At the start of the fall term in 2022, the Sheridan College onecard office rolled out its new Mobile onecard. The Canadian institution serves 27,000 students across its three campuses in Ontario, so launching a project of this magnitude required careful planning and a well-orchestrated marketing effort to ensure success. CampusIDNews spoke with Aesha Brown, Sheridan’s onecard Manager to learn about the project and her advice for other campuses considering a transition to mobile credentials.
CampusIDNews: How long was mobile on the roadmap for Sheridan?
Brown: This was a 3-year long journey. We started to put together a business plan in 2020 and went to RFP later that year. We elected to stay with our current provider TouchNet and partnered with them on our mobile program. We went live with our mobile onecard for students with iOS devices on Aug 29, 2022, and then exactly one year later on Aug 29, 2023 we went live with our mobile onecard for students with Android devices. We planned this project as a phased approach.
The first few weeks in September our office usually has long lines for those wanting to obtain a plastic card, but this September we saw those lines cut in half
CampusIDNews: Can the mobile credential be used everywhere the plastic card can be used?
Brown: Yes, this was important to us because we wanted a positive student experience that mimicked the plastic onecard experience but with greater convenience. Our goal is to embed onecard into everything our students do here at Sheridan with ease.
CampusIDNews: How did the move to mobile impact your card reader infrastructure?
Brown: We overhauled our entire card reader infrastructure during this project in early 2022. Rather than perform a manual upgrade on the readers, either by doing it ourselves or shipping a batch of readers on a rotating basis back to HID, we decided to just replace all the door readers. This was decided (for a variety of reasons): long shipping times of the readers back and forth to Canada and the US; doors being left without readers for too long; and manually upgrading readers ourselves would have been impossible due to the various models of readers on campus.
Approximately 1300 new door readers were replaced by a third-party contractor across three campuses within three weeks. During testing there were challenges that occurred with the performances of a few of the door readers due to the age of the buildings and lack of wiring in some locations. We were able to resolve this by changing the wiring behind some of the walls and once that was completed, we were able to re-install the remaining door readers. Overall, the time involved to get all the readers installed and the re-wiring work done took two to three months.
CampusIDNews: What role did TouchNet play in delivering the solution to campus?
Brown: TouchNet played a vital role by providing their expertise in project planning, implementation and marketing for the mobile onecard project. TouchNet has rolled out similar projects with other institutions in the US so they already had experience. The most valuable aspect of our partnership with TouchNet is that they listened to our needs and made changes to the platform to ensure the success of this project.
CampusIDNews: How do you handle provisioning of the mobile credentials?
Brown: We provision through the TouchNet 360U mobile app. Continuous improvement from the TouchNet team has made provisioning in the app much simpler. At first there were several steps needed to provision the mobile credential, but TouchNet has streamlined the platform and our students have been very happy with the change.
CampusIDNews: How did you get buy-in from the students and the campus community?
Brown: I quickly realized that not only is this project “tech heavy” it is also a large change management project. It required many layers of effective communication to the entire Sheridan community. Our onecard touches so many areas on campus, and the project could not be done in isolation. I engaged with our marketing and communications specialists at the College and we took a pan-institutional approach to ensure our marketing campaigns and communications strategy were intentional and effective.
CampusIDNews: Walk us through the process of how a student obtains their mobile credential.
Brown: Once a student is accepted at Sheridan College, they receive a welcome email from the onecard office – usually in July for a September start date – inviting them to upload a photo. Once the photo has been approved, we send students an email with a link that provides all the information they need to obtain a mobile credential. This has worked really well as students can obtain the credential before they come to campus.
The first few weeks in September our office usually has long lines for those wanting to obtain a plastic card, but this September we saw those lines cut in half and our adoption rates for the mobile onecard increase substantially.
CampusIDNews: How about plastic cards and fees?
Brown: For now, we still offer plastic onecards at no charge for those that want one. We do not charge a fee for the mobile credential, contractually it is not allowed.
Special event: Sheridan College Showcase — Going Mobile with Apple and Android
Attend an in-person discussion and demonstration of Sheridan College's program. Learn about the successful launch of mobile with Apple and Android with TouchNet 360u on Wednesday, 8 November 2023. Click here to learn more.
A day in the life of a typical college student involves an array of transactions, each relying on the campus credential. The student may:
In a recent article by Fred Emery, Senior Business Development Manager at TouchNet, he explains that this type of “transactional ease” requires a coordinated, integrated technology strategy between the card office, campus vendors, and the institution's student information system.
This level of transactional ease takes strategic planning and effort, and our campus card and transaction systems are central to it all
He outlines eight ways that an integrated card system streamlines operations and delivers significant benefits to the institution.
One key way is the system’s collection of actionable data.
“Connecting campus card technology to the student record system captures real-time data … that helps administrators improve student support and services,” he explains. “For example, using it to better schedule staff or optimize food preparation for peak times in the dining hall leads to improved student and guest experiences, reduced waste, and a better allocation of resources on campus.”
Improved efficiency is another key benefit.
Campus administrators are pulled in many directions and don’t have time to jump back and forth between multiple systems. An integrated campus ID system eases administrative tasks, centralizes reconciliation, and enables a single reporting source.
“Additionally, integration to the student information system can increase efficiency through automated data exchange, removing the need for many manual processes such as posting general ledger information or updating student accounts,” says Emery.
This level of transactional ease takes strategic planning and effort, and our campus card and transaction systems are central to it all.
To explore the other six benefits and consider how you can use them to promote your program to senior leadership and other on-campus entities, read Eight Advantages of an Integrated Campus ID.
Recent studies show a significant spike in anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation among college students. In the 2020-2021 academic year, more than 60% of students met the criteria for at least one mental health condition.
Webinar: Transact + Talkiatry = accessible mental health services for students
Tuesday, September 19 at 1 pm EST
A Transact-sponsored webinar will explore how its new partnership with psychiatric care provider Talkiatry is working to address the escalating mental health crisis on college campuses.
Talkiatry uses virtual care to eliminate barriers to access. Its services are covered by more than 60 health insurance plans and provided by a team of more than 300 psychiatrists specializing in treating mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more.
“With so many college students struggling with everything from loneliness and low self-esteem to depression and trauma from sexual assault, it’s vital school administrators have access to the resources to help (students) stay in school and successfully manage their mental health,” says Robert Krayn, co-founder and CEO, Talkiatry.
“Improving student mental health is a topic we are passionate about at Transact,” explains Nancy Langer, CEO of Transact. “By incorporating Talkiatry’s resources into our products, we’re empowering millions of students and families with the tools needed to manage mental health effectively.”
Join Transact Campus CEO Nancy Langer and Talkiatry co-founders Robert Krayn and Georgia Gaveras on Tuesday, September 19 at 1 pm EST.
At a convenience store at Loyola University of Maryland, students are grabbing items and walking out of the store without checking out, scanning items at a POS, or seeing a cashier. Using Grubhub and Amazon’s Just Walk Out technologies, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and advanced sensors make it possible. The integration between the Grubhub app, already a fixture with Loyola students, and the Just Walk Out system is delivering a seamless and convenient solution for both students and operators.
Lyle Margerum, Director of Technical Operations, Grubhub Campus was on site at Loyola for the launch when we caught up with him to learn about this project and what it means to campuses across the country.
CampusIDNews: Thanks for taking time out from the events on campus. Can you tell me about the integration?
Grubhub: We have been talking with campus partners autonomous convenience stores for years. It is a challenging area to streamline with technology because it has always required cashiers. Just Walk Out provided an ideal the solution.
Early this summer we started doing the work with Amazon, and this week we delivered the first production orders.
Just Walk Out increases sales and brings value to students and the Loyola community. And it does it without the need to staff the location.
CampusIDNews: How does it work with Grubhub?
Grubhub: It is part of the normal Grubhub mobile ordering process. Just Walk Out appears as would any other on-campus dining location – say Chik-fil-a or a dining hall. The difference is that when you select Just Walk Out, there are no menu items to choose from within the app. They are going to choose their items when they enter the store. The user selects the payment method, and a QR code appears on the app’s screen.
The QR code is presented to the Amazon gate at the store, the light turns green, and the gate opens. Sensors and cameras determine which items are selected from the store shelves and track any unwanted items returned to a shelf. When shopping is complete, the user simply walks out the door. The transaction amount is charged to the meal plan account or selected payment method.
Before granting entry to the store, the system determines that there are sufficient funds in the campus account to enable a viable transaction. The Idea is to restrict a user with an ultra-low balance from overdrawing their account. If that does happen, the system could charge against a different tender or provide a report to the store operator to allow another collection process.
CampusIDNews: How did Loyola University of Maryland become your first partner for the new technology?
Grubhub: Loyola has been our partner since 2015, so we are leveraging a longtime partnership. They have been innovators on mobile ordering, kiosks, and other services for many years. Additionally, they have been talking with amazon and worked proactively to get this done.
Though they do have a transaction system provider, they did not want to introduce a secondary app just to support the identification of the student to the Just Walk Out system. Because the Grubhub app was already an integral part of campus life it made sense, and this integration just enhances our relationship with the student population.
CampusIDNews: Tell me about the rollout at Loyola.
Grubhub: I have been on campus this week for the launch, and it has been great. Loyola is already talking about future locations. The initial location is a convenience store operated by the campus dining provider Parkhurst. It is located in the bottom of one of the residential halls.
It offers the campus 24x7 retail availability that was not feasible in the past. Students have access to food and drinks, laundry detergent, and a range of other needed items right where they live. This increases sales and brings value to students and the Loyola community. And it does it without the need to staff the location.
CampusIDNews: What do you see for the future of Grubhub and Amazon’s Just Walk Out?
Grubhub: With our integration with Amazon in place, adding other campuses will be incrementally easier. We have ironed out kinks in the experience which will expedite both the planning and rollout process. Our second campus will launch in the next couple of weeks at Montclair University, and others are already scheduled for later in the Fall and Spring semesters.
For Grubhub, it deepens our value proposition with our partner institutions. We now cover the full range of a campus’ needs – mobile ordering, kiosks, POS, robot delivery, reusable container solutions, lockers – and now cashier-less retail.
Students at the University of Kentucky community can now use their WildCard Mobile ID on an iPhone, Apple Watch or Android device to access campus buildings, make purchases and more. Transaction system provider CBORD and access control partner HID Global worked with the campus to make the new system a reality.
Students download the Mobile ID from the App Store or Google Play using through the campus-branded CBORD GET app. Using the app they can download the mobile credential directly to their smartphone or watch.
“CBORD worked with the University of Kentucky to develop a plan to support mobile credentials throughout the WildCard program,” says Read Winkelman, Vice President, Sales, CBORD. “The university now joins many CBORD campuses already using mobile credentials successfully.”
Already, more than 100 institutions are embracing mobile credentials and this adoption will grow exponentially every year.
“We have supported NFC-based mobile credentials since 2012, and our customers process over 350,000 mobile credential transactions daily,” Winkelman adds. “With our partnership, customers see industry-leading rates of student adoption, which speaks to our ability to simplify the move for a seamless launch.”
Physical security is a key application for the university. The campus community relies on access control solutions from HID Global across campus administrative buildings, classrooms and residence halls.
“We are proud to partner with the University of Kentucky on the rollout of mobile credentials,” says Tim Nybolm, Director – End User Business Development, Higher Education, HID Global.
“Today’s student is ‘born digital’ and is looking for a convenient and exceptional user experience,” he adds. “With the use of mobile credentials, students have found a more convenient, efficient and secure way to access buildings and amenities on campus.”
Nyblom told CampusIDNews that Kentucky and many other campuses have embarked on a digital transformation journey using mobile technologies to elevate the student experience and increase security. He says, “already, more than 100 institutions are embracing mobile credentials and this adoption will grow exponentially every year.”
While student love the idea of mobile ID, some concerns always exist. What if I lose my phone? How do I get into my dorm if my battery dies?
Modern mobile ID solutions put these concerns to rest.
If a student misplaces their iPhone or Apple Watch, they can use the “Find My” app to lock and locate the device. Using Apple Wallet’s Express Mode, the mobile ID can be used without unlocking or waking the device. Even if the phone’s power is depleted, reserve power still enables the mobile ID to conduct transactions.
From a privacy perspective, a university release reassures students that Apple does not know when or where they use their Mobile ID, and transaction history is never stored on Apple servers.
Amy Surprenant, End User Business Development, HID Global, was onsite for the launch.
“Students were thrilled that they had student ID cards on their phones and no longer had to wait in a long line to get their IDs,” Surprenant says. “This mobile credential is not only convenient but provides increased security and enhances student experiences.”
For now, the university says students should still carry their physical ID cards. The new rollout is part of a phased approach, so some locations will still require a physical card.
The WildCard Mobile ID will be available to faculty and staff in the coming year.
Check out the WildCard online to learn more.
Days ago, the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) reported that a cyber breach may have compromised personal information for teachers, high school students and college students in the state from 2010 to 2020.
As reported in the department’s statement, they became aware of the ransomware attack on June 19, 2023. They took steps to secure the network and worked with third-party specialists to conduct a thorough investigation, restore systems and return to normal operations.
“An unauthorized actor(s) accessed CDHE systems between June 11 and June 19, 2023, and certain data was copied from (our) systems during this time,” says the Colorado Department of Education. “Our investigation has revealed that some of the impacted records include names and social security numbers or student identification numbers, as well as other education records.”
In 2022, 44 colleges and universities and an equal number of school districts were impacted by ransomware.
According to CBSNews.com, a CDHE spokesperson says the agency knows the source of the ransomware and confirms that it was not paid. The amount asked for was not disclosed.
Ransomware attacks in higher education are not uncommon. A study from malware research firm, Emisoft, reports that 44 colleges and universities were impacted in 2022. An equal number of school districts fell victim. In 65% of the cases, data was taken. The true numbers are likely to be higher as cyber attacks often go unreported.
Those that may have been impacted by in the Colorado breach include individuals who:
CDHE says it “is providing impacted individuals with complimentary access to credit monitoring and identity theft protection services through Experian for two years.”
Key management for contactless cards and mobile credentials is a hot topic in the higher ed campus card market. In this third segment of the HID Tech Talk series, HID's Tim Nyblom, Director of End User Business Development for Higher Education, and Nathan Cummings, Director of Sales Education for Higher Education, explore options for secure key management.
Listen in as we explore the pros and cons of owning keys, holding and securing keys internally on campus, and partnering with external key managers. The discussion will help clear up the confusion concerning this "key" security decision.
What is key management?
“Smart card and mobile credentials don’t just use a single key, they use a key set with multiple keys for multiple functions in the device,” says Cummings. “How those keys are generated, stored, used, distributed, and finally destroyed is the basis of key management.”
What does it mean to own your own keys? How do you build them, hold them, and protect them securely in a campus environment? Can you get the benefit of owning your keys but still rely on a partner to support your key management?
Click the video image at the top of this page to find out more.
Check out the HID Tech Talk Series:
Higher ed is facing a ‘demographic cliff.’ According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, starting in 2025 there will be a steep drop in traditional the college-age population. The reason? Between 2007 and 2020, the U.S. birthrate fell nearly 20%, this will likely translate to fewer students, more competition, and tightening revenues.
The new CBORD Insights™ Student Experience Survey collected data from hundreds of students and administrators at U.S. higher education institutions. A primary finding was that on- and off-campus dining revenue is a major concern as campuses prepare for this declining enrollment. Findings suggest that automation and analytics are key to addressing the issue.
“Most colleges and universities operate their foodservice as a standalone enterprise that is expected to turn a profit year after year,” said Dan Park chief executive officer of CBORD. “Dining services typically represent a significant revenue stream, and the disruption of that income has been a top concern for higher education leadership since 2020, when nearly all residential schools closed in response to COVID-19.”
Departmental leaders ranked exploring new revenue sources as their top initiative, while higher ups ranked it second only to labor-reducing automation.
Staffing shortages and predicted declining dining revenues, find administrators turning to automation to maintain service levels and preserve dining revenue. Initiatives to automate dining operations, create frictionless foodservice, and expand dining options are underway at half the institutions surveyed.
According to the study, half of the respondents have invested in automation in the last two years, and more than half expect to in the next two years. Departmental leaders ranked exploring new revenue sources as their top initiative, while higher ups ranked it second only to labor-reducing automation.
Potential new revenue streams cited include:
Still, it will not be easy. Further stressing auxiliaries, respondents expect incoming students – accustomed to remote learning – to be less likely to live and dine on campus.
“COVID-19 caused us to reevaluate some major aspects of our financial model and has led to a shift in how we think about on-campus dining,” said Mike Henderson of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. “We are seeing many opportunities to use mobile technology to collaborate with our surrounding communities to provide dining services.”
To learn more about the results of this survey and other areas covered beyond dining, click here.
CR80News was onsite at last month’s Transact360, the annual Transact Campus user group conference. Great speakers, great networking, and a packed technology exhibit hall highlighted the three day event. Here are a few of the highlights from the expo:
Retransfer printers, direct-to-card printers and distributed enrollment and issuance were the topics on tap for Entrust Datacard. Product Marketing Manager, Martin Hoff, said that modern card issuance is about “busting the lines.”
In the past, if a printer went down it could shut down the issuance process. With distributed issuance and the company’s TruCredential solution, you simply route the job to another location. Putting the card issuance software on a server enables this distributed issuance and lets the campus enroll cardholders anywhere on campus, not just in the card office.
“We are fully integrated with Cashnet to help international students move money to pay tuition,” says Ben Kavalec, the company’s US director of sales.
Students make payments in their local currency and the institution gets paid in US dollars. The benefit for the student and their family is that they get preferential Western Union corporate rates for the transaction as it's a domestic payment for them rather than an international wire. If they went through their local bank to initiate the transaction, they would pay as an individual for an international wire at the highest rate.
Institutions also pay for receiving these international wires and the Western Union offering reduces these costs as well.
Access control readers that can consume both the mobile credential and the physical card were on display at the Allegion booth. The company’s AD and NDE reader lines both accept mobile credentials, and Allegion can help campuses accept both iOS and Android devices in PACS environments.
Mark Casey, Director National Electronic Sales, says the biggest change this year is that people are making decisions when it comes to mobile first. “People were talking at the 40,000 foot level about what mobile could do, but now its shifted to action – how do we it and who do we involve."
The mantra for access control provider Salto Systems has always been “data on card,” because they cleverly used the users’ cards to transport system-level data to their network of readers. Today that mantra has expanded to “data on phone,” as they recently rolled out mobile credential acceptance within their large deployed infrastructure at the University of Santa Clara.
Jeff Wood, National Manager OEM at Salto, explains that their readers connect wirelessly not to find out if a cardholder has access to a door (they already know that based on data held on the card itself), but rather for managing system functions and enabling lockdown situations. “Data on card or data on phone still works with power outages as our locks are battery powered,” he says.
It’s also a cost effective install. “In a place like New York City, the end user cost could be $8,000 per door for a wired solution, but this gets that down to less than $1,000 and a five-minute install.”
A wide variety of biometric readers – from basic fingerprint-only readers to multi-factor devices and even contactless scanners – are serving higher ed installations thanks to IDEMIA.
The MorphoWave Compact is an option that is growing in popularity for use in unlimited access dining locations, rec centers and libraries, says Dave Gershenson, National Sales Manager for IDEMIA.
Gershenson has also seen a growing trend of scanning in and scanning out of academic facilities like libraries, as well as other on-campus locations. “In athletics, biometric access has become a recruiting tool to show off facilities to potential athletes,” he says.
PRIDE Industries employs 3,400 people with disabilities across 16 states. That is more than half PRIDE’s workforce, so it's not just a PR move, but rather a core part of the company’s socially responsible mission.
According to Mike Douglas, PRIDE’s General Manager, PRIDE gives people a sense of purpose and gainful employment and that improves lives. Next time you use one of your Transact devices on campus, feel good knowing that lives were changed in its creation.
At the booth, Thomas, alongside membership engagement manager, John Ogle, met with a number of campus administrators – both members and potential members – to share association plans and learn what campuses need in terms of support.
NACCU provides both in-person and virtual educational opportunities throughout the calendar year targeted directly at higher education card and identity professionals.
The optical barrier turnstiles are ideal for rec centers, student housing, dining halls and libraries, says Dan Gardner, Security Sales for Alvarado. He says that the turnstiles detect wrong-way entry and enforce one-to-one access by eliminating tailgating. It can also reduce staffing needs by removing the human the need for a person to scan ID cards at dining and other locations.
“We have turnstiles at Georgia State University providing data for their analytics on rec center usage,” explains Jerry Cooper, CooperCraft CEO. “They are great looking pieces and they can be customized with etching for each institution."
According to Tyler Webb, Assa Abloy Regional Manager, some campuses are seeking added security for residence halls. “We are hearing from institutions that are beginning to question if a single credential is enough for securing living spaces,” he says. "This new reader is designed to address that need."
CR80News was onsite at the 40th annual CBORD User Group Conference (UGC 2019) this week. There were many highlights, great educational sessions, and a packed technology exhibit hall. Here are a few of the highlights.
The sleek and secure turnstile from Smarter Security equipped with IDEMIA’s MorphoWave hand scanner was a hit with UGC attendees. The stainless steel and glass unit would look great in any high-end facility. It features anti-tailgating sensors with various alarms to warn staff of suspicious activity. According to Dave Beckwith, CBORD's product manager for integrated security, the primary use case is all-you-can-eat dining facilities. New firmware updates to the MorphoWave biometric scanner increase throughput by 20% and raise the number of patrons that can be enrolled in the unit from 20,000 to 100,000. The system is fully integrated with CBORD’s CSGold platform.
Nextep Systems showcased a series of kiosks for ordering and payment for CBORD food service locations. According to Brian Machiniak, Senior Relationship Manager for Nextep Systems, “self-service at the university level is a demand now.” The company’s range of self-order solutions support multiple methods for order and pay, and Machiniak stresses that flexibility is key because even on the same campus different dining operations require different setups. Nextep has been building self-service kiosks for 15 years, and Machiniak says clients typically see a 15% increase in the average ticket price due to the up-sell capabilities of the devices. Nextep Systems is part of the Xenial group of companies owned by Global Payments.
At the CBORD UGC event, Assa Abloy showed a compact version of its Aperio wireless locks that connect to mailboxes. The solution enables campuses to distribute mail to a secured box in a bank of mailboxes and restrict access to only the appropriate student ID card. Jim Primovic, Assa Abloy’s Director of Sales for Campus Electronic Access Control, demonstrated the solution and hinted at a major campus installation underway now.
It looks like a glowing hockey puck affixed to a washer or dryer, but the Washlava device indicates when the machine is available, in use, or reserved by another user. Students interact with the laundry solution via a mobile app, reserving and paying for cycles. If they are standing in front of a machine, Bluetooth communication from their phone to the puck handles the transaction. They can also use the app to reserve a machine from their dorm or other location, locking it down for a specific number of minutes. According to Washlava's Hailey Hendrickson, MIT students pay for laundry cycles using their ID card's TechCash via MIT's CBORD system.
Crash bars are the metal locking mechanisms that span the width of many public access perimeter doors. Von Duprin is an industry leading provider of crash bars supplying 70% of the units in the higher education market, says Jeff Koziol, business development manager, campus software partner at Allegion. Allegion developed a retrofit kit for the popular crash bar that greatly improves campus safety. In normal operation, a staff person visits these doors and unlocks them so that students have unfettered access during normal operating hours. This unlocking process is known as “dogging” the doors. At the end of the day, the staff member goes back and “undogs” the doors, returning them to their locked state. Access control readers then require card access for entry. With the Allegion retrofit kit, Koziol explains that the undogging process can be automated such that many doors can be relocked from a central location. CBORD has integrated this new Allegion feature into CSGold.
Around the world and on our campuses, the war against single use plastic is being waged. To-go containers from campus dining locations are a prime campus target. OZZI’s system of reusable containers and collection kiosks is already helping 90 colleges and universities eliminate waste and save money. “One OZZI container can replace 300 single use containers,” says Tom Wright, OZZI CEO. “An OZZI container costs less than $5 while each single use container costs 20-30 cents.” Campuses save money and help the environment. Typically a student redeems a token for a clean container and receives a token back when they return a dirty container to an OZZI kiosk. At the UGC event, OZZI demonstrated how CBORD has created a virtual token stored in the student card system, eliminating the need to keep track of physical tokens.