Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Beginning January 25, Virginia Commonwealth University will use its existing campus mobile app to help verify student and faculty wellness checks and ensure the campus community is keeping with COVID-19 protocols. A new feature built into the VCU Mobile app called “Entry Pass” was developed with the purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 on the VCU campus.

According to an official university release, students and employees will be required to show a green or yellow icon on their VCU app prior to accessing certain campus buildings, including:

VCU is implementing Entry Pass to serve as a daily reminder to all on-campus students and employees to complete their daily health checks and asymptomatic surveillance testing.

Each time a student or employee approaches participating campus facilities, they will be asked to show their completed Entry Pass. Students and employees will need to display either a digital Entry Pass on the VCU Mobile app or a printout of that day's Entry Pass to each building's entry attendant.

The daily health check turns back three results based on the survey responses:

Green check. Means the student has completed the daily health check and, if applicable, has complied with asymptomatic surveillance testing. Green Checks will be quickly cleared to enter.

Yellow warning. If the student/employee is asked to participate in asymptomatic surveillance testing and do not book an appointment, or fail to show for a scheduled appointment, the Entry Pass will show a yellow warning. Those with a yellow warning will have one week to complete their test. The yellow warning only applies to non-compliance with surveillance testing.

Red "X". Means one of two things that can be solved by completing the following steps:

The university describes the app as a “fast pass,” as those who complete their daily health check and comply with asymptomatic surveillance testing using the VCU Mobile app can more easily access certain campus facilities. By comparison, students and employees without an Entry Pass will need to review safety and compliance requirements with an entry attendant, who can answer questions and offer resources.

Non-compliance with daily health checks or surveillance testing may result in building access restrictions and/or disciplinary action.

The National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU) has revealed the results of its recent electronic elections to determine the newest members of the NACCU Board of Directors. The election was held from January 20-27, 2021, with the Association's primary institutional membership voting for the two open positions.

NACCU welcomes the following individuals who will enter into a three-year term at the Annual Business Meeting during the NACCU Virtual Conference on Tuesday, April 20, 2021:

Jennifer McNeill, University of Alberta (Canada), incumbent

Kim Pfeffer, Emory University (GA)

Both new Board appointees have been longstanding, active and contributing members in NACCU events, and will make valuable additions to the Board of Directors. Congratulations to Jennifer and Kim!


The University of Oregon has installed Gantner smart lockers to secure student valuables on its Eugene campus. The smart locker deployment is being used throughout a major science building on the campus with multiple usage configurations ranging from daily rentals to assigned lockers for personnel and staff.

The building in question boasts four stories, with locker banks deployed on each floor powered by Gantner’s NET.Lock solution. On the top three floors, the smart lockers are assigned to researchers and personnel that utilize the building regularly. The first floor’s bank of smart lockers are open for daily rentals.

For the daily rentals, Oregon opted for Gantner’s GT7 central terminal to support student self-service locker management. “On the first floor, students visit the front desk to receive their MIFARE contactless locker fob and then go to the central terminal to choose their locker,” explains Oliver Kapp, Operations Director at Gantner.

Kapp explains that universities have options as to how they manage the locker rental process.  “We can configure the lockers so that students either visit a central terminal for self-service or move the rental function to a staffed desk attendant,” he says.

Gantner worked with Oregon’s existing campus ID technology and infrastructure to find an access solution that worked seamlessly with the smart lockers. It’s a practice that Gantner undertakes with each client to ensure that every locker deployment is as efficient and easy to use as possible.

"Gantner works with every campus individually on the layout of the lockers and the access credential to maximize efficiency for each unique campus environment."

“We work with every campus individually on the layout of the lockers and the access credential to maximize efficiency for each unique campus environment,” says Steve Jones, Sales Director, North America at Gantner. “Just like our other deployments, the smart locker system at Oregon can be upgraded and configured to run off a student ID or app, the mobile credential, HID SEOS, or virtually any other smart credential.”

On the top three floors of the Oregon science building, the Gantner smart locker solution manages long-term locker assignments. The system can remotely assign lockers for newly hired employees or revoke access in the event that someone is fired or leaves the university community. “Beyond daily rentals, typically our lockers are assigned either on a per-semester basis, or in the case of grad students or employees, on a more permanent basis,” says Kapp.

In total, the deployment of more than 300 Gantner contactless lockers at Oregon was completed this May, following minor delays due to COVID. The install took place during quarantine and was able to be managed in an extremely safe manner. “Fortunately, the nature of our installation work is individual, so it’s easy for us do our work while social distancing,” says Kapp.

Even the lockers themselves are in keeping with social distancing.

“The lockers on the upper three floors at the Oregon install are particularly socially distant. In those environments there’s no central terminal used to rent the lockers, but rather each locker can be unlocked and accessed directly from each locker door,” explains Jones. “It’s a socially distanced and a minimal-touch solution.”

Gantner smart lockers increase security at Oregon

As for other safety features, the Gantner smart lockers are fitted with a number of safeguards to enable control at a distance. The lockers are monitored in real-time and can also be monitored off site.

Gantner’s Relaxx Locker Management Software powers the smart locker solution. It includes a real-time audit trail for all transactions across a locker enterprise. “The Relaxx software allows the university to network the entire system of lockers across all floors and ultimately across buildings campus wide,” Kapp says.

"The Relaxx software allows a university to network the entire system of lockers across all floors and across buildings campus wide."

“Say someone is working in the middle of the night and misplaces their fob, they can notify security to open the locker,” he explains. “All of the lockers can be remotely locked or opened in the case of emergency, and in the event of a break in, an audible alarm is triggered, and a notification is sent to security personnel.”

“If a campus needs to lock everything down, security personnel can override and lockdown all the lockers via our Remote Disable function,” adds Kapp.

The implementation at Oregon is still relatively new, but the university is already considering expansions of the smart locker system to other areas of campus.

“Our smart lockers are ideal for fitness centers, libraries, and other student facing areas on campus,” says Jones. “And in the mailroom, we integrate with mail tracking systems and communicate with students when it’s time to pick up a package from a locker.”

As students and staff returned to the University of Oregon campus for the fall semester, they were met with a more secure and convenient storage solution in the Gantner smart locker deployment. And they’re not alone.

“More and more universities are opting for these types of locker solutions,” say Jones. “The big draw is our ability to network our smart lockers together into a single system across numerous buildings.”

A new bill was unanimously passed by the United States Senate that, if signed into law, would affect campus card programs at all US colleges and universities. The bill calls for mental health resource information and hotlines to be printed on all student ID cards issued by US higher education institutions.

The significance of the proposed bill, "S.1782 - Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act," is that it would for the first time include all higher education institutions nationwide that issue campus cards to print mental health resources on student ID cards.

On December 20, 2020, the US Senate unanimously passed the Improving Mental Health Access for Students Act. The bill would require all higher education institutions to "Include phone contact information on each card for the following organizations:"

Prior to this latest bit of legislation, the printing of mental health resources on campus cards was limited to individual universities making the decision. The largest applications of the mental health resource mandates up to this point were seen on a state-by-state basis, with California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska and others mandating the printing of the resources at universities within their own borders.

The exact details regarding how and when universities will have to incorporate the new requirements into their card issuance processes remains to be seen. The bill must still pass the House, and it's assumed that the bill would still not go into effect until one year after it’s been signed by the President, which may be as early as 2022.

To get a better handle on what this could mean going forward, CR80News posed the question to identification solutions supplier, ColorID, who provides card issuance services and solutions to a large number of US institutions. ColorID is one of the companies in the campus card space following the bill's progress closely to ensure it has accurate information readily available for its campus clients.

The company has already been engaging in conversations with several of its higher education customers following the bill's unanimous passing by the US Senate. "This will create a few challenges for institutions, but ColorID is in a position to help guide our customer partners through the process," says Danny Smith, Executive Vice President of ColorID. "In fact, there are higher education institutions that are currently re-prioritizing space and design of the message on the back of the student ID card."

As for what the printed resources will look like on actual cards, much is still yet to be determined. But regardless of how it's implemented, ColorID's Smith sees the merit behind the bill as unquestionable.

"I believe the placement of this information could be an effective support benefit to a young person suffering from a mental crisis."

Mercyhurst University is the latest campus to join the student food insecurity non-profit, Swipe Out Hunger. Spearheading the initiative at Mercyhurst, is a partnership between the university's Community Engagement and OneCard offices alongside food-service provider Parkhurst Dining.

According to an official university release, the joint effort will enable students and employees with extra meal swipes on their dining cards to donate them to fellow peers in need. Statistics released by the non-profit suggest that as many as “one in three college students face food insecurity nationally."

Since it's launch, the Mercyhurst initiative has received nearly 1,400 donated meal swipes, which are then made available confidentially to students in need when they return to the Erie, Penn. campus on January 25.

Mercyhurst’s Swipe Out Hunger initiative was initially put forward by John Patterson, director of protective services and the OneCard office. It was Patterson who installed the internal software and created the means for students to use CBORD's GET app to donate meal swipes in a more convenient fashion.

Over the last 10 years, Swipe Out Hunger has scaled its operation and other anti-hunger programs to more than 120 colleges across 39 states.

“We're so excited to hear about the great success of the inaugural campaign kickoff and are looking forward to the distribution of these meals to those who need them," says Emily Kass, community engagement manager for Swipe Out Hunger. "Our sincerest gratitude to the whole Mercyhurst community for partnering with us here at Swipe Out Hunger in an effort to end college student hunger."

The University of Oregon is extending its use of the two-factor authentication platform, Duo, to include the entire student population over the coming winter and spring terms. All UO students will be required enroll in the two-step login service to secure their Duck ID student accounts going forward.

According to an official university release, this spring term will begin the on-boarding process that will see all students required to use Duo to access protected UO services such as Canvas, Zoom, UOmail and Microsoft applications like Word and Teams. Duo had previously been required for all UO faculty members, staff and graduate employees as far back as July 2020, but this latest expansion now includes all students.

To encourage student enrollment in Duo during the voluntary period, the university's Information Services is holding a prize drawing. Any student who opts in by March 12 will automatically be entered to win one of 82 prizes consisting of $10 or $50 in Duck Bucks or gift cards to the Duck Store or Starbucks.

The two-factor authentication provided by Duo consists of a two-step verification at the time a student logs into their student account. After first entering a username and password, users must then verify their identity by tapping a button on a mobile app, entering a code or answering a phone call.

University officials say that smartphones have been the most popular second-factor device option by far. Alternatives to the mobile app include text messages and phone calls, as well as hardware tokens available from the university's Information Services.

The Duo Mobile app can also send push notifications and generate passcodes, even without Wi-Fi or cellular service, to help students protect their accounts.

"Duo empowers you to thwart the hackers," says Leo Howell, chief information security officer at the University of Oregon. "If a cybercriminal steals your password and tries to use your account, you can stop them by denying the Duo verification request."

In spring term, all students who haven't yet enrolled in Duo will be assigned a mandatory Duo enrollment deadline based on the last digit of their student ID number. By the end of spring term, all students will be required to use Duo.

Card transaction system provider, TouchNet, has outlined some measures that universities can implement to create more contactless services on campus.

Underpinning student facing services with contactless technology, whether card-based or mobile, has been happening across the country for some time. But with universities now seeking out more ways to prevent and reduce the transmission of COVID-19 on campus, there may be a renewed focus on finding solutions that reduce contact points during student payment and access transactions.

Here are some of the options that TouchNet believes universities should consider as they look to add more contactless experiences on campus:

1. Repositioning or eliminating certain card readers

Campuses can limit contact between customers and cashiers by turning card readers at points of sale toward the customer. Instead of students and staff members handing their cards to cashiers to tap or swipe into card readers, they can scan their cards themselves. Schools should also consider adopting alternatives to magnetic stripe readers, both to reduce contact as well as to cycle out dated technology.

2. Princeton Identity Biometric terminals

Princeton Identity Biometric terminals directly integrate into TouchNet OneCard to process meal plans. Students who have purchased food or registered to enter a dining facility at a particular time just need to stand in front of this API-integrated solution. The terminal scans their biometrics, and if their information checks out, it will trigger actions such as activating a turnstile or opening a door so the student can enter. The terminal can also be linked to lights that turn on when a student is allowed to enter the premises. No point of sale is required.

3. NEXTEP self-serve kiosks

Students do not have to touch the NEXTEP self-serve kiosk screens when placing an order. Newly integrated technology allows students to select items by simply hovering their finger over what they want to purchase. NEXTEP screens are also illuminated by special ultraviolet lights that eliminate germs. To comply with social-distancing recommendations, schools can install these kiosks in specific areas of their dining facilities and encourage students to move to different designated spaces to reduce the number of people congregating when ordering.

4. Going mobile

Expanding mobile capabilities can greatly reduce contact on campus, especially in dining facilities. Instead of students having to physically visit offices across campus for services such as checking on the status of meal plans or adding funds to an account, dynamic mobile apps can provide these services right at the students’ fingertips. During in-store transactions, the OneCard mobile app features a QR code that can be scanned at point-of-sale terminals without touching anything. It eliminates having to pass cards to cashiers or put cards in direct contact with magnetic stripe readers, which can increase the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure.

TouchNet is also offering its new OrderAhead app, which enables students to browse, choose, and order menu items from their phones to leverage the campus POS infrastructure. The app enables universities to create online-only packages, sync products with certain meal plans, or make items equivalent to meals.

Administrators also can send push notifications directly to cardholders, such as messages that a certain order is taking longer than expected. The app also allows administrators to manage reservations by setting space limits on certain facilities to adhere with social-distancing recommendations.

Click here to check out more on the TouchNet offerings above and the rest of the company's suite of contactless campus solutions.

Higher education and campus technology solutions provider, CBORD, has announced that Vanderbilt University is the first CBORD campus to launch mobile credentials on Android devices. Beginning this January, Vanderbilt students, faculty, and staff are now able to add a securely-issued Commodore Card to an Android smartphone to conveniently, safely, and securely access campus buildings, purchase meals, and more.

Vanderbilt began its push to go contactless last year with the release of its Commodore Card in Apple Wallet. CBORD's expansion of mobile credential support to Android enables students, faculty and staff on participating campuses to use their Android device to conveniently, safely and securely access campus buildings, purchase meals and more.

"After the incredibly successful launch last semester of mobile credentials for our iPhone and Apple Watch users, we knew we needed a solution for our Android users," says Mark Brown, director of business services technology at Vanderbilt. "We are excited to now offer Android users this convenience and security as they go about the Vanderbilt campus with their smartphone.”

Brown will join fellow Vanderbilt Card Services colleague Amy Surprenant to lead a free webinar on January 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET and discuss the university's launch of Apple and Android mobile credentials. The webinar will offer attendees insight into the planning, implementation, and release processes, as well as an update on how students are reacting to the new contactless campus card.

Not knowing what was to come in 2020, the idea of safe, secure, contactless credentials began to pique the interest of Vanderbilt University. After the arrival of COVID, it became paramount that a contact-free solution be put in place to ensure a safe reopening for fall 2020.

“Since we launched mobile credentials in 2019 with iPhone and Apple Watch, students and schools have loved the contactless technology for its convenience and security,” says Jim Hoefflin, CBORD president. “In light of COVID-19, the desire for contactless technology across campus is driven by a new level of urgency to reduce the passing of physical cards. The support of Android mobile credentials further extends the contactless experience across the student population.”

Attendees of CBORD's free webinar will learn how Vanderbilt University implemented mobile credentials after just a three-month process, how the university rolled out student IDs in Apple Wallet in September 2020, and how Vanderbilt became the first CBORD campus to launch Android mobile credentials this January.

Joining Vanderbilt's Brown and Surprenant will be Read Winkelman, vice president of sales at CBORD, to discuss the release of Android mobile credentials. The webinar will also feature a live Q&A with CBORD development team members Steve Swingler and Mbagnick Thiam.

Mobile credential technology enables universities to provide a secure campus-issued credential that can be remotely and instantly issued, revoked and reactivated within the CBORD ID card software. This helps institutions prevent fraud while offering convenience and safer, healthier transactions. CBORD has extended these capabilities to Android phones by engaging its partner ecosystem – including Google, Allegion, NXP Semiconductors and HID Global – to deliver the Android solution.

Mobile credentials can be used anywhere a plastic ID card is used, both on and off campus. Once provisioned, users simply present their device to an NFC-enabled reader to pay for food, vending or laundry, or open exterior and interior doors to campus buildings and residence halls.

CBORD is the only provider to allow universities to leverage open APIs to provision mobile credentials through a university’s own mobile application, rather than requiring students, faculty and staff to download a separate app. Campuses also have the flexibility to provision contactless mobile IDs through CBORD’s GET app.

To learn more about launching mobile credentials, visit

Transact, integrated campus payment, ID and commerce solutions provider, has extended a call for its Distinction Awards nominations, as well as presentation proposals for the Transact 360 Annual User Conference due to take place virtually March 15-17, 2021. New this year, accepted presenters may direct a $500 contribution from Transact to their university in support of either a scholarship or student food insecurity fund.

The deadline for conference presentation proposals is January 31, and the deadline for Distinction Awards nominations is February 15.

This year's Transact 360 conference is free to attend, and will provide attendees with ample opportunities for open dialogue and a free-flowing exchange of ideas. Presenters will share experiences, mindsets, and innovations to help fellow attendees push the boundaries of technology and services in the campus space. Presentation topics and proposals should relate to the following session themes and can be submitted online:

Integrated Payments. Customer expectations and behaviors are changing the way payments are accepted on campus. Learn how your school can benefit from accepting payments not only from students, but also parents, alumni, departments, and visitors. You can also provide your payers options to easily understand financial obligations. This track will cover a wide range of topics designed to empower campuses with the ability to provide smart and secure payment transactions while automating bill presentment and payment processing.

Campus ID. Improve and support your campus’ investment in credential-driven transactions & privileges. Follow this track as presenters share unique and valuable insights for providing a secure, mobile-centric campus environment with contactless student ID credentials for effortless campus-wide transactions and access privileges.

Campus Commerce. Power all campus purchases across integrated Point-of-Sale solutions for student accounts tied to campus ID cards and mobile credentials. This track will cover point-of-sale solutions designed for use in a wide range of retail and dining operations, while delivering a feature-rich shopping experience for your students with the latest payment security technology.

Showcase & Innovation. This track will explore the many new and innovative ways Transact and your peer institutions enable a connected experience across the spectrum of student life. We’ll discuss industry-wide trends and insights to best equip your institution for the future.

Best Practices & System Administration. Your Transact system administrator is expected to do many different things from configuring, troubleshooting, and maintaining your Transaction System, to providing direction to efficiently and effectively utilize your system to meet the needs of your campus. Follow this track as presenters provide specialized knowledge and expertise to increase productivity, save time and resources, and provide tried-and-true best practices to get the most out of your unified system.

The conference’s virtual format provides more flexibility for presenters. When submitting your presentation topic, select from these format options:

Most sessions will have the option of being recorded/OnDemand, semi-live, or live. For more information about Transact 360, click here.

Transact calls for Distinction Awards nominations

In addition to conference presentation proposals, Transact has also extended its call for nominations for the Transact 360 Distinction Awards. The awards honor those who are passionate about technology to better their campus experiences.

To nominate your institution or a peer institution, simply complete the nomination form and include a short paragraph detailing why the institution meets the distinction criteria. Winners will be announced live in March during the virtual Transact 360 Annual Users Conference, which is free to attend. Transact’s three Distinction Awards are:

Distinction Award for Innovation

This award is for institutions who are on the forefront of campus technology innovation. It recognizes campuses who have developed and implemented high impact technology strategies that scale. Awardees will have developed practices and/or technologies that have had a measurable effect on the student experience. The Distinction Award for Innovation recognizes institutions that actively promote the widespread adoption of innovative technologies with the potential to provide superior student experiences, frictionless administrative workflows, or greater institutional intelligence.

Distinction Award for Marketing & Outreach

This award honors those institutions who have creatively and effectively promoted their technological advances on campus. Awardees will have used a variety of marketing efforts to enhance the visibility and value of campus credentials, flexible payment solutions, or other technology initiatives that elevate the institution’s brand while driving adoption and usage of the technology among students.

Distinction Award for Student Experience

This award honors those institutions whose technological innovations have markedly improved the total student experience. This includes their addressing of new and changing dynamics in fields such as student recruitment, engagement, and retention.

For more information about Transact 360 or to sign up to attend, click here.

Students, campus visitors and other members of the Harris-Stowe State University community will have a contactless payment option for parking using their mobile device and the ParkMobile app. ParkMobile is one of the leading providers of smart parking solutions in the U.S., and has partnered with a number of universities to deliver the mobile payment option for campus parking.

Students, faculty, and visitors will be able to use the ParkMobile app to pay for parking at nearly 600 spaces in lots around the HSSU campus in St. Louis, Missouri. With the recent COVID-19 crisis, HSSU university leaders are encouraging the campus community to leverage contactless payment options when available.

"ParkMobile is excited to add Harris-Stowe State University to our network in Missouri," says Jon Ziglar, ParkMobile CEO. "We have hundreds of thousands of users in the state who will now have a convenient way to pay for parking when they visit the campus."

ParkMobile reports having some 20 million total users on its platform across both iPhone and Android devices. To pay for parking with the ParkMobile app, users enter the zone number posted on the selected parking space. The user then selects the amount of time needed and from their device begins the parking session. Users can also extend the time of the parking session from their mobile device without having to return to a meter.

The launch of ParkMobile at Harris-Stowe State University expands the company's footprint in Missouri. The app already boasts 386,000 ParkMobile users across the state with availability in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, as well as several other universities in the state including Saint Louis University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

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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.

Attn: friends in the biometrics space. Nominations close Friday for the annual Women in Biometrics Awards. Take five minutes to recognize a colleague or even yourself.

Feb. 1 webinar explores how mobile ordering enhanced campus life, increased sales at UVA and Central Washington @Grubhub @CBORD

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