Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Food service provider Chartwells Higher Ed is experimenting with a new approach to on-campus dining with virtual or delivery-only kitchens that the company calls "ghost kitchens." Despite the virtual or delivery only model being implemented prior to the pandemic, the new normal has more universities than ever before exploring the ghost kitchen formula.

One of the key factors underpinning the Chartwells ghost kitchen concept is that it meets students at their increased demand for delivery options. Starting as a pilot program at a select few colleges and universities, Chartwells is developing creative new meal concepts for delivery or contactless pickup that integrate into the company’s existing mobile ordering platform.

The idea behind the ghost kitchen initiative is to provide more menu offerings that can be customized to local student preferences and be made available at across more convenient hours.

Chartwells' pilot institutions for the ghost kitchen program include Seattle University, SUNY Buffalo State College, the University of Utah, the University of Texas at Dallas and San Jose State University.

The ghost kitchen concept could also help to maximize a university's existing infrastructure without impacting budgets or floor plans.

“A benefit to the program is that many of our campuses are already well-equipped to implement ghost kitchens at a low cost,” says Lisa McEuen, CEO of Chartwells Higher Education. “They don’t have to replace any meal concepts or shut down a location; all they need kitchen space and they can have a ghost kitchen up and running very quickly.”

One of Chartwells' pilot locations, Seattle University, saw over 90% of its campus population move to online learning during the fall 2020 quarter. Chartwells’ ghost kitchen opened in September to help with menu variety on weekends.

The menu at Seattle University featured 12 rotating entrees and 12 desserts, made to order through the mobile ordering app. More than 24,000 orders were placed in the first month alone.

“Our team was able to get the program up and running quickly, and our costs were minimal as we simply repurposed existing kitchen space," says Terry Conaty, resident district manager at Seattle University. "It’s a win-win because we’re providing students with lots of new menu options without having to add additional personnel resources or compromise our social distancing guidelines."

Since the ghost kitchen concept has proven its viability at the pilot institutions, Chartwells has expressed its intent to push forward with more ghost kitchens on more campuses across the country.

Trusted identity solutions provider, HID Global, announced an expansion to its Seos credential family, adding two new products to the line. The Seos 16K marks the first credential certified to the highest IT security level with 16 kilobytes of memory, and Seos Essential is the company's new, single-application credential that delivers trusted security and data protection for less complex deployments.

Certification for the new Seos 16K credential was established by the independent testing service provider, TÜV Informationstechnik GmbH. The Seos 16K features the highest memory in the Seos credential series, and also supports multi-application deployments.

HID’s TÜV-certified Seos 16K card is the successor to its offering for multi-application use cases that require 16 kilobytes (KB) of memory. The credential also features a new hardware platform to deliver improved read performance and an enhanced Seos operating system certified to the most rigorous Security Assurance Level (SEAL) in the TÜV methodology.

“Seos technology continues to evolve to meet the needs of sophisticated users while also offering new economical options for basic physical access control in everyday applications,” says Harm Radstaak, Senior Vice President and Head of Physical Access Control Solutions with HID Global.

“In addition to expanding the Seos family to meet broader requirements, we have achieved a major smart card industry certification milestone that gives organizations the confidence they can mitigate risk by investing in a credential that has been independently validated by a qualified and unbiased third party,” adds Radstaak.

The TÜV SEAL-5 standards represent a more stringent approach than other security evaluation standards in that it requires a robust and validated change management policies, communication processes and lifecycle management procedures.

The other new addition, the Seos Essential card, offers a cost-effective and simplified approach to providing trusted management of secure identities, while still retaining all of the same multi-layered features of HID’s Seos technology. This includes the latest cryptographic algorithms and security techniques plus a secure messaging protocol that protects data transmission between card and reader.

The Seos Essential credential is fully supported by the HID Signo and iCLASS SE reader platforms. It's also available as a multi-technology card, combining 125 KHz Prox and a high-frequency Seos contactless microprocessor.

For more information about HID’s Seos credential offerings, visit

Transact has been busy both domestically and abroad, headlined by an expanded workforce at its Chennai, India location and the recent completion of its annual PCI compliance assessments.

Transact team in Chennai, India grows to 70 personnel

Campus transaction and payment solutions provider, Transact, has added to its team in Chennai, India bringing the total staff to 70 professionals. Transact’s Chennai location opened in 2019 and sits on the footstep of Chennai’s IT highway, serving as the company’s IT product development hub.

The staff of 70 IT professionals are located in the 8,000-square foot Chennai office. The office is comprised of teams that include a range of junior and senior roles across product development, implementation services, central IT, marketing, sales operations, and HR.

The development team made up of software engineers, QA specialists, development managers works closely with their global counterparts to collaborate on innovative development.

“The exceptional talent pool here in Chennai made it easy to add people with diverse, technical skills and create an incredibly strong hub for IT product development,” says Srinivasagopal Raman, general manager and site leader of Transact Chennai. “With Transact locations around the globe, we are truly able to innovate around the clock. For those of us with a growth and development mindset, it is very fulfilling.”

Transact processes nearly $50 billion in annual education-related payments each year and serves more than 1,300 educational institutions representing 12 million students. The copmany's software services include tuition and fee bill presentment and payment, student payment plans, and point-of-sale transactions for both on- and off-campus.

Transact completes annual PCI assessments

Transact has also successfully completed its annual SOC 2 Type 2 examination, PCI DSS assessment, and penetration tests. As a best practice, the company regularly tests the effectiveness of the various security measures through a combination of automated scanning systems and penetration tests.

The assessments consist of:

“These achievements reflect Transact’s commitment to data security, while giving them a competitive edge in their industry,” says Danielle Kucera, Co-Founder and Quality Director, 360 Advanced, Inc., the third-party auditor. “Our integrated engagement not only allows Transact’s clients insight as to how Transact safeguards customer data, but also provides critical feedback regarding the operational effectiveness of controls.”

In addition, the company recently received its annual Attestation of Compliance (AoC) for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The AoC, also completed by 360 Advanced, documented that Transact has upheld security best practices to protect cardholder data. The company has maintained full compliance with the PCI program since its creation in 2006.

“It is a point of pride that our technologies are compliant with all relevant regulations and that we go above and beyond industry requirements for data security,” says Brian Austin, Chief Technology Officer, Transact. “Our compliance and information security efforts include regular daily, weekly and annual testing to identify and address weaknesses and validate corrections.”

“We highly value the feedback we get from our auditors at 360 Advanced,” adds Austin. “Their strong technology backgrounds and focus on service providers help us raise the bar for our data security, confidentiality and availability practices.”

Transact is certified as a Level 1 Service Provider under both VISA Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) and MasterCard Site Data Protection (SDP). The company also recently completed its Nacha ACH Rules Compliance Audit for safeguarding customers’ sensitive financial and non-financial data and ensuring ACH transactions are handled smoothly and securely.

For more information, visit and

Mercer University is in year two of its Transact Mobile Credential deployment, and to mark the success of the initiative, Transact has pulled together a video highlighting the major benefits that the Mercer community has seen since launch.

Even in the face of new challenges that have arisen over the past year, Mercer's Mobile Credential is proving to be a valuable addition to the university's student facing services. CR80News recently caught up with Ken Boyer, Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services at Mercer University, to learn more about daily life with Transact Mobile Credential.

Part of the conversation around the move to mobile is the challenge of meeting students at their expectations -- as best as possible, anyway. Mobile Credential has provided Mercer with a value add in terms of enrollment, as well as delivering a modern campus experience.

"No question about it, as we see the shifts in technology, students are expecting us to stay on the forefront of the latest trend, whatever that might be," says Boyer. "Enrollment management is a challenge and there is an art to making sure you're competitive. Today’s student expects their campus to use current and forward thinking technology."

"No question about it, as we see the shifts in technology, students are expecting us to stay on the forefront of the latest trend, whatever that might be."

Campuses across the country have also needed to pivot and adapt to new challenges over the past year, and it's no different at Mercer.

"Our day-to-day card office operations have shifted as a result of both Mobile Credentials and COVID," says Boyer. "At the same time our enrollment has continued to be significantly up even during a pandemic."

"All of that means we have shifted to online, and are supporting our campus community using our various tools: Transact Mobile Credential, Cloud Card Online Photo Submission, the Transact Mobile Food Ordering App, and Mobile Deposits through the Transact eAccounts app," he adds.

Touchless solutions seem to be carrying more importance now than ever before. Mercer's Mobile Credential deployment has provided new alternatives for the university community as it navigates COVID related restrictions and challenges on campus.

"In order to reduce lines and congestion on campus due to COVID-19 we mandated the use of mobile credentials for all incoming students to promote safety for our students and staff," Boyer explains. "Without mobile credentialing we would have seen lines out the door for students and new employees obtaining their Bear Cards or making deposits."

"Without mobile credentialing we would have seen lines out the door for students and new employees obtaining their Bear Cards or making deposits."

"Using our online photo submission tool and mobile credentials we eliminated the need for students or employees to physically come to our card office," adds Boyer. "As a result we saw no lines, which we believe has helped to increase health and safety for our campus community during the pandemic."

Whether it's solving new challenges brought on by unpredictable circumstances, or simply bringing the campus credential in line with the latest technology, Mercer's move to Transact Mobile Credential has been a fruitful one.

"As managers we have to be looking to the future to see what is coming and position our campus to take advantage of technology," says Boyer. "When our students began asking for mobile and challenging us to offer this service we were well positioned to respond."

"In the end it's about providing customer service," adds Boyer. "Mobile services are highly convenient and our students are happy with the results. I'm very grateful for our ongoing partnership with Transact, Apple, Google, Allegion and others who have helped us deliver this service on campus."

A series of new reports from the International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA) suggest that COVID could be impacting demand across the global plastic card market. The ICMA report projects that the total value of the global plastic cards market has fallen by $3B over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of cards manufactured worldwide falling by 19.7% from 37.1B in 2019 to 29.8B in 2020.

The ICMA’s 2020 Global Card Market and Personalization and Fulfillment Statistics reports also reveals that the total revenue from cards manufactured, personalized and fulfilled across the globe decreased by 10.8% from $27B in 2019 to $24B in 2020. The reports also provide more detailed statistics for individual sectors of the plastic cards market.

“The reports account for a bad year for the global plastic card manufacturing industry as a result of the pandemic and the impact of technology,” says Al Vrancart, ICMA Founder.

“The only good news is that the value of cards produced in North America increased because of the penetration of contactless cards in the US market," says Vrancart. "But remember, the rest of the world including Canada and the Caribbean has had contactless cards for several years.”

Despite the financial card market experiencing a decrease in unit volume from 6.6B in 2019 to 5.2B in 2020, it was the only sector to see a revenue increase, up 9% to $4.2B.

Market segments experiencing decreases in global revenue included:

Regionally, Asia Pacific has the largest share of the industry at 41%, followed by Europe (23.2%) and North America (22.4%). In 2020, North America manufactured an estimated $3.3 billion worth of cards and personalized and fulfilled an estimated $2.1 billion worth of cards.

In this Chat, we catch up with NACCU Executive Director, Dawn Thomas, to discuss the upcoming NACCU Annual Conference. For the first time in the Association's history, the Annual Conference will be held virtually. Thomas explains what this means for attendees and how the experience at this year's event will be like no other.

With COVID continuing to impact our industry, NACCU made the decision to deliver its flagship annual event in a virtual format that will both deliver on the same quality content and experiences, but also do so in an engaging fashion. The NACCU Virtual Conference will be held online April 19-21, 2021 and registration for the event will remain open until the Friday before the event.

For more information about the NACCU Annual Conference and how to register to attend, visit

If you’re interested in seeing more CR80Chats, please reach out to offer your ideas for topics or voices you’d like to hear from. Send an email to [email protected], or use the “Submit a tip” form on the CR80News Homepage.

Integrated campus payment, ID and commerce solutions provider, Transact, has launched its new “One Transact” brand campaign, representing a transformation to what the company calls "One Vision, One Mission, One Company, and One Mindset." The enterprise-wide initiative began inside the organization and will reach every internal and external touchpoint by the end of the year.

As part of the campaign, Transact has released a newly designed website,, that showcases a new look and "one-stop shop" experience for campus solutions for integrated payments, student IDs and commerce.

“Our people are so energized by Transact’s purpose: to empower our clients to transform the student experience and create life-long engagement,” says David Marr, CEO, Transact. “We have committed, as One Transact, to create compelling technology that uniquely simplifies campus operations and makes a meaningful difference in students’ lives. Our brand transformation is as much about connecting, innovating, and delivering simple experiences as the technology solutions we create.”

Also part of the campaign is a streamlining of product names, including a change to the name of its payments product line from "Cashnet" to "Transact Payments." The company says the simplified product name further supports Transact Payments’ development as a trusted, secure, and innovative payments and commerce technology provider in higher education.

Product functionality and support all remain the same, with a continuing roadmap of innovations under development.

Over the past year, Transact has expanded its personnel and operations, including the opening of a new international headquarters in Limerick, Ireland. The company has also advanced its infrastructure as part of a commitment to innovation and customer service.

In this CR80Chat, Allegion's Business Development Manager, Jeff Koziol discusses the limitations of the age-old brass key. We talk so much about emerging technologies in the access control space that we almost entirely forget that many campuses are still leaning on metal keys for accessing secure or sensitive areas on campus.

Koziol sheds some light on this by offering some viable pathways forward for universities who may still leverage brass keys in places like student dorms, academic buildings, offices, or any number of other places on campus. In addition to discussing the ways campuses can move away from the brass key, we also delve into some of the modern access control alternatives available to universities today.

The CR80News editorial team is conducting a brief survey to better understand what readers would like to learn more about in the coming year. Specifically, we're interested in learning which aspects of the card transaction system and which student facing services are most important to your campus in 2021.

We want to hear from you which aspects of campus life are most pressing. Is it dining services? Access control or security? Is you campus plotting a move to mobile credentials or smart cards? Looking for more solutions to help navigate COVID-19 on campus? Let us know!

The responses from this survey will help guide future CR80News editorial coverage, directing our conversations with both campuses and vendors in the space.

As a thank you, survey respondents will be entered to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards to be awarded at random. We want to continue to deliver the kind of content you're hungry for, and we thank you for your time and willingness to share your insights!

CR80News 2021 Editorial Survey

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ohio's Cedarville University has replaced student mailboxes on campus with automated, smart lockers in an attempt to expedite package pickup and help reduce COVID exposure. Every time a student receives a letter or package, the university's new TZ Smart Locker system sends the student an email or text directing them to an assigned smart locker where their package has been placed.

It's well known that college campuses are being inundated by packages, with flat mail -- or letters -- dwindling by comparison. The rise of online shopping, coupled with an internet-native student population, is forcing campus mailrooms to start looking for inventive service models.

According to a report from In-Plant Impressions, Cedarville's search for a smart locker solution began nearly two years ago with the goal of finding a storage system that could both send push notifications when packages were ready for pickup, and leverage the student ID card for locker access. Then the arrival of COVID last year made the smart locker install an even higher priority.

“When you’ve got 1,200 packages a day coming in, trying to find those packages can be a challenge," says Tammy Slone, director of Retail Services at Cedarville University. "Students were waiting in line 30 minutes to pick stuff up."

“When COVID hit, all of a sudden social distancing and the lines that are a part of the postal operation became a glaring problem,” adds Slone.

In September, the Cedarville University signed a contract with TZ SMArt Lockers. By December, 392 smart lockers and 220 smart mailboxes were installed and functioning.

Cedarville students now scan their campus card or enter their PIN code at a kiosk screen in the student center mailroom to retrieve their packages. The smart lockers will hold assigned student mail for 48 hours, after which any unclaimed mail will return to internal mail storage. Beginning this month, the lockers will also have an optional mobile app available to open the lockers.

At least part of the inspiration for Cedarville's install came from a visit to the mail center at East Tennessee State University, along with a host of other campus visits where newer mailroom operation shave been implemented.

Following a familiar formula at those reinvented mailrooms, Cedarville students no longer have assigned mailboxes. Instead, all student mail is now assigned to a smart locker when it arrives to campus. After the letter or package is picked up, each locker is then made available for the next student's mail.

TZ specializes in smart campus delivery solutions, headlined by the company's TZ SMArt locking device technology. The company's university-specific offerings are designed as complete hardware and software solution that automates student package delivery.

The TZ SMArt Lockers can be enabled for 24/7 access, and can be implemented across campus for delivery, exchange and storage applications inside or outside residence halls, libraries, bookstores, rental storage and food-service centers.

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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

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