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More automation ahead for campus card programs

By Jeff Zander, Vice President, Heartland Campus Solutions

Here is what Heartland believes it’ll be seeing more of in 2009 within campus card programs:

Automated Web-based services, such as deposits, reports and purchases that require little or no staff, will see an increase next year. These automated programs are attractive for a number of reasons, particularly in such economically challenging times, and are time-proven solutions increasing visibility, convenience and security to our card programs.

We also expect an increasing demand for Hybrid readers, magnetic stripe and proximity cards supported at the same door or machine. In some cases this could be within the same reader housing coupled with biometrics for an added level of security in areas such as chemistry labs, computer labs, libraries and other special security needs areas.

There could also be more demand for biometric readers to enable students or staff to log on to computer networks and provide greater levels of user authentication/verification. At Emory University, for example, athletes don’t have to carry a card when they use the pool. They simply scan their hand to gain access to the facility before and after swimming.

Use of portable handheld devices to verify entitlement, enrollment and event participation as well as declining balance, is also gaining traction. These devices are ideal for off-campus events, field trips, picnics or other areas where network and power connections are not available.

Off-campus merchant programs, such as Heartland’s Give Something Back program, are revolutionizing the way campus card programs operate. Give Something Back provides a variety of incentives and percentages paid to the campus and/or students as well as to various charitable organizations selected by participants. It provides more opportunities to streamline services, increase revenue and expand the visibility and convenience of campus card programs.

Another area generating a lot of interest is with automated vending and pay for print solutions. These include copier, reader printer, laser printer, laundry, snack and multifunction network printer vending. This area will continue to expand as campuses strive to stretch their purchasing dollars by adding equipment that requires little or no staffing and supports multiple tasks in a single unit style, such as combination copier/network printers.

Finally, we also see an increase in SQL- and Oracle-based card programs. Heartland currently offers SQL and Oracle versions of its OneCard.

About the AVISIAN Publishing Expert Panel
At the close of each year, AVISIAN Publishing’s editorial team selects a group of key leaders from various sectors of the ID technology market to serve as Expert Panelists. Each individual is asked to share their unique insight into what lies ahead. During the month of December, these panelist’s predictions are published daily at the appropriate title within the AVISIAN suite of ID technology publications:,,,,,,, and

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