Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Payment processing provider for tuition management and campus commerce, PayMyTuition, is expanding its digital student payments product suite. The product expansion will continue to include integrated solutions for student payment plans, eStatements, eStores, eRefunds, cashiering and international payments, but will now add more direct real-time integration into student information systems.

"We are excited to announce the expansion of our unique set of solutions within the higher education space providing our education partners with numerous domestic and international offerings that will deliver unparalleled efficiencies for both their payment processing and their student communities for the first time," says Arif Harji, Chief Market Strategist at PayMyTuition parent company, MTFX Group.

"We launched this new solution set to change the game in the education category by providing a unique offering to our partners, enabling education institutions with next-generation technologies and students with payment choice and flexibility," says Harji. "With a single containerized real-time integration into student information systems, our partners will receive access to our advanced solution set that will remove the strain laid upon staff resources, create processing efficiencies and reduce costs across the board."

PayMyTuition's solution set includes:

Domestic and international payments. Multiple payment options for paying tuition and fees including ACH, Bill Pay, real-time payments, credit cards, Interac and payments through various e-wallets combined with an international student payment offering. Services cover 180 countries and 135 currencies.

Payment Plans. Providing students increased flexibility by allowing them to pay for tuition and fees by offering personalized installment plans. Institutions can manage past due payment plans while keeping students on track with automatic text alerts and notification emails offering payment options for unpaid balances.

eStatements. Send consolidated billing while securely automating payment collection across any device with 24/7 access including electronic bill via via text or email.

eStores. Create, manage, and launch custom eStores, registration sites and payment pages with integrated inventory management, shipping, and an all-in-one secure shopping cart.

eRefunds. The integrated refund solution utilizes real-time account validation, removing the need for manual checks.

Cashiering. Simplify in-person payments by accepting in-person and over-the-phone transactions for campus merchants with portable card readers from anywhere on campus.

PayMyTuition can be integrated via APIs into most student information systems, including Ellucian Banner, Ellucian Colleague, PeopleSoft, Workday and other leading student information systems.

The European Campus Card Association (ECCA) is spearheading a cross-border digital student ID project in Europe that would enable holders to register, buy products and perform other tasks faces significant red tape and legal hurdles, according to a recent report. But project backers hope to make the new digital ID available by 2025.

The ECCA has released its “Student eID Framework Proposal” document, which serves as a summary of the project and provides a rough roadmap detailing the project’s next steps.

“The European Student Card is one of four flagships of the European Commission to make universities more connected across the EU,” says Sinead Nealon, executive director of the ECCA. “The commission as part of its strategy for universities urges a wide use of the European Student Card for all mobile students to facilitate access to transnational mobility at all levels across Europe.”

Use cases for the proposed digital ID would cover a variety of tasks, according to the report. For instance, cardholders could use the new ID form to make online purchases, with security provided by what the report called a “trusted interoperable and an easy-to-use form of eID and authentication.”

Student digital ID capabilities

The new European student ID also could bring more efficiency to university life by replacing what the report called “a multiplicity of student identities in HEIs, which are required for the diverse range of academic and non-academic services both on and off campus.”

The new card will also enable the transfer of information between students and their colleges and universities, along with building access, electronic signatures and cloud printing, according to comments from stakeholders and workshops included in the report.

Even as use cases for the student ID are mapped out, the project still faces challenges, such as meeting European-wide privacy standards along with national laws that govern security certificates and electronic signatures.

The potential project could also benefit from greater exposure, as evidenced by the results of a student ID survey including in the report. That poll found that 24% of respondents from higher education institutions, 70% of student respondents and 28% of service providers were not aware of the digital ID project.

Even so, most respondents across all categories said they thought colleges and universities will agree “on a solution to make the European eID available by 2025.”

European eID forms

So what format will this new digital student ID take?

Students, schools and service providers all favor a hybrid card system, with diminishing levels of support for mobile/digital devices only, and then physical cards only, according to the survey.

Comments from various workshops and stakeholders included in the ECCA report also lean heavily toward a hybrid scheme, with biometrics, NFC and host-card emulation among the technology candidates.

The report, in its framework recommendation, reinforces the role of the plastic card, stating: “The physical ID card will continue to be required. However the use of a physical ID card in a hybrid system together with mobile devices should be promoted, as this is the most favored option with HEIs and students.”

Other parts of the recommended framework include:

eID pilot effort

The report remains unclear about what card technology vendors might take part in this effort.

Comments from workshops show at least some disagreement about whether to rely on apps from single vendors, or integrating into existing university and college apps, or how much to build upon existing technologies like Microsoft verifiable credentials or decentralized PKI (blockchain).

The report concludes by calling for an initial pilot system spanning three or four countries, as proponents push for the larger goal of a 2025 go-live date.

“Recommendations resulting from the various activities of this project provide a sequence of important requirements for consideration and evaluation, so as to achieve a high level of acceptance, collaboration, and positivity from the stakeholders for the concept of a European student card due to be implemented by 2025,” says Nealon.

Robot delivery start-up Kiwibot has expanded its contract with food-service provider Sodexo in a deal that is expected to grow the company's fleet of semi-autonomous robots on college campuses. Kiwibot currently has 200 delivery robots deployed across 10 campuses.

The initial partnership was announced last August, but the robot delivery company's expanded contract with Sodexo will enable Kiwibot to grow its robot fleet to more than 1,200 robots across 50 US college campuses partnered with Sodexo by the end of 2022.

“The early success of our Kiwibot partnership has shown that automated delivery is not only possible and reliable, it’s desirable,” says Sarosh Mistry, Chair, Sodexo North America. “Sodexo is focused on meeting our clients and consumers where they are, and Kiwibot helps us do that. This year, more students than ever will benefit from autonomous delivery, and we’re pleased to be at the forefront of this emerging market.”

Kiwibot has also raised a Pre-Series A of around $7.5M from investors, bringing its total raised so far to $14M. One of the investors is Sodexo, which are doubling down on their efforts to implement safe, convenient food service solutions.

Kiwibot offers in-field customer support and integration with any business’s point-of-sale to distribute food products, without the usual commission rate for food delivery services.

"We have been intensely working in the robotic food delivery field for the last five years, and this funding will allow us to expand the business at the speed that the market is demanding,” says Felipe Chávez Cortés, CEO and Co-Founder of Kiwibot. “We are set to build the most advanced robot delivery fleet: building 100 robots a month, expanding to exciting locations, and connecting with new partners, universities, and cities to advance safe and equitable mobility with zero-emission solutions.”

Kiwibot was founded in 2017 and launched its first on-campus pilot at the University of California-Berkeley. The company utilizes semi-autonomous robots, and to date Kiwibot estimates having made over 200,000 deliveries on university campuses and across US cities.

Penn State University has added new functionality to its Penn State Go campus mobile app, implementing the LionPATH Student Home Base dashboard into the app interface. Some of the LionPATH features had previously been been implemented in Penn State Go when the app launched in January 2020, but the latest update brings all the components, navigation and menus from the desktop experience onto the student’s mobile device.

According to an official university release, the new update will enable students to use the app to manage class enrollment, plan and monitor degree progress, and view important to-do tasks related to financials. More responsive, fluid pages have been added for the popular features like "Enrollment Shopping Cart" and "Drop Classes" to improve design and functionality.

“It’s been a goal of the LionPATH Development and Maintenance Organization (LDMO) to provide a seamless experience for students across any device they might use to access LionPATH,” says Misty Patcyk, LDMO director. “We prioritized the development of this robust mobile functionality based on student survey feedback.”

Also part of the app feature consolidation is the ability for academic advisers to view updates while using the “See What the Student Sees” functionality as they work with students on class schedules and changes.

“Providing the full LionPATH experience within Penn State Go and transitioning pages to be fluid is an important step in making LionPATH fully mobile accessible,” says Patcyk. “We value our students’ opinions and will continue to make improvements based on the feedback we receive from them.”

Students who had previously downloaded the Penn State Go app on their mobile devices do not need to update the app to access the LionPATH Student Home Base functionality from within Penn State Go. The newly added features will be available immediately upon opening the app.

Mercer University has partnered with Grubhub to offer students, faculty and staff access to unlimited free delivery with Grubhub through their Bear Bucks campus account. The partnership enables students and employees to use their Bear Bucks stored value accounts to pay for food from any restaurant in the Grubhub network.

According to an official university release, students and employees can their Bear Card accounts to pay for orders on the Grubhub platform.

“We were looking for creative ways to better serve the campus community, and this was something that our partners at Transact came up with to bring to us,” says Ken Boyer, associate vice president for auxiliary services at Mercer. “With Grubhub, we’re able to take our program further off campus and provide a variety of dining options. It gives students expanded hours and increased local delivery options.”

According to Boyer, free delivery through Grubhub is available in any location, including in Macon, Atlanta or when traveling out of state. In addition to Bear Bucks, students can also elect to pay with credit cards and PayPal.

“We hopefully are coming out of this pandemic, but it’s another tool to provide safe and contactless delivery and provide our campus with as much service and flexibility as possible,” Boyer said.

Mercer students and employees who elect to use their Bear Card will receive Grubhub+, which includes free delivery from GrubHub+ restaurants. Grubhub+ typically costs $9.99 per month but is available at no charge to the Mercer community.

To get started, users simply the Grubhub app and sign in or create an account. For students on campus, a pop-up screen will offer a prompt to join with Mercer, and log in using your Mercer credentials.

Within the first 24 hours of activation with a university account, Mercer students also receive a $10 reward valid with your first purchase of $12 or more.

Illinois North Central College has implemented secure multi-factor authentication and single sign-on to its campus-wide applications, including Microsoft Office 365, Blackboard, and Ellucian Colleague. The college has turned to BIO-key International and its PortalGuard Identity as a Solution platform.

BIO-key provides workforce and customer identity and access management solutions that leverage what the company calls Identity-Bound Biometrics. At North Central College in Naperville, IL, the PortalGuard IDaaS platform is expected to secure access to enterprise applications and reduce IT-related expenses.

BIO-key has implemented its solutions at over 200 higher education institutions, including 30 IDaaS customers across 12 states. The company estimates that it is supporting more than 2.5 million students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni with cloud-based solutions.

Among BIO-key's other university clients is the University of Denver where the platform has met Denver’s requirement for Single Sign-On protocols to support a planned campus portal migration, and to provide a consistent app access experience with integrated self-service capabilities.

PortalGuard's features self-service password reset capabilities, meaning North Central College can solve a significant IT pain point and eliminate related help desk costs.

"Higher education has become an attractive target for cyberattacks, so institutions are seeking highly secure, scalable, and redundant IAM solutions to safeguard both student and institutional data and resources," says Mark Cochran, President of BIO-key – PortalGuard. "The BIO-key security team, with our comprehensive suite of IAM solutions, is uniquely positioned to assist higher-ed institutions with enhancing their information security plans and effectively addressing the challenging risks to institutional security and privacy."

A new mobile ID is helping students, staff and faculty at one of the most technically-advanced schools in the U.S. – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – deal with a variety of daily campus tasks. The Boston-area university has officially launched the digital ID for smart phones and watches for on- and off-campus transactions, building access and other tasks.

The MIT mobile ID started development prior to COVID-19 but was only recently released by MIT’s Information Systems and Technology department for mainstream use at the university.

MIT’s mobile ID will provide users with a digital version of the physical ID card, storing that digital credential in smartphones and smart watches. Students and other members of the campus community conduct transactions by waving their device in front of readers to buy snacks and beverages, to access buildings and rooms, to control secure parking and to pay for copy and print jobs.

The mobile ID can be used for payments anywhere that accepts the university’s TechCASH, including off-campus merchants. For now, though, holders of the new mobile ID cannot use their mobile ID to pay for public transit in the Boston area, according to the university.

University officials are touting not only the efficiency of this new mobile ID but also the safety of the program.

"Throughout the pandemic, our community has been absolutely incredible as they have embraced a variety of new protocols that have helped to ensure the health and safety of the MIT campus,” Mark V. Silis, vice president for information systems and technology, told MIT News upon the public debut of the ID. “The MIT Mobile ID was developed in an accelerated effort as part of the MIT Atlas program's continuing commitment to transforming the campus experience for our faculty, students, and staff."

The mobile ID project required an overhaul to the card reader infrastructure on campus, as well as the need to install additional readers.

University officials say that the project upgraded more than 4,700 card readers, along with hundreds of access control panels and intrusion alarm systems. The project spanned more than 120 buildings across campus.

MIT is using HID iCLASS SE readers, which support mobile credentials, as well as traditional ID cards, for physical access control on campus.

MIT News also reports that adoption of the mobile ID has been “swift,” with about 50% of first-year students switching to the digital form factor on day one. By then end of 2021, more than 14,000 mobile credentials were enabled. Early usage data also gives cause for optimism, with more than 50,000 mobile ID transactions – not including building access – processed to date.

Future enhancements to the MIT mobile ID are already in the planning stages, including use of the mobile credential as a transportation pass for Boston area transit through the MBTA. MIT community members and affiliates can currently use their physical ID cards for identification when riding on the MBTA system.

Separate to the mobile ID initiative, MIT has implemented a self-service card printing kiosk for members of the campus community to replace their physical ID cards that have been lost or damaged.

The Western Kentucky University Restaurant Group has revealed that some of its on-campus restaurants will temporarily be switching to online ordering only. The move will be underpinned by WKU's Dining Sidekick app, with the shift to mobile ordering remaining in place for at least the duration of the spring semester.

According to The WKU Herald, the restaurants that will be switching to mobile order only include RedZone, The Den, Java City and The Spread -- all on-campus eateries. Mobile ordering will be fully up and running for all four locations by February 21.

Here's some exciting news! Starting in February, 4 of our restaurants will be Dining Sidekick ONLY! If you don't already have the app, make sure to download it and try it out! You'll be able to place your order ahead of time, so no more waiting in line before you get your meal!

— WKU Restaurant Group (@wkurg) January 26, 2022

In a statement from the WKU Restaurant Group, the mobile ordering decision was made to improve the guest experience, to increase the speed of service, and reduce wait times and lines at the till.

WKU is no stranger to mobile ordering, having previously implemented the technology in a number of restaurants across campus. However, mobile ordering has always been an option, not the only method of payment.

The WKU Restaurant Group says that there are already 6,415 Sidekick app users on campus, and that number is expected to increase once the switch to mobile ordering is live.

To place orders, students download the Dining Sidekick app, select Western Kentucky University and set up an account. After placing their order, students will scan a QR code at the location to pick up their orders, with all payments being processed through the app.

Students also have the option to use either their personal credit or debit card to pay for meals in the app, or use their Big Red Dollars, Dining Dollars, Flex, Meal Plan Dollars or meal swipes.

A new bill introduced in the state of Idaho would ban use of student ID cards as valid voter identification. The bill would also eliminate same-day voter registration in the state.

As reported by The Arbiter, House Bill 549 would remove the option to sign a voter affidavit verifying a voter’s identity at the polls on Election Day. The bill would also render student IDs invalid as a form of ID verification.

Idaho joins a host of other states that are currently weighing the role of the student ID card in state voting and elections. In most cases where the student credential is being contested as a form of identity verification, the components of the campus card itself are playing a central role. Specifically, the need for expiration dates, cardholder photos, birthdates, and in some cases issue dates have all been raised as potential hurdles.

If passed, Idaho's HB 549 would go into effect ahead of this year’s primary elections.

According to Rep. Dorothy Moon, the bill's sponsor, one problem with the use of student IDs as a form of identity verification is that they don’t confirm whether the ID holder is a U.S. citizen.

One counter opinion questions whether removing student credentials as a form of ID might prevent some college students from voting in their university’s district, as alternate forms of identification might list an address in a different state or district.

The state of Idaho's voter affidavit option enables citizens to vote without identification, provided they sign a sworn statement under penalty of perjury verifying their identity.

Campus credential and commerce solution provider, TouchNet, is working with Anthology to provide the higher education community with a better experience for student payments through straightforward, deeply integrated technology solutions. Institutions that use TouchNet and Anthology can now take advantage of deeply integrated commerce and credential systems.

Anthology provides software based education solutions across the higher ed spectrum, and will work with TouchNet to ease some of the complexity around payments and permissions.

Now supporting more than 150 million users in over 80 countries, Anthology's newly expanded organization uses modern cloud technology and services to address individual needs and help educators. Anthology seeks to create operational efficiencies, as well as provide intelligence for staff, faculty and administrators.

“Our work with Anthology expands and extends our solutions to lead colleges and universities to a more modern, cloud-based experience,” says Chris Setcos, Senior Director of Business Development at TouchNet. “Integrating payments and credential applications with Anthology gives administrators a holistic view of the student, and delivers the connected and safe campus leaders need and students crave so they can stay focused on learning.”

TouchNet’s U.Commerce platform connects with multiple Anthology solutions, including: Anthology Student, Anthology Reach, and Anthology Encompass. Higher ed institutions can expect to benefit from real-time integration of payment data, an array of modern payment methods, payment plans, and monitoring and tracking of activities, bills, tax statements, and financial aid disbursements.

“By partnering with TouchNet, we’re enabling more seamless payment and permissions integrations that simplify the experience for students and administrators,” says Rob Sparks, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Partnerships at Anthology. “The powerful, real-time insights that TouchNet delivers allow institutions to automate, manage and secure electronic payments across their campus.”

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