Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Humboldt State is adding a new, mobile payment method for parking on campus with the start of the spring semester. The university will launch of the Passport Parking App for its students and campus constituents that will feature a contactless mobile payment system.

According to university officials, the new parking option will be provide by transportation software and payments company Passport. HSU will officially begin accepting payments via the digital parking payment system on January 18, 2022. The app, Passport Parking, allows for a contactless experience where motorists pay for and manage their parking sessions with their smartphones.

To begin a parking session using the Passport Parking App, users create an account in the app with their email address or phone number and then enter their parking space number in metered areas, or license plate number in parking lots. Students also enter the amount of time they expect to remain parked in that spot.

Users will receive notifications when their parking time is about to expire and can extend their time remotely from their mobile device. Receipts and parking history are also accessible through the app.

“The Passport Parking app will make paying for parking convenient and efficient for the HSU community,” says Anthony Morgan, Chief of University Police. “We are excited to partner with Passport to offer a comprehensive mobile parking solution and look forward to bringing their technology to campus.”

Passport’s end-to-end digital mobility platform is being used in more than 800 cities, universities, and private operators to manage parking. The company's suite of solutions include mobile pay parking, parking enforcement and digital permitting.

“A contactless form of payment for parking is a great benefit for students and faculty and provides HSU with a cost-efficient method of charging for parking,” says Mark Schleyer, regional sales director for Passport Parking. “We are thrilled to equip Humboldt State with the parking technology it needs to help create more enjoyable and convenient campus experiences.”

The Passport Parking app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play, and users can also manage their parking online at the Passport Parking website. Students and other campus visitors can still elect to pay for parking via traditional meters or by purchasing passes from existing parking kiosks.

The University of Rhode island has turned to Automatic Laundry, a laundry service provider to the colleges and universities in the Northeast, to integrate the company's proprietary LaundryConnect Pay app. LaundryConnect is a closed-loop mobile payment system, which will now tie into the University of Rhode Island's existing campus card system.

Rhode Island students can still elect to continue using their student ID card to pay for laundry, but now have the option to download the mobile app to complete payment. When paying via the LaundryConnect app, students first register with a debit or credit card and then start the laundry machine using their smartphone.

In addition to upgrading the laundry equipment across the campus, Automatic Laundry also outfitted its LaundryConnect system to link commercial washers and dryers installed across URI's campus to the internet. From the mobile app, students can now access a laundry monitoring web page that shows the availability of laundry machines in real-time. Students can also report service needs directly from the mobile app.

Automatic Laundry has partnered with URI for over 20 years and both parties recently agreed to extend their relationship. URI reviewed multiple options for laundry payments systems including a complete upgrade of their legacy online system, which was cost-prohibitive. Automatic Laundry was able to integrate its mobile app with the existing online system eliminating the need for a costly system upgrade.

Since the implementation of the mobile payment platform campus-wide over the summer, over 4,600 students have downloaded the mobile laundry app.

For the first three months of this past fall semester, 97% of laundry revenue had been derived from the mobile payment app. "Given the importance of smartphones to our student customers, it only makes sense to align points of sale on campus with the way they manage their daily lives," says Scott Scarpato, Automatic Laundry's President, and CEO.

With LaundryConnect, real-time service alerts are sent from the washers and dryers directly to Automatic Laundry's support team. Since implementation at URI, Automatic Laundry has remotely repaired 78% of equipment breakdowns before students and staff become aware of the issue. "As a leading service provider, we have been aggressively moving from reactive service model to proactive service experience for our clients and their customers," says Scarpato.

In this final installment of our "Exploring the Future of Campus Identity" series with ASSA ABLOY, Lester LaPierre helps to explain the notable differences between the wireless access control options currently available to colleges and universities. Watch as LaPierre delves into the wireless technologies being used for access control today, including Aperio, Wi-Fi, and the legacy 900 Mhz technology.

In this Chat, we discuss the benefits of moving to wireless access control, as well as crucially which technology makes sense for certain use cases and environments. Is your campus most concerned with lower cost? Fewer wireless disruptions? Worried about being mobile ready? Simply want to improve the student experience? LaPierre covers all the angles looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each wireless access technology.

LaPeirre also talks about some of the common objections that campus stakeholders voice when it comes to wireless access control. We discuss the ways campuses can maintain command and control at all doors, talk through remote vs. local lockdown, and dispel any misconceptions around security, bandwidth, interference, battery life, maintenance and offline capabilities.

This episode is part of our “Exploring the Future of Campus Identity” series with ASSA ABLOY. Check out the other episodes below:

Mobile food-ordering and delivery platform, Grubhub recently deployed a fleet of Yandex Self-Driving Group delivery robots on the campus of the University of Arizona. The deployment marks the second campus client to sign on with the Grubhub-Yandex robot delivery partnership this fall, following flagship campus Ohio State University.

Robot delivery will be available to the entire Arizona campus community and will serve food from on-campus dining locations, including IQ Fresh, Einstein Bros Bagels, On Deck Deli and Sabor. Food orders will be placed via the Grubhub app, with the Yandex robots handling the delivery.

"Our ongoing partnership with Grubhub, and now Yandex, continues to strengthen and bring cool new innovation to our campus," says Todd Millay, executive director of Arizona Student Unions. "We're lucky to be the second school in the nation to launch with Grubhub's new robot delivery service, and we can't wait for our students to enjoy the convenience of this amazing technology."

Yandex's third-generation robots autonomously navigate pavement, campus crosswalks and pedestrian areas at speeds between 3 to 5 miles, day and night, and in various weather conditions, including rain. The rovers operate seven days per week, and students can request delivery to popular locations on campus including the dormitories, libraries and more.

"We've been working with the University of Arizona's dining team on efforts that drive the dining experience forward for the last eight years – from rolling out on-campus pickup and delivery to smart food lockers and our Ultimate ordering technology," says Travis Price, senior manager, strategic partnerships at Grubhub. "The deployment of this robot delivery technology is an exciting way we're providing innovative solutions to our partners, and we look forward to continuing to support the university's dining operations."

Features of the third-generation Yandex robots include removable batteries that can be replaced in under a minute, additional cameras, a new chassis design with increased storage capacity, LED headlights and softer suspension making it easier for the robots to traverse challenging terrain like high curbs.

"We are excited to see just how quickly autonomous delivery robots are becoming an essential part of campus life," says Peter Szelei, business development executive at Yandex SDG. "Our robots are already delivering thousands of orders every week on college campuses -- simplifying the daily lives of students, professors and anyone spending time on college campuses."

As supply chain issues in 2021 persist, Mark Degan from identity solutions provider ColorID offers a look at the challenges ahead and talks about ways campuses can to overcome potentially troublesome delays.

As the fall semester comes to a close, administrators are racing to make sure their card and ID programs are ready to go. That’s no easy task in the best of times – and with the pandemic still impacting many facets of daily operations, supply chains are being put under historic stress.

But with patience, foresight, and more than a bit of flexibility, colleges and universities can overcome the supply chain challenges until the situation eases.

That’s one of the main messages from Mark Degan, director of corporate marketing for identity management solutions provider, ColorID.

Degan recently spoke with CR80News about the challenges that came with servicing campus ID projects in 2021 and what administrators at those schools can expect in the coming year. Don’t expect changes overnight, he explains, but follow the right steps and you can avoid disaster.

Campus card supply chain issues

It helps to recall just how difficult the past year has been when it comes to making sure IDs got into students’ hands. Institutions were constantly met with barriers and roadblocks related to the supply chain.

“It was really nuts to see this happening, because in 2020 we really weren’t affected by it,” he says. “But in 2021 there were shortages of everything – ID cards, color printers, ribbons for the printers themselves.”

The situation really took a turn for the worse as schools prepared for summer orientation.

“It was really nuts, because in 2020 we really weren’t affected. But in 2021 there were shortages of everything – ID cards, color printers, ribbons for the printers themselves.”

Lead times that normally stood at one or two weeks stretched to three or four weeks, or even longer. Manufacturers were shipping partial orders – for instance, five printers instead of 10 – and even cancelling entire orders, he explains.

“Our ColorID account managers were working round the clock with campus card administrators to figure out solutions to all those supply backups,” he says.

“I don’t think anyone realized how many cards they would be printing this summer,” he notes. “A ton of students didn’t use their cards last year because they were remote, and many threw them away or left them at home.”

It didn’t help that semiconductor plants were already operating at full capacity, and that was still not enough to meet the needs of the world economy. And even though factories were operating with multiple shifts, they still had to deal with pandemic-related absenteeism.

All these problems have forced ColorID to get aggressive to help meet the needs of its customers.

“When our suppliers do have inventory, we snatch up as much as we can and load them into our warehouse,” he notes.

When will the supply chain issues ease?

Bottlenecks continue, but Degan believes things will get a bit better in the first quarter of 2022. However, it will take longer for things to return to pre-pandemic normalcy.

“I think big changes are going to happen in the third quarter at the earliest,” he says, though he added that every manufacturer seems to have their own opinion about what’s happening.

“I don’t think anyone realized how many cards they would be printing this summer. A ton of students didn’t use their cards last year because they were remote, and many threw them away or left them at home.”

A lot of U.S. manufacturers have 80% of their necessary components ready to go, but they are waiting on that 20% from the rest of the world, he explains. “Everything is just taking longer. Every single semiconductor facility around the world is overbooked.”

Those realities have led ColorID to adopt a more pragmatic view of the industry – a view designed to make sure it can work efficiently with customers in the coming months.

“We need to watch our inventory and assume the worst but hope for the best,” says Degan. “It really is a role of the dice whether those cards will ship out in a week or in 12 weeks. There is no pattern to it.”

An agnostic approach to technology

Of course, not all campus card programs are the same – and those differences must be taken into account when trying to determine when card issuance operations can get back to normal.

For instance, Degan says one of the lessons learned during the great supply chain pile-up of 2021 was that campus ID administrators with technology that was relatively agnostic – say, software that works with a variety of printer manufacturers, or a having a vast array of models to choose from – tended to have fewer pain points than their peers.

"If your campus ID software was more agnostic, it didn’t matter what type of printer you were using. Those guys were winning.”

“If you wanted to scale up quickly to meet the demand for extra cards printed over the summer, you were stuck having to buy that one printer model or software license," explains Degan. "If that printer had a backlog like the majority did, then you were just out of luck, sitting there waiting for weeks or months."

"But if your ID software was more agnostic, it didn’t matter what type of printer you were using," he says. "Those guys were winning.”

Card program flexibility

As Degan explains, the most important lesson to carry forward into 2022 is try to be flexible, even down to decisions like pre-printed or blank card stock, or the type of card.

“It’s really just bobbing and weaving and figuring out what option is the best,” he says. “We know that an emphasis on flexibility can be difficult for customers to prioritize during the purchasing process. But we try to help our customers select printers, software, and card technologies that give them options.”

As Degan tells it, flexibility will play a bigger role in campus ID issuance and management in the future, thanks in large part to evolving technology. That can include mobile and contactless IDs and credentials, along with the ongoing rise of cloud-based software and its ability to connect to those third-party applications.

“We know that an emphasis on flexibility can be difficult for customers to prioritize during the purchasing process. But we try to help our customers select printers, software, and card technologies that give them options.”

The key is to determine what works for a specific college or university and not just follow the pack.

“What we don’t want is to get into a pattern of saying ‘Hey, this is what I had before,' or 'let's do what that other school did,’” Degan explains. “You need to look at your ecosystem to determine the best fit for your campus. You might really like utilizing desktop software, for instance, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook cloud-based solutions.”

While Degan and the team at ColorID will be happy to see the end of 2021 from a logistical standpoint, there were certainly valuable lessons learned. The most important of which is one that every campus can benefit from.

“This past year really strengthened our commitment at ColorID to make sure our customers know that there are slew of options out there today, and that careful selection can help future proof their programs.”

As campuses return to normal in the wake of the pandemic, an ongoing dining services push at the State University of New York at Buffalo is reinforcing the utility of self-service checkout and the mobile technology that powers it.

That’s the main message shared by Keith Curtachio, the university’s director of IT for Campus Dining and Shops, the campus department that provides dining and associated services to students, employees and faculty. The ongoing effort to improve the food service experience at the University at Buffalo is bolstered by the GET app from longtime partner CBORD, as well as Nextep kiosks and Oracle’s Micros Simphony POS.

The University at Buffalo has more than 30,000 students and nearly 4,000 full-time employees across three campuses. To help serve its campus population more efficiently, Buffalo has  deployed kiosks, which Curtachio says offer some clear advantages over traditional cashiers when it comes to ordering and paying for meals and snacks.

“A kiosk cannot smile but it will always be on time,” explains Curtachio. “And they help bridge cultural and language barrier.”

That is important for an organization that attracts a large population of students from abroad. Those consumers can navigate digital menus via pictures as they learn the language and new culinary options.

Kiosks on the rise

Kiosks aren’t just changing food service in the campus space; they’re also making an impact in the larger world of fast food and fast casual dining. Along with advances in digital ID and payments, kiosk technology is helping restaurants and dining hall operators to speed up services, reduce mistakes and deal with the ongoing labor shortage.

The University at Buffalo has similar goals – though, as Curtachio explains, the job is not about installing a bunch of kiosks and calling it a day. The effort is more complicated and nuanced than that, with lessons still being absorbed and best practices established.

He traces the food service kiosk effort at the university back at least five years and highlighted the ongoing One World Café project. This $38 million facility is scheduled for completion in spring 2022. The three-story, 53,500-square-foot building will seat more than 800 people, offering both a variety of cuisines and various ways to order and pay.

“It has a lot of meeting spaces, a lot of seating and an international eatery,” says Curtachio.

Design work on the project started three years ago and initially excluded in-person ordering altogether, offering only kiosks and self-checkout. “But we have a really good culinary team and wanted to include some personal interaction,” he says. “So we pivoted a little bit.”

Different paths to success

Explaining the layout of the One World Café, Curtachio points out different “through line journeys” that enable diners to access meals, beverages and snacks in a variety of ways. Some kiosks will offer ordering services but not payments, which can be handled by traditional cashiers or self-checkout kiosks later. Some areas have in-person ordering only. A future plan will enable customers to place orders for pickup at a later time.

This multi-prong design allows customers to order via the kiosks or an app then wander around and pick up impulse buys and other items from the grab-and-go areas. “People often change their minds,” says Curtachio.

ADA considerations play a role in the deployment of the technology, which should enable a customer with a disability to order food without needing the help of an associate, he adds.

Self-checkout the pinnacle for Buffalo

The heart and soul of the One World Café is the self-checkout area – a concept increasingly found in convenience, retail and grocery stores. Amazon has famously become an aggressive player in moving toward a totally cashier-less experience, and Curtachio sees this as an ideal model.

At the campus level, payments could be handled via closed-loop student meals cards or other payment apps, completing the entire transaction process in a contactless manner. Folding in the cashier-less concept could employ cameras and software to automatically charge consumers for what they buy, as well as keep track of products going out the door so that inventory and shelf stocking don’t fall behind.

Even with a system that uses kiosk stations for self-checkout, security remains key.

“There are a lot of cameras there,” Curtachio says, addressing worries about theft. “You can see every square inch of the operation.”

Emerging lessons

The need for a watchful eye via cameras is one lesson that other campus administrators should be mindful of when considering similar plans. Curtachio offers other emerging best practices as well.

For starters, while it’s worthwhile to use this technology to keep up with what he calls “the cool kids” – for example, chain restaurants and other businesses that already offer similar services – each college and university has to come up with its own specific plan. These plans rely heavily on gaining the appropriate metrics.

“You have to test; you have to use gap analysis,” Curtachio advises. “Make sure you know your meal plan features and identify any gaps.”

Another important consideration when deploying this type of multi-channel food service system is the time required to get up and running – especially given the required participation of partners and the probable need to integrate point-of-sale software and other technologies.

“It takes a lot of lead time setting up a new revenue center,” says Curtachio of the kiosks.

Even creating the graphics for a new kiosk ordering system takes time. He stresses that custom images of all that tasty food can go a long way to helping make the overall system a success.

“The graphics and creative work can be costly,” he says. “But they do increase the impact.”

Overcoming drawbacks

Backers of this technology should also acknowledge potential drawbacks, even short-term ones.

For instance, can kitchen workers keep up with a quicker stream of orders, especially given ongoing labor shortages? And can a mixed software environment handle recalled orders? Will the campus IT department be able to quickly fix any problems?

“It’s added pressure on IT staff,” Curtachio says. “Anytime you are adding a piece of equipment you are adding a point of failure. You have to have enough personnel to address those issues in real time.”

Even with all that in mind, he expresses deep optimism about the One World Café and associated progress in bringing more digital efficiencies to campus food service. The potential upsides – increasing sales, elevating the reputation of a college or university, making a happier dining experience for students, faculty and employees – make the legwork worthwhile.

“The customer experience is more consistent than it is with humans,” Curtachio concludes. “And, luckily, in higher-ed institutions, most of the students are good with apps.”

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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.

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.

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

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

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.

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:

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