Campus payment solutions and transaction system provider, Transact, has launched its new Transact International Payments offering that provides universities with a streamlined approach to accept international currencies. TransferMate is a globally regulated payments infrastructure-as-a-service company, and Transact will support the end-to-end processing of international payments for students and universities.
It's estimated that more than 1.07 million international students attended universities in the United States last year, contributing nearly $45 billion to the U.S. economy.
The new Transact International Payments solution will process payments from 162 countries and support more than 134 currencies.
In designing the new service, Transact leveraged TransferMate’s globally regulated payments network to remove international wire fees and ensure institutions receive 100% of payments, faster and with the highest levels of security. Students and their sponsors also have access to 24/7 multilingual support available via phone, text, Skype and WeChat.
“Our active global mindset extends to our clients’ international students who need and deserve options that are familiar and secure as they make their tuition and non-tuition payments,” says Laura McLaughlin, executive vice president, Transact. “To that end, our international payments solution will provide schools with a seamless solution to process cross-border funds securely and with a high level of transparency to ensure students’ and families’ peace of mind.”
Embedded in the student payment portal, Transact International Payments will provide transparent payment tracking, rate details, and real-time account balance updates. Given the zero international wire fees, the amount billed will be the amount received. Transact International Payments also supports bank transfer, credit cards, and alternate payment options, so students may select the international payment method of their choice.
“Our unrivaled licensing and banking networks are setting new standards of security, transparency and speed for student cross-border payments,” says Sinead Fitzmaurice, CEO of TransferMate Global Payments – a subsidiary of the Clune Tech Group. “We are delighted to be partnering with Transact to complete the advanced capabilities of their new payments platform, helping them to eliminate the friction inherent in the processing of international student payments.”
Transact International Payments provides multiple benefits for the institution. Advanced security features safeguard student and authorized third-party funds with end-to-end payment tracking, professional indemnity insurance, website and data security, and transaction screening. Reconciliation and refunds are also simplified and managed centrally within Transact Payments back office, and overpayments are restricted as Transact International Payments enables users to transfer only what they need.
In this edition of CR80Chats, we discuss the important access control considerations for universities and colleges embarking on a new campus construction project. Hear from ASSA ABLOY's Lester LaPierre, as we talk about how new builds present a clean slate for a campus to establish the ideal access control environment from the start.
LaPierre is the Director of Business Development, Electronic Access Control and Digital Access Solutions at ASSA ABLOY, and has an extensive background in the access control space. We talk about the key considerations that every campus should have as it embarks on a new construction.
Hear why planning out your access control vision can save considerable time, effort and money down the line. We also discuss the various technology options available to campuses today.
This episode is part of our "Exploring the Future of Campus Identity" series with ASSA ABLOY. Check out the other episodes below:
Digital bank and payments company, Discover, has partnered with Phood’s meal delivery program for college students, opening access to merchants that run on the Discover network. The partnership comes at time when college students are overwhelmingly turning to mobile ordering and delivery services as alternatives to more traditional student dining options.
The partnership will provide a mobile app that enables college students to load meal plan and flex plan dollars for use on Phood's meal delivery services, which include DoorDash food, groceries and convenience items on demand, as well as local restaurants that accept Discover.
Students will use a Phood Discover prepaid card, loaded with their campus meal plan or flex plan dollars, which can be used for off-campus and delivery purchases, all managed through the app.
Both physical cards and digital cards will be available as part of the program. The prepaid card will run on the Discover Global Network.
"Discover’s latest step into simplifying payments on a college campus will provide increased food options for students," says Jason Hanson, senior vice president of global business development at Discover. "As they return to campus, students may be excited to eat at restaurants that have been closed for a while or may prefer ordering food rather than sitting in a crowded cafeteria. This new program gives them options while not spending money beyond their existing meal plan."
"Discover’s commitment to the world of higher education and the surrounding communities takes into account how the pandemic impacted the need for expanded digital solutions," adds Hanson. "Phood’s app is an example of new modes of payment in the campus setting."
Over the coming year, Phood and Discover will attempt to expand the new program to college students across the country.
"Discover is investing their resources into Phood by providing their expertise in partnerships in the college space to make it easier for campuses to adapt to new channels of revenue and for Phood to reach new customers," says Alex Parmley, chief executive officer at Phood. "We’re excited to be partnering with Discover to shape a new future for the campus industry, and power an entirely new campus experience both on-campus and off."
The Discover and Phood program will launch first at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana and Radford University in Radford, Virginia.
"As students’ tastes and preferences continue to change, Phood will allow students endless possibilities to create variety in campus dining," says Lucas D. Novotny, senior director of housing and auxiliary services at Creighton. "Creighton University is looking forward to the partnership with Phood and the extended partnerships with known leaders like Discover and DoorDash, which provide the comfort of outstanding support expected from this innovative opportunity."
"Combining Discover merchants such as DoorDash, food delivery with Phood’s technology, and our OneCard program is a natural fit," says James Perkins, director of university services at Radford University. "Students can use this innovative partnership to use their Phood card for their on-campus meal plan, as well as to receive free delivery with the included DashPass."
"We see this as an option that students will use frequently on campus and off," adds Perkins. "The bonus is that it will seamlessly travel home with them during breaks, which is tremendous."
"RMC is excited about the expanded dining options the Phood and Discover partnership will offer our students both on and off-campus," says Shaydean Saye, director of residence life at Rocky Mountain College.
"This advancement in technology coupled with dining programs across the nation is attractive to our students and families," adds Saye. "RMC could not be more thrilled with our new and upcoming partnership with Phood."
Saint Joseph's University has deployed mobile ordering from Transact, providing students with the “Hawk Hill 2 Go” app. The initiative provides a mobile ordering service that gives students the ability to order from any of the stations in the university's on campus Campion Food Court.
According to a report from The Hawk Newspaper, students can pay using their Declining Balance, or DB for short. The mobile app, which launched this summer prior to the start of the academic year, is being spearheaded by SJU Dining Services.
Declining balance funds can be used at three different on-campus dining locations, two of which are currently available on the Transact mobile ordering app. Only a newly added sushi concept this year is yet to be added to the mobile ordering app.
“All you have to do is download the app, and you can place an order ahead of time and pick it up in the food court,” said Kathleen Sinnott, Director of Conferences and Auxiliary Operations at SJU, in a statement to The Hawk. “The app takes credit cards, meal exchanges, dining dollars and Hawk Cash.”
Initial planning for the mobile ordering solution began in March with the goal for live deployment in time for the start of this academic year.
“Having the ability to order ahead and have the meal ready is designed to save our students’ valuable time in their busy schedules and also still be able to enjoy their favorite meals,” said Nick Ventrola, resident district manager from Aramark in a statement to The Hawk.
Mobile ordering is also providing an added layer of safety precaution amid the pandemic and social distancing requirements.
“We want to ensure our students know they are our priority,” added Ventrola. “We want them to remain safe, and of course, we want to make sure they can always get their Hawk Wrap!”
To bring the mobile ordering launch to fruition, SJU and Transact included the university's Administrative Services department, Office of Information and Technology (IT), and food-service provider Aramark in the implementation process. As of Sept. 27, the app has been downloaded 369 times.
Other area universities to implement mobile ordering from Transact include the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Scranton. The Transact Mobile Ordering app is free to download and is available from both the App Store and Google Play store.
The University of North Georgia is seeing the financial benefit from moving to a new, managed copy/print system. In the few short months since launch, the university has reported saving more than $1,200 and the equivalent of 1.6 trees worth of unclaimed print jobs since making the switch in August.
According to an official university release, the new managed print system is saving UNG money by changing the way students call up print jobs. With the managed copy/print system, students now send their print job to the printing queue, and then swipe their Nighthawk ID card or enter their network login and password to select their job from the queue.
"We estimate that we will probably record about $100,000 in savings after a year," says Dr. Steve McLeod, chief information officer at the University of North Georgia. "Previously, we have spent between $190,000 and $200,000 for print jobs for students in a year. So there's potential for a significant amount of savings."
"This has also made a big difference in the amount of printed pages that we have saved," adds McLeod. "Before, students often would print jobs and never pick up the paper."
Between Aug. 23 and Oct. 5 alone, the university's IT Services reported 24,461 pieces of paper were left unprinted.
"From my perspective, this new system is doing what it is designed to do," says Austina M. Jordan, head of access services and library faculty member at UNG. "Students have to go to the machine to make it print, and that is cutting down on paper left on the printer."
The other benefit for the new managed print system is that is conserves energy, as copy/print machines aren't continually printing jobs. UNG IT estimates the electrical equivalent of 10,724 light bulb hours have been saved to date.
The financial savings gained from the new managed copy/print system will be returned to the student technology fund, which is supplied through the technology fee.
Beyond the cost savings, there are new technological benefits including a complimentary scan-to-email feature.
"Students can go to the managed print machines, scan in a document and send it directly to their email," says Mcleod. "They didn't have that option before. Now they do at no charge."
Students can also send their print job from one location or campus and pick it up at another location or campus as long as there is an available print release station.
Future expansions of the managed copy/print system will look to fold in student mobile devices.
"We hope to offer students the function to print from their mobile devices," McLeod said. "We will start with student laptops on UNG's network and go from there."
Last year posed a number of unforeseen challenges for universities across the country, as COVID-19 required campuses to pivot and problem solve in new ways. One bit of problem solving at Duke University saw the implementation of a COVID symptom monitoring process that deactivated student ID card access with the university’s Transact system if students did not complete daily symptom monitoring and surveillance testing.
The system has since been scaled back in keeping with the changes from 2020 to present day, but Duke’s initiative is nevertheless an interesting use case for the campus card transaction system. The student symptom screening was done on an app called SymMon that was designed to ensure that students on campus stayed current with symptom monitoring each day prior to their arrival to campus.
In addition to SymMon, all student records were deactivated in Transact at the start of each academic semester and only re-activated after the student took a COVID test at one of the testing facilities on Duke’s campus.
For students, the symptom monitoring process primarily took place in the mobile app, but there were other options to complete the check via the website or over the phone, if needed,” says Debbie DeYulia, Director, DukeCard Services. “Start to finish, the process took about 15 seconds.”
If the symptom monitoring was not submitted by the daily 2:00 p.m. deadline, the student's DukeCard access was deactivated until the symptom screening was completed. Deactivation in the Transact system denied card access to campus academic buildings or dormitories, as well as food purchases and use of student meal plans. Once the health check was submitted, the DukeCard was reactivated.
The symptom check protocols were slightly different for Duke faculty and staff. “If a student missed the 2:00 p.m. deadline, they just had to complete the symptom check to have their DukeCard privileges reactivated,” explains DeYulia. “Faculty and staff had their DukeCard deactivated at midnight each night and once they did their daily SymMon check for the day, their card was then reactivated.”
Transact's card and mobile credential-based transaction system was key to enabling the rapid deployment of Duke's pandemic initiative.
“The mobile credential platform (and the entire NFC-based transaction system) allows clients to expand its functionality to meet their specific requirements,” says Erica Bass vice president of product management.
“We deliver ease of use for students and campus administrators who can easily activate or pause activations with the click of a button, and we have been pleased to see it support student health monitoring and safety during the pandemic, as well,” adds Bass. “This technology is the future: more than 50 million transactions have been processed through it since its launch just three years ago.”
When the full system was still in place, students received a daily reminder informing them that they were not compliant and needed to complete the symptom check. If they had still not completed symptom monitoring by 2:00 p.m. they received another notification informing them that their DukeCard had been deactivated.
On the back end, DukeCard personnel setup a web service that allowed SymMon to make “activate” or “deactivate” requests to the Transact system, as appropriate, while making sure that all of the rules for each protocol item were respected, explains DeYulia.
“Duke took data from SymMon and passed it to a tool that the DukeCard team created and added a student or faculty member to a group that either activated their DukeCard, or kept them from being deactivated based on the information entered.”
“Duke took data from SymMon and passed it to a tool that the DukeCard team created,” says DeYulia. “The tool added a student or faculty member to a group that either activated their DukeCard – if they were previously not active – or kept them from being deactivated based on the information entered in SymMon.”
In mid August this year before school started, if a student, faculty or staff was vaccinated, they no longer needed to complete the daily symptom tracking.
Surveillance testing is a separate component to symptom monitoring but is also recorded in the SymMon app. The feature is still in use today. Students who are called for surveillance testing must comply regardless of their vaccination status.
“If the person scans and records their surveillance test, then their DukeCard remains active,” says DeYulia.
The SymMon app gave students a convenient, single interface for handling all COVID protocol requirements. This included initial testing, surveillance testing, and symptom monitoring.
Ultimately, using the campus card credential to enforce COVID measures marked an interesting use case for the campus credential. Duke’s initial use of SymMon, its campus transaction system and student ID card privileges in 2020 has helped the university adapt and hone the application to address evolving COVID challenges.
The University of Delaware has turned to identity solutions provider, IDEMIA, to leverage the company's Mobile ID for age verification and identification at the university's football stadium. The new event access solution is the result of a partnership with the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles and the University of Delaware Athletics, and makes UD one of the first campuses in the country to provide students and fans with a digital tool to verify identity without a physical driver’s license.
The UD athletic department is encouraging its fans to make the transition to the digital ID now offered by the state of Delaware. The department has distributed information about the initiative through its Blue Hens fan communications and with signs in Delaware Stadium.
“Our world is on the cusp of a digital transition from physical IDs to Mobile ID, and UD has always been on the cutting edge of technology that improves the lives of our students,” says Daniel Ammon, Delaware Sports Properties General Manager of Corporate Partnerships. “With this partnership, we are bringing this powerful shift directly to the hands of our fans, students and alumni who will very quickly see how universally secure and easy Mobile ID is to use.”
The Mobile ID solution will initially be available to fans in The Whitney Club section of the football stadium, enabling them to present Mobile IDs as a form of age verification. There are already plans to expand the initiative to other areas of campus in 2022, and the university believes will eventually lead to totally digital attendance.
IDEMIA's Mobile ID is a password-protected app that stores a digital version of a person’s official identification or driver’s license on their smartphone, as well as facilitates a contactless process for ID verification. The app is free to download and use, and authenticates the user’s identity by comparing a live selfie to a scan of both their physical driver’s license and existing profile in the state’s record system.
IDEMIA, the company behind TSA Precheck’s technology, developed its Mobile ID solution to never share data with retailers or organizations without active permission. Mobile ID pushes Delaware forward in the state's digital transition, offering services that equip residents with a more secure form of identification.
“Mobile ID will streamline Delaware state services and make them more accessible to residents,” says Jana Simpler, Director of DMV and Toll Operations. “In the future, everyday dealings from transferring a car title, getting your tax refund, to signing up for state benefits will be faster and more secure. This means we will be able to deliver enhanced services and foster better relationships with our residents.”
Delaware residents can use Mobile ID in other settings beyond UD athletics that require age or identity verification, such as at the grocery store or in a restaurant. When making a purchase, users can choose to share only the necessary personal data for completing the transaction, such as their age but not their address.
Campus credential and payment solutions provider, Transact, has announced three new software integrations with food-service companies Apex Order Pickup Solutions, Panasonic, and Starship Technologies. The integrations mark a clear focus on technology based food-service additions to diversify Transact's food order processing, adding both smart lockers and robot delivery options.
“Our team is dedicated to providing solutions for the rapidly evolving needs of college campuses,” says Transact Campus Vice President of Product Management Erica Bass. “These systems integrations will help mitigate overcrowding in some heavily trafficked parts of campus, provide students with additional food service options, and offer a safe delivery option for those who may need to isolate or quarantine. We are committed to putting the safety of students at the forefront of all our work at Transact.”
Transact’s integration with Starship Technologies mobile app and robot delivery platform allows users to order from any restaurant or store that partners with Starship and deduct funds through Transact’s closed-loop payment system. Transact is currently installing systems for up to 10 colleges and universities.
New and existing Transact clients can easily enable robot delivery and the integration is already available on some campuses.
“While our robots were doing deliveries long before the pandemic began, they’ve never been so important as right now, making life a little bit easier, especially in settings like college campuses,” says Chris Neider, Senior Manager, Business Development, Starship. “The integration with Transact’s payment system makes ordering food that much easier for students – they can use funds they’ve already designated for campus spending.”
Transact also collaborated with Panasonic to develop a closed-loop payment integration with Panasonic’s Smart Food Locker solution. Higher education campuses that deploy Panasonic's locker systems can benefit from streamlined food order pickup facilitated by a QR or pin code.
Panasonic's contactless order and retrieval process allows students to receive their food without waiting in long lines or interacting with restaurant or dining hall staff. With heavy foot traffic around campus, Panasonic’s Smart Food Lockers provide an alternative solution to reduce crowding during peak times when social distancing is a top priority.
“Campus life is increasingly busy and colleges and universities are turning to solutions to help students streamline their days,” says Eric Symon, Vice President of the Enterprise Process Innovation Center, Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America. "Integrating Transact’s payment solution with Panasonic’s Smart Food Lockers enables students to order and pick up their food at their convenience."
“Our Food Smart Lockers host enclosed and temperature-controlled environments to help reduce cross contamination for certain allergies and dietary restrictions while keeping food at peak freshness – hot or cold," adds Symon. "We’re excited to work with Transact to offer this streamlined dining solution to students so that they can spend more time experiencing the important parts of campus life.”
Transact's third agreement is a closed-loop payment integration with Apex Order Pickup Solutions. As with all three integrations, Apex Order Pickup enables students to use their campus card funds to make purchases through the vendor’s system or app.
“Colleges and universities continue to turn to Apex for guidance on how to offer streamlined, contactless pickup solutions that fit their specific campus needs,” says Mike Rizzo, Chief Growth Officer for Apex Order Pickup Solutions. “We believe our innovative solution paired with Transact’s payment capabilities, gives students fast, digital options that not only will outlast the pandemic environment, but also will better position campuses to serve their communities in a more seamless way in the future."
All three software integrations promise to add convenience, as well as new boost secure by keeping payment information private and ensuring that purchases are delivered to the intended recipient.
Access control solutions provider, ASSA ABLOY, has launched an online 360° virtual tour that allows universities to see how security and access control solutions can be used to create a sustainable, safe, and healthy learning environment. The virtual tour offers an immersive virtual experience for university decision makers to better see how ASSA ABLOY's solutions suite could benefit their campus.
The 360° virtual tour is designed to illustrate how the company's security and access control solutions can be used to solve campus challenges.
The self-guided digital walkthrough creates an immersive experience that demonstrates the role of door security and access control on campus. It also simplifies the process of identifying which solutions are best suited for common problems faced in the university space.
“With the help of our 360º online tour, universities will be able to visualize how door security solutions can be used to address everyday challenges, from ADA compliance to classroom scheduling and residence hall security,” says Jeremy Saline, Sr. Director of Business Development, ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Americas. “Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for universities to understand how they can improve safety and security on their campuses.”
The virtual tour is available online and can be viewed from any internet-enabled device.