost for Suffolk to implement, which was icing on the cake.”

Spreading the word about Grubhub

Suffolk has also put efforts in place to market the Grubhub partnership to its campus community.

“Ram Card's social media accounts post daily, and students often interact with us on our Instagram page,” says Hannah Sweet, Operations Specialist, Campus Card Services, Suffolk University. “We will post a fun demo video across our social media accounts and YouTube page on how students can use their Ram Card on Grubhub that highlights why this is a great resource.”

“The Grubhub partnership is very timely for our university and promises to be the most significant retail addition to our campus card offering in a long time.”

Suffolk is also hoping its community will embrace the trend of posting meals on Instagram.

“We’ll encourage students to use a hashtag, #RamGrubhub, which will allow us to repost their photos,” says Sweet, “We’re also utilizing the features of polls and Q&A’s on Instagram stories to help gain insight into students' thoughts and their go-to restaurants.”

These marketing efforts are also being carried over to Suffolk’s weekly digital newsletter, as well as on printed flyers that will be posted around campus. “Postcard sized versions of those flyers will be handed out at tabling events and frequent outings where we talk with students about new features of Ram Card and learn their opinions,” says Sweet.

Serving a new campus environment

With questions still swirling about COVID-19, students returning to campus, and the new normal, Suffolk’s partnership with Grubhub provides flexibility at a crucial time. Suffolk serves a sizable number of commuter students - a group that’s hungry for a flexible dining option.

“This partnership enhances our ability to serve our large commuter population. Seventy three percent of students currently live off-campus, and that number is projected to increase as a result of COVID-19,” says Kurt Hentschel, Director of Strategic Procurement at Suffolk University. “Commuter students would typically only utilize their Ram Card while at school, but with Grubhub they now have an opportunity to use it from home too. It’s especially helpful right now with many restaurants moving to delivery only service.”

Grubhub and CBORD have both made efforts to assist higher education institutions as the industry responds and adapts to COVID-19 related challenges.

“After COVID-19 hit, we worked with Grubhub to expand our partnership from an on-campus only offering to one that includes access to their network of more than 300,000 restaurants nationwide,” says CBORD’s Takieddine. “Suffolk jumped on the chance to implement the program to provide a safer, healthier way for their campus community to purchase meals.”

“As students return this fall, Suffolk and many of our other campuses can offer more choices for off-campus dining and contactless delivery,” adds Takieddine. “This program is a win-win for colleges and universities.”

“Our product and engineering teams quickly adapted to the demands of the changing college dining market,” says Grubhub’s Margerum. “Offering institutions the ability to use an off-campus tender on the Grubhub marketplace gives administrators an easy way to transition back to more traditional on-site dining services and keep students fed wherever they may be.”

For students interested in helping with COVID-19 efforts through financial donations, Grubhub also has a Donate the Change program. The program offers the option for customers to round up their total purchase, with the spare change being donated to charitable organizations that support restaurants and drivers impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. This is in addition to the free Grubhub+ Student membership available to Suffolk and other university students, which offers free delivery from participating restaurants.

“Enabling institutions to use off-campus tender on the Grubhub marketplace gives campuses an easy way to transition back to more traditional on-site dining services and keep students fed wherever they may be.”

Additionally, Suffolk’s partnership with Grubhub is helping with another very important goal. “Even before the COVID-19 crisis institutions of higher learning all over the United States were dealing with another crisis – food insecurity experienced by some members of the student body,” says Ilin.

Suffolk operates a food insecurity program where students can receive money loaded on their Ram Card to purchase meals on and off campus.

“Many of our students in need of this assistance reside quite far from campus, which creates a difficulty since most of our merchants are located near our campus,” says Ilin. “The Grubhub partnership will allow these students to use the donated meal funds and leverage that program where they reside.”

Regardless of what the fall semester will hold as Suffolk students return to campus life, the message remains clear: the move to Grubhub was the right choice.

“This Grubhub partnership is very timely for our university and fills a significant gap in our offerings to students, particularly our commuter students,” says Hentschel. “It promises to be the most significant retail addition to our campus card offering in a long time.”

Stephen F. Austin State University has made changes to campus housing guidelines amid COVID-19, including the lifting of a requirement for freshmen to live in on-campus residence halls.

As reported by local new affiliate CBS 19, SFA plans to offer face-to-face classes and full housing and dining options. But campus housing will now lift a requirement that previously saw incoming freshman or underclassmen with less than 60 credit hours required to live in campus residence halls.

“We currently have approximately 3,500 students assigned,” says Carrie Charley, Director of Auxiliary Services at SFA. “We recognize that in this time students may be more comfortable not living in a residence hall environment, so we want to be as considerate and as flexible as possible.”

The freshmen housing requirement joins other changes designed to prevent the spread of the virus within residence halls. The university will still have 11 residence halls available for students to live in.

Each residence hall will have its own full-time custodial staff that will work both days and evenings to clean common restrooms and other high traffic common areas.

SFA is also reducing the amount of seating in every dorm’s common spaces and limited use of other public areas like kitchens. Student residents will also be provided with hand sanitizer.

“Residence halls are special-purpose buildings and are not open to the general public,” says Charley. “Visitation privileges have been amended to allow no more than two extra people in a room or suite at any given time.”

The university will also offer single bedrooms, and is currently working on a wait list to manage the assignment of single rooms. A plan has also been formed for students who become sick, with an immediate protocol for isolation, testing and contract tracing.

"If the student is required to self-isolate due to possible COVID-19 exposure or a positive test, he or she may be required to temporarily move to a different location during self-isolation until the CDC guidelines for returning to his or her room are met," says Charley. "We have two of our smaller buildings kept off-line and are reserved as isolation quarters for this year.”

A new survey conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology asked MIT students how they felt about the return to campus this fall. The survey results point to some concerns around the coronavirus and how the university will implement new safety restrictions.

MIT's student publication, The Tech, breaks down the results of the Student Preference Survey sent to all MIT undergraduates on June 6th. The survey polled 3,517 respondents, consisting of 869 incoming first-year students and 2,648 upper-level sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The first part of the survey asked students to consider an academic environment with mostly remote curriculum and only some in-person elements for lab or project classes. This plan would also end in-person instruction before Thanksgiving, with students returning home and completing the remainder of the fall semester remotely.

The survey included the university's COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines for students on campus, including a daily health attestation to report symptoms and regular testing to gain access to approved campus buildings at specific times.

Among the survey highlights, 87% of first-year and 83% of upper-level students indicated they would register for scheduled classes in the fall under the university's return policies.

Upper-level student housing preferences broke down as follows:

The survey then described a scenario in which every class was online, with no in-person elements. Under these conditions:

The survey also posed the scenarios where “therapeutic treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 are not widely available.” Under this stipulation:

The second part of the survey, detailed in The Tech report, polled undergraduates about their preferences between three possible calendar scenarios for the 2020-2021 academic year.

It's expected that all students at MIT will be tested immediately upon return to campus and must self-quarantine until a follow-up test one week later shows up negative. Should the follow-up test be positive, the student must continue to self-isolate and test until they can produce a negative result.

CR80News chats with Tim Nyblom, End User Business Manager for Higher Education and PACS at HID Global about potential challenges coming this fall, mobile ID, and card issuance solutions for a post-coronavirus campus.

With much of the return to campus yet to be fully determined, today's discussion covers some of the potential challenges that campuses could face in the immediate term -- this fall -- along with some solutions that could help ease those burdens. We also peer through the looking glass at how these solutions could apply beyond the fall semester.

Zoom calls are seemingly the de facto norm these days. So rather than writing this out in an article we thought a conversation would be a nice change of pace.


Have a topic of discussion that you want to learn more about? A vendor in this space or university you want to hear from? Share your suggestions for future CR80News Chats by sending an email to [email protected], reaching out on Twitter @CR80News, or by using the Submit a Tip form found in the CR80News.com navigation bar.

Security products and solutions provider, Allegion has announced the launch of Schlage Mobile Access Solutions, a comprehensive, secure and flexible access control portfolio.

The Schlage Mobile Access Solutions portfolio encompasses a complete cloud-based ecosystem that enables the use of mobile credentials at openings across an entire property or campus. The Mobile Access portfolio includes:

Schlage Mobile Access Credential. The new credential features AES-256 asymmetric credential encryption and works in offline scenarios once downloaded from the cloud.

Schlage Mobile SDK. Designed for Physical Access Control Software (PACS) providers to easily integrate Bluetooth mobile credential into their system, enable credential management, secure delivery and communication with Schlage locks.

Schlage Mobile Enabled Control Smart Lock. Schlage’s multi-family resident door lock is now mobile enabled and allows properties to offer high-tech, convenient security to residents.

Schlage NDE Mobile Enabled Wireless Lock. The wireless cylindrical lock is now mobile enabled, and the new interior push button expands the lock use cases to include storerooms, offices, privacy and apartment functions.

Schlage LE Mobile Enabled Wireless Lock. The wireless mortise lock is now mobile enabled and available with a status indicator, interior push button or deadbolt configuration.

Schlage MTB Mobile Enabled Multi-Technology Reader. The new Schlage MTB Series Readers are now mobile enabled and compatible with 2.4 GHz Bluetooth, 13.56 MHz smart and 125 kHz proximity, allowing the ability to process multiple credential formats simultaneously. They feature a RS-485 interface and out-of-the-box support for Open Supervised Device Protocol (OSDP) for secure bi-directional communication.

Schlage CTE Controller. Designed to work with a Schlage mobile enabled multi-technology reader, the CTE is an ENGAGE enabled, single-opening controller that allows perimeter and common area openings to be managed in a single system along with Schlage Control Mobile Enabled Smart Locks and NDE cylindrical and LE mortise wireless locks.

“Allegion is always looking for ways to address our customers’ evolving needs with real, sustainable innovation, so we’re excited to launch this comprehensive cloud-based mobile enabled portfolio,” says Brad Sweet, commercial marketing leader at Allegion. “Schlage Mobile Access Solutions is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses, multi-family properties and higher education campuses that want a customizable, interoperable, secure and convenient access control solution.”

Card system vendor, Transact was a winner at the recent Card Not Present (CNP) Awards. The CNP Awards is a program celebrating the best in e-commerce solutions, and covers a number of verticals including higher education.

Transact was awarded Best E-Commerce Platform/Gateway. The award for best E-Commerce Platform goes to an application service provider that "most effectively and safely connects consumers with merchants and merchants with acquirers, processors and issuers during purchase and authorization."

“We’re elated to receive this accolade from the CNP Awards, and we share this honor with our college and university partners,” says Laura McLaughlin, VP, Payments Strategy at Transact Campus. “At Transact, we use continuous innovation to deliver a personalized experience to our users – we’re pleased that this shone through during the evaluation process.”

Judges selected Transact for its suite of campus solutions that equip higher education institutions with a broad array of integrated payments, privilege management, and campus commerce solutions.

Transact has driven a mobile-first philosophy with recent innovations in its Mobile Credential offering, which was the first and only credential provider to offer native NFC contactless mobile IDs in both Apple Wallet and Google Pay.

Campus identity solutions provider, ColorID will be hosting two upcoming webinars that will discuss some of the solutions that could help universities to transition back into a safer campus environment this fall.

“Things are moving so quickly and so differently this year, we want to make sure everyone in the higher education community is aware of the identity solutions available to help students return to campus safely and efficiently,” says David Stallsmith, Director of Product Management at ColorID.

Two products to be covered in the upcoming webinars will be online photo submission from CloudCard and thermal temperature scanning for entryways by Invixium.

CloudCard's ID photo upload software streamlines the cardholder process so there's no hassle when creating an account. Students can simply click a link via website or email and submit their ID photo. Great for busting up long lines at the card office -- more important now than ever -- CloudCard provides the flexibility to snap a selfie and sign a cardholder agreement remotely from a student's phone, tablet, or computer.

Among ColorID's biometric offerings is the Invixium Titan reader. A facial biometrics reader, the Invixium Titan also includes an FBI-certified fingerprint sensor and one-to-many face capture up to 100,000 users. With coronavirus related concerns in mind specifically, the biometric reader can be upgraded with a Thermal Enhancement Kit that enables the unit to scan users and detect if they have a fever prior to entering a building.​

Dates for the webinar events are set for June 18th and June 25th at 1:00 pm EDT, with registrations now open.

The two webinars are being presented as sequels to the company's Continuing the Conversation forums. The forums are designed to discuss in detail products and services that can help schools efficiently prepare for a safe reopening.

A top ten list was compiled in response to inquiries that ColorID has received from its university colleagues and clients in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The solutions covered in the forums are things that universities can both deploy quickly but that can also solve identity challenges in the long term.

Campus ticketing provider, AudienceView, has launched new software specifically for higher education that helps manage capacity in high-traffic venues. The company's new Campus Flow ticketing platform integrates with existing university systems and is designed to support physical distancing measures.

AudienceView's Campus Flow incorporates features designed with social distancing in mind specifically. Almost any campus space or facility can be configured to support student access privileges based on rules defined by the institution.

In addition to shipping pre-configured, AudienceView Campus Flow also includes hardware for rapid deployment and supports:

“With over 900 higher education clients, AudienceView is uniquely positioned to understand and address the new challenges that campuses face in a COVID-19 impacted world,” says Mark Fowlie, CEO of AudienceView. “First-come, first-serve facilities such as dining halls, libraries, gyms, laboratories and more must shift to a new model that limits capacity and access based on our new reality.”

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The only publication dedicated to the use of campus cards, mobile credentials, identity and security technology in the education market. CampusIDNews – formerly CR80News – has served more than 6,500 subscribers for more than two decades.
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Join us, @NACCUorg, and @TouchNet to explore how campus card programs can successfully navigate the sales and procurement process. Join the webinar on June 6, 2 pm EDT. https://go.touchnet.com/l/652093/2022-05-18/lsndq

Webinar: Learn how the University of Arizona uses campus cards, mobile ordering, kiosks, lockers, and robots to revolutionize campus dining. April 7, 2-2:30 EDT. Register Now at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7821245544009488910?source=campus-id

As supply chain issues in 2021 persist, identity solutions provider @ColorID discusses ways campuses can to overcome potentially troublesome delays until the situation eases.

https://www.cr80news.com/news-item/protecting-your-campus-card-program-from-supply-chain-issues/

A dining services push at the @UBuffalo is reinforcing the utility of self-service checkout. @CBORD is improving the food service experience using the GET app, as well as Nextep kiosks and Oracle’s Micros Simphony POS.

https://www.cr80news.com/news-item/kiosks-self-service-tech-streamline-campus-food-service-u-buffalo/

Did you miss our recent webinar? No worries - watch it on-demand. Leaders from @NAU and the @UAlberta joined Ryan Audus, Touchnet, and Andrew Hudson, @CR80News, to discuss innovative mobile services and the future of mobile tech in higher ed. Watch now: https://bit.ly/31RFyLn

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