Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

Transact Campus' Laura Newell-McLaughlin discusses the company's recent acquisition of mobile ordering provider, Hangry, and what the move means for Transact Mobile Ordering and campus commerce.

Hangry specializes in mobile ordering solutions for college campuses, making it a fitting addition to the Transact Campus portfolio. Watch along as Newell-McLaughlin discusses the deal and what campuses can expect from Transact Mobile Ordering going forward.

Penn State is implementing Transact Mobile Credential with its new mobile Penn State id+ card slated for arrival in January 2023. The move will enable PSU students to use their mobile devices to conveniently and securely access campus housing facilities, purchase meals, and more.

According to an official university release, the university is installing contactless card readers and tap-to-pay POS terminals across all 24 PSU campuses in a phased approach. Upgrades to card readers will include exterior residence hall doors, interior residence hall doors, commons buildings, LionCash and meal plans, and on-campus laundry washers and dryers.

"Mobile devices are playing a more significant role in the higher education landscape," says John Papazoglou, associate vice president for Auxiliary and Business Services. "Penn State's continued advancement of student resources is a part of the University's student-centric mission. The mobile id+ card enhances this mission, bringing the University closer to a digital campus."

"The new seamless mobile experience helps increase security for students by allowing them to open their residence hall door lock through their new id+ card or mobile device," says Aliana Steinbugl, director of physical security for Penn State University Police and Public Safety. These enhancements will help make Penn State a more secure University."

Penn State is encouraging students to download the Transact eAccounts app from the App Store or Google Play on their mobile devices ahead of time to be prepared to provision the mobile credential to their device. Students must upload their photo and have the Transact eAccounts app to use the contactless technology after launch day. 

A process is already underway to provide new physical id+ cards for Penn State community members, separate from the mobile id+ card launch. Cardholders who received their current id+ card before May 10, 2022, will receive a new physical credential in the spring of 2023.

Physical cards will remain necessary on the Penn State campus, as not all locations will immediately accept mobile-only transactions. Access to select buildings and resources will also still require the physical id+ card to be present during a transaction.

For more information, visit the id+ card mobile page.

By Renee Henry, Product Marketing Manager, Entrust

Why should you consider distributed issuance for campus cards? Because your IDs are the most tangible connection between a school, its students, and its faculty. In this evolving, fast-paced environment, when convenience and speed are of utmost priority, enrolling and issuing student ID cards can present a real challenge. The traditional card issuance process that provides each student their personalized card often results in long wait queues, creating an unpleasant experience for students and faculty.

Fortunately, Instant ID issuance software (formerly TruCredential) enables you to reimagine your card issuance program. The distributed issuance ID card solution uses locally installed software to capture data, print, and issue technology-rich student ID cards anywhere on campus and on-demand using ethernet-connected card printers.

The secure software integrates seamlessly with access controls and other systems on your campus, making it easy, efficient, and practical to meet the needs of tech-savvy, multitasking students and staff. Distributed issuance for campus cards delivers greater system flexibility, allowing more customized solutions to meet campus needs.

Here are the top 5 benefits of distributed issuance for campus cards:

1. Secure

Fraud risk makes security a concern, and a securely connected campus starts with trusted identities. A well-designed issuance security architecture keeps your data and systems secure throughout the issuance process with software that installs easily on your existing secure servers.

Our Trusted Platform Module enables you to store and manage user certificates and keys and establishes an encrypted, secure connection between the issuance software and the ID card printers. Our patent-pending secure boot protects the system from outside intrusion to limit malware insertion. Additional tamper resistant card options like custom holographic overlays, tactile impression, and color, tactile printing provide an extra layer of security, firmly placing you in control of your school’s ID Program.

2. Cost-effective

Our secure cloud management solution helps eliminate the need for onsite technical support visits, enabling automated system updates, troubleshooting, and fleet management capabilities. Our card issuance solution is easily scalable, lowers operational and service costs, and minimizes hardware and software costs. Scalability, cost savings, and optimized output make distributed card issuance viable and effective for universities and their students.

3. Innovative

As technology on campus rapidly changes, proprietary hardware and software can make it challenging to deliver seamless one-card experiences. Entrust combines physical and digital into one identity issuance platform that is either on-premises or in the cloud. It can deliver a physical ID and a mobile flash pass instantly, creating multi-use credentials for identification and payment. Instant ID also offers seamless integration with access control systems, letting you encode smart cards, contactless cards, and magnetic stripes on demand. The ability to integrate with agnostic ID card providers enables universities to create a more connected, more efficient ecosystem that simplifies identity, access, and payment at scale across campus systems.

4. Convenient

Many ID software products require station-by-station installation. This approach does not allow you to capture and print anywhere you choose. Our server-based software lets you capture images and demographic data for the ID issuance process anywhere on campus. You can print and issue new, lost, or stolen ID cards at multiple locations or batch print IDs at your convenience. If desired, you can mail cards to students who choose to do remote mobile enrollment. Distributed issuance for campus cards eliminates long lines in the card office, streamlines operations, and empowers staff to accomplish more.

5. Easy

The issuance process is fast, simple, and on-demand. No delays. No waiting for the mail. Students and staff can begin enjoying the benefits of a connected campus experience immediately. Campus ID solutions from Entrust make it easy for you to issue technology-rich cards that integrate seamlessly with access control and other systems on your campus. Manage your printer from the palm of your hand with our printer dashboard – monitor printer status, order supplies, check the cleaning status, update firmware, and contact help. The software is easy to maintain and the plug-and-play nature ensures that no specialized training is required.

By Jeff Koziol, Business Development Manager – PACS Partners, Allegion

As more college campuses adopt electronic access control each year, or expand what they already have, it’s important to have a handle on electronic access control 101 and how the technology can create a better campus experience for students, faculty and staff alike. Weighing campus security, convenience and cost are often at the forefront of discussion when considering upgrades.

Read on to learn the basics of electronic access control 101, key points to consider when assessing your campus’s needs, and benefits the different types of systems can provide.

Basic components of access control

Electronic access control refers to a wired or wireless system that determines access to entry points using software and access credentials. Student credentials may include ID cards, badges, fobs or mobile credentials in an app or the student’s Apple or Google Wallet. The user must present their credential to a reader, which then decides whether the user is authorized to access the entry point. It can also exclude entry at certain times or certain days.

Components that make up an access control opening include a card reader, latching hardware, door position indicator, a request-to-exit switch (a sensor that differentiates between someone forcefully entering, and someone exiting), and of course, a power source.

Installing access control on campus

If you get a request to add electronic access control somewhere on campus, you first need to speak with an access control expert to determine your unique needs. One type of solution may not solve all your security requirements.

It’s important to have a holistic approach to each entry point and its environment. Then, these surroundings and existing conditions must be evaluated, including door type, frame type, ceiling access, and ability to retrofit existing hardware. This will help determine what type of electronic access control hardware will be best.

Based on these factors, a cost estimate is developed and presented. Once approved, necessary permits are secured, and orders are placed. More recently, however, labor and material shortages has impacted this step.

“We're at the mercy of what's available and how soon can you get it,” says Gary Conley, Access Control Project Manager at University of Virginia. “Once installation is scheduled, preparation crews are brought in to complete the project.”

Key considerations when choosing access control hardware

When choosing which electronic access control hardware to implement, it comes down to preference of lock platform. “Do you want to go with an electric strike and couple that with a mechanical lock,” Conley asks. “If you're going with exit hardware, do you prefer to have exit trim where the exterior handle locks and unlocks, or do you need the flexibility of having electric latch retraction.”

Hardware selection depends on the door type, needs of the user, and application.

One consideration to account for is aesthetics. Electric strikes are used in conjunction with a card reader and connected to an integrated access control panel or a standalone controller. They are installed directly on the door frame.

“Some people don't like the look of electric strikes. They're kind of ugly,” says Conley. “Others prefer to go with an electrified lockset because you can't see anything.”

Wires must be run in the surrounding area which can disrupt the aesthetic or allow for tampering. Electric strikes can also create a “click-clack” sound upon opening and closing. However, they are easier and faster to install and to retrofit existing hardware. Electrified locksets transfer power through the actual hinges and door but require more invasive, expensive, and specialized installation.

The second consideration is anticipating any potential need for additional complementary hardware. When selecting the type of electric access control for the Student Health Center, Conley decided on a mechanism that could easily be combined with a power operator for wheelchair access in the future.

In less than a year, the Student Health Center requested 12-14 of those power operators, he says. If a power operator might be added in the future, an electric strike or electric latch exit device allows for such update.

Wireless locks

There are certain openings that may be better suited for wireless locks due to budget constraints or the difficulty in getting cable or wiring to certain openings. Wireless, battery-powered locks have become commonplace on many university and college campuses for applications like student room entries, faculty offices, lab spaces and storage or data closets.

While these solutions tend to maximize the campus’s security budget and can tie into the security and access control software already in place on campus, these solutions carry considerations for annual maintenance costs, like battery change-outs.

Another important consideration is code compliancy. Factors affected by code include the type of door, like a fire door, the need for failsafe trim, and re-entry requirements.

For example, fire stair doors’ electric latch retraction must be programmed so if the alarm sounds, the latch retraction is released – but the fail-safe electric trim ensures that the hardware always remains latched on the exterior while still allowing egress in emergency. Conley notes that he and his staff stay up to date every week on iDigHardware, a blog from Allegion’s Lori Greene covering topics surrounding door, hardware, and code questions.

The final consideration is traffic flow. There's a significant balancing act between ease of use and being completely secure. “The most secure opening is the one you cannot get through,” says Conley.

While restricting a door with heavy traffic flow may feel inconvenient, it also provides valuable, additional security. Classrooms, laboratories, residence halls, and offices holding student records are a few spaces that benefit not just from limiting access, but auditing who accesses the space, and when.

Doors with less concern around traffic monitoring can benefit from prop and force alarms, which sound when the door is forced or left open. These alarms are easy and inexpensive to install and may be programmed to automatically silence when the door is closed again, making it a convenient option.

Weighing pros and cons

Convenience and security are major benefits of access control technology. With electronic access control, credentials can be instantly deactivated if reported lost or stolen. Whether an ID card or mobile credential, all it takes is the click of a button to prevent unauthorized people from accessing a secure space.

“We can literally say, ‘what's your card number?’” says Conley, whether he’s issuing access to a door or building, or revoking access. This helps to quickly secure sensitive areas or buildings where select people should be able to access, like residence halls, adding a more efficient layer of safety.

On the other hand, a physical brass key must be tracked down, or each corresponding entry point will need to be rekeyed. Losing a master key can cost tens of thousands of dollars to rekey entire buildings.

For transient populations like students, auditing brass keys becomes more complicated than keeping track of credentials tied to a database. Digital information is stored centrally, rather than in the hands of thousands of students in the form of small, brass keys.

However, the price tag of electronic access control can turn some away. Traditional keyed access is typically less expensive to implement up front without accounting for the potential need to replace keys or rekey doors. It’s typically easier to get ahold of and install the hardware.

The expertise required to install and maintain electronic access control may not be readily available. You not only need someone qualified to program the systems, but you also need someone that can properly structure the systems.

Electronic access control 101: Final thoughts

When deciding to implement electronic access control on your campus, it’s important to start with the fundamentals. Before ever considering implementing electronic access control hardware on campus, having every door in basic working order is essential.

This means the door itself, the hinges, the frame and the surrounding area must be maintained properly before introducing the hardware. If any portion of the door is not properly maintained, the access control system cannot do its most important job – restricting unauthorized access and providing security to the facility.

Securing your campus is not a one-size-fits-all solution. By seeking out industry experts and advice, you can work to create a customized access control system – whether traditional or electronic – to best fit the needs of every entry point on your campus.

Are you ready to implement electronic access control on your campus, but still not sure where to start? Discuss your unique needs with an Allegion expert at

Campus credential and payments solution provider, Transact Campus, introduced its newest cloud-native platform, Transact One, earlier this year. Transact One brings the company's Campus ID, Campus Commerce, and Integrated Payments together under a single consolidated ecosystem. The company’s new cloud-based transaction system, Transact IDX, is among the initial solutions that can be enabled in Transact One.

Transact One provides universities with a singular, cohesive experience when accessing an array of applications and services through the tightly integrated single sign-on (SSO) ecosystem. The platform contains many underlying modern shared components that are used across applications to enhance interoperability with fewer required integrations.

The platform features an intuitive, graphical drag-and-drop user interface and preconfigured widgets that allow quick data integrations that are customizable for each university. In addition, Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) supports easy integration for authorized third-party technology partners to extend the full capabilities of the ecosystem.

The platform enables data aggregation across products for easy access to system dashboards for current status updates and a quick view of daily business needs.

When building Transact One, there were features that the company felt were imperative in solving for the next-generation platform. To learn more about the new platform, CampusIDNews recently caught up with Kent Pawlak and Ian Ashworth, two Transact product directors close to the IDX and Transact One projects.

“It’s important to recognize that this product was built on the new underlying Transact One platform,” says Kent Pawlak, Senior Director of Advanced Products at Transact. “There are many benefits to Transact One’s modern infrastructure platform that makes it easy for schools to initially deploy, get the security advancements and responsiveness they expect, and accelerate the rate of innovation.

“Transact IDX product focuses on delivering features such as Stored Value, Meal Plans, and Events and Privileges,” adds Pawlak. “The platform also takes care of underlying technology such as security, business continuity, integrations, and more.”

As Pawlak explains, the future vision of the platform includes providing easy user access to relevant third-party applications through SSO and secure APIs. “Some examples include one-click access to housing information systems, POS solutions, or recreation sports applications directly from links in applications deployed in Transact One,” he says.

Transact also worked alongside its client base to further refine the experience for campuses.

“We received a number of requests for the ability to switch between applications seamlessly,” says Ian Ashworth, Director of Product Management for Transact One Platform and Data Analytics at Transact Campus. “One common theme is the desire for a unified, one-app experience – and that drove the Transact One project.”

Another request, Ashworth says, was seamless authentication.

“We knew we needed single sign-on (SSO) so users would be able to sign in once and then access multiple applications without having to reauthenticate,” says Ashworth. “Users can access all the portals they need and move between the meal plans and payments apps. Transact One enables that interoperability.”

Some clients may not have robust analytics capabilities, so for them we offer a turnkey solution. We also offer the flexibility for campuses to create custom analytic reports.

As part of the platform, campus administrators and faculty have access to Transact Insights, a comprehensive analytic dashboard that can identify trends and provide real-time data access.

“Some clients may not have robust analytics capabilities. For those campuses we offer a turnkey solution, creating dashboards consisting of campus data,” Ashworth explains. “But we also offer the flexibility for campuses to create customizable analytic reports.”

Software revamp with Transact IDX

Concurrent with the launch of Transact One was the release of the company’s next-generation enterprise software, Transact IDX. This transaction system offering is the first solution launched in the Transact One ecosystem.

Transact IDX is a modern, mobile-centric solution designed to support stored value accounts, meal plans, event access, door access, mobile credentials, and more. IDX supports a truly cashless environment for students – whether using a physical ID card or mobile credential – for all credential-based transactions.

Transact has delivered enterprise transaction system solutions for over 30 years. IDX began with the goal to provide the most modern, efficient product that continues to meet and exceed client expectations.

Specifically built for higher education, Transact IDX is a cloud-native SaaS solution allowing authorized campus personnel access to everything from a fully accessible responsive design web application.

From a campus administrative perspective, Transact IDX eliminates complex software installation and maintenance. User access is simplified by integrating existing campus identity provider service. Transact provides a highly available solution and takes care of system maintenance, security, and regulatory compliance.

“Transact has delivered enterprise transaction system solutions for over 30 years. Our clients provide excellent feedback on what works and what doesn’t,” says Pawlak. “IDX began with this experience. The goal was to provide the most modern, efficient product that continues to meet and exceed client expectations.”

“The act of eating a meal or washing laundry hasn’t really changed. What has changed is the way campuses provide these services to students and how students expect to consume these services,” adds Pawlak. “A modern, intuitive application with appropriate notifications meets the needs of today’s students.”

Transact One, IDX accelerate deployment

Using the platform approach, Transact can accelerate service deployments considerably.

“We can have multiple teams working on different product areas, but the look and feel, the authentication, the APIs are all the same,” explains Ashworth. “By standardizing and making it cloud native, we can bring those features to market much quicker.”

Ashworth stresses that accelerated deployments are not just for Transact, but for partners leveraging the platform as well. “There’s a huge speed advantage having a platform where we can onboard external partners and expand the functionality available to them quicker,” he says. “The pace of innovation can increase.”

Mobile credentials are also central to the Transact One ecosystem and to the IDX software. When a campus implements Mobile Credential, the platform enables students to pay and access what they need by using their phone.

“Mobile credential is natively in the platform, so any applications that you have loaded will work with the phone,” says Ashworth. “And because it is native to Transact One and IDX, the move to mobile credentials for campuses that have the hardware environment to support it is as simple as a flip of the switch.”

Client feedback is instrumental in providing IDX features that are highly desired, easy to use, and in some way make daily life a little better for campus staff and students.

Transact has spent considerable time and resources to build a new highly available platform in the cloud that allows rapid addition of features to that platform.

"It's not by accident that IDX is the first product on Transact One. We have decades of experience in higher education gleaning feedback from users - including administrators and students," says Pawlak. "This feedback is instrumental in providing IDX features that are highly desired, easy to use, and in some way make daily life a little better for campus staff and students.”

For more information on the Transact One platform and Transact IDX cloud transaction system, visit

The University of South Dakota added a meal swipe donation program this fall semester to enable students to donate swipes to their peers in need. The university is collaborating with food-service provider, Sodexo, and Swipe Out Hunger on the initiative.

As reported by student publication, The Volante, the Swipe Out Hunger program was built into the university's Sodexo contract and is actively in place across all the South Dakota Board of Regents campuses. Sodexo also offers the initiative at its client campuses nationwide.

At South Dakota, Swipe Out Hunger is administered by the office of the Dean of Students and overseen by the Interim Associate Dean of Students, Kate Fitzgerald.

“Students who are experiencing food insecurity can apply for 10 or 20 swipes in residential dining,” said Fitzgerald in a Volante interview. "If approved, a Swipe Out Hunger meal plan is added to students’ ID card."

Since the Swipe Out Hunger initiative began, South Dakota USD has dispersed 47 meal swipe packages to students in need. Each student is only eligible for the program once per semester.

USD has instituted other programs in the past to help combat food insecurity among its campus community. The university also maintains Charlie’s Cupboard, the USD student food bank. The food bank is open every Thursday and is located on campus. Any student with an active USD ID card is eligible to collect food from the cupboard.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is granting alumni access to select campus buildings via a digital or physical alumni MIT ID card. The new policy took effect in October, and adds a host of benefits in addition to building access.

As reported by campus publication, The Tech, the MIT Alumni ID card enables access to non-residential buildings on campus, provides alumni and one guest free entry at the MIT Museum, as well as enables access at the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center and MIT Libraries.

Alumni can receive their MIT Alumni ID digitally or have a physical card printed. To receive a digital ID, alumni must login to the Tim Tickets mobile app with their university credentials. Once logged in, alumni can activate their mobile ID, which serves as a digital ID card and can be provisioned to a mobile wallet app.​​

Tim Tickets is a post-covid visitor pass system instituted to control visitor management on campus. The system is used to give temporary access to campus buildings or an MIT event using a visitor pass called a Tim Ticket.

Visitors may use their Tim Ticket to access campus between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., seven days a week, with the exception of certain time-restricted buildings. A single Tim Ticket invitation is valid for a period of seven consecutive days.

Alumni can also receive a physical ID card by printing one from self-service card printing kiosks across campus by using a QR code found in their Tim Tickets app.

The university invited MIT community members to participate in a survey on campus access in early October to help MIT examine its policies with respect to building access.

The survey included questions on community preferences and safety concerns for a variety of building access scenarios. The scenarios included 24/7 general public access to all non-residential buildings as well as general public access to all non-residential buildings during limited hours.

Building access policies for non-MIT ID holders remain in place, with most campus buildings accessible only with an active MIT ID. Visitors may only enter buildings when escorted by an MIT ID card holder or when using Tim Tickets.

Ball State University is the latest institution to offer robot delivery for food and drinks, with the introduction of Starship. The entire Ball State campus community can leverage the Starship Technologies delivery robots.

According to an official university release, Ball State has deployed a fleet of 24 Starship robots. The autonomous robots will deliver food, snacks, and drinks from a variety of dining locations on campus.

“The Starship robots provide our students, faculty and staff, and campus visitors a safe and effective way to have food delivered to their location,” says Karen Adkins, senior director of auxiliary services for dining, catering, and events. “This will make for a more enjoyable campus experience while saving time for those who use the service.”

Individuals wanting to utilize the robots must download the Starship Food Delivery app in the App Store or Google Play. Once in the app, users can order from their favorite campus dining locations, select a delivery location or drop a pin where they’d like to meet the robot, and have food delivered anywhere on campus.

Other details, including hours of operation and from which dining locations food is available for delivery, will be available in the app.

To use the service, students must first download the Starship Food Delivery app from the App Store or Google Play. You drop a pin on a map selecting where you want to receive your delivery.

Once paid, you can track your robot as it travels along its route. Once the robot arrives, the user is sent an arrival notification, and can use their phone to unlock the robot via the app.

Each Starship order carries a small delivery fee. The robots themselves are equipped with six wheels and obstacle detection using 12 cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar. Each robot can deliver the equivalent of three shopping bags of goods.

“We’re excited to expand our services in Indiana,” says Chris Neider, director of business development at Starship Technologies. “Ball State has a very close-knit campus and we think the students will love having the robots become part of their community to make their lives more convenient and probably a little more fun as well with robots!”

Starship provides services to campuses across the country. The robots are zero-emission and have made more than 3.5 million autonomous deliveries and make more than 140,000 road crossings every day.

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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

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