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Boston University, CBORD bring biometrics, contactless ID cards to students

Boston University has announced that it is using CBORD’s CS Gold campus card system for its campus ID system. In the search for a secure, campus experience, Boston University officials decided on the CBORD solution and its iCLASS contactless cards for the university’s card production, meal plan management, discretionary spending, privilege verification, laundry and vending utilities.

CBORD’s card solution at Boston University will be used extensively as more than 75% of the student population lives on campus. The university has recently decided to cut the total number of dining venues, but has opened the Marciano Commons location to better serve its large student population.

To accompany the dining overhaul, Boston University has also incorporated measures to expedite service at the various dining locations.

Serving more than 5,000 meals daily, the new Marciano Commons location has been outfitted with six, access-controlled points of entry – turnstiles that combine the CBORD campus cards with biometric fingerprint readers. University officials say that the inspiration behind the implementation of a biometric modality was the prevention of meal plan sharing between students.

The biometric data is stored exclusively on the cards, not logged in a backend database. Moreover, the biometric factor is an opt-in function so students who wish to forgo the fingerprint capture – an uncommon choice thus far – can simply present their card to the cashier at the gate for further verification.

The new turnstiles are simple to operate as students first present their student IDs at the bioCLASS reader and are then prompted to place their finger to the reader to achieve the biometric authentication. Upon completing this, the bioCLASS reader then seamlessly interacts with CS Gold’s CS Access – CS Gold’s access control module – to determine the following:

  • The card’s biometric template verifies that the student is a qualified campus member.
  • The student has a meal plan.
  • The student has enough meals remaining on their plan to complete the transaction.

Provided the above conditions are met, the turnstile opens and grants access to the hungry student – a process that takes only milliseconds.

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