Campus ID News
Card, mobile credential, payment and security

University of Central Florida goes off-campus with their chip card ID

Chris Corum   ||   Jul 22, 2004  ||   , , ,

By Andy Williams, Contributing Editor

Joining a growing trend, the University of Central Florida in Orlando is allowing at least one off-campus restaurant to accept the college’s campus card for payment. The venture is also serving as a test site for UCF’s smart card supplier, Irish company SmartCentric, to trial its new off-campus card solution.

The McDonald’s restaurant selected as the debut site is located across the street from the UCF campus. But more off-campus businesses will soon be able to take advantage of this UCF venture.

The reason was simple, explains the university’s card services manager, Tammy Kidder. “We were asked if our UCF Card was good off-campus by many parents when they were putting money onto their students’ cards.”

McDonald’s was chosen because it was close to the campus and, of course, is a popular eatery for students. Next up, said Ms. Kidder, will be another restaurant, Subway, which also happens to be one of the university’s on-campus vendors.

“So far, we haven’t had to go off-campus to sell merchants on using the card. Everyone has contacted me,” she added.

What helped generate an off-campus vendor waiting list for the university was a sign McDonald’s placed on its marquee announcing its acceptance of the UCF Card.

But Ms. Kidder is in no rush to blanket the off-campus area with vendors. “We’re going to take baby steps,” she said. “We are deliberately moving a little cautiously to make sure there are no issues. McDonald’s has worked very well.” A spokesperson for the locally-owned McDonald’s said sales “have been better than expected” since the restaurant first started accepting the card in early June.

Ms. Kidder said there are more than a dozen vendors asking to accept the card when UCF is ready to expand the program. “Those are just the ones I’ve already spoken with,” she said.

Most of the requests have come from restaurants, but a major chain supplying office, print, and copying services has also expressed interest, she said.

And off-campus use may not just be restricted to businesses surrounding the college. UCF serves a major metropolitan area and “many of our (45,000) students live at home,” said Ms. Kidder. “So it would be logical for them to be able to use the UCF card at any of the restaurant chains associated with the UCF Card.”

By fall, she hopes to have about a half dozen off-campus vendors. “Reception has been outstanding, but right now not everyone is even aware that their card is good at McDonald’s,” she added. Once more students return in the fall, they’ll all be notified, probably by e-mail, of which businesses will accept their card.

The university charges the vendor a relatively low three percent transaction fee. “We didn’t want to seem exorbitant,” said Ms. Kidder. “We want to make sure the vendor is happy, and we don’t want to charge too much that the vendor has to raise his prices. We don’t want students affected monetarily.”

One company that’s closely watching this project is the provider of UCF’s SmartCity® card, SmartCentric, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with offices in the U.S. and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

“While this is the first off-campus project in the US for SmartCentric,” said the company’s CEO, Kieran Timmins, “I do not expect any problems. The technology we’re using is tried and tested.”

Added Ms. Kidder: “We’re setting the precedent in the U.S. for taking the chip card off-campus with SmartCentric.”

“The SmartCity Acquirer software is designed to be up and running 24x7x365 across multiple time zones,” said Mr. Timmins. “Neither geography nor distance nor time hold any special issues. We could, for example, have a terminal sitting here in Dublin, with transactions being collected and processed back at UCF.”

LinkPoint 9000 terminals from KeyCorps are mostly what’s in use at UCF, using the SmartCity Acquirer software. “SmartCity Acquirer is not tied to one terminal, however,” said Mr. Timmins. “We built in support for multiple terminals. We also tried to protect existing investment by some of our customers by supporting the obsolete Verifon 1250.”

McDonald’s has four terminals and support for these devices is provided by UCF. That support department could grow as more off-campus vendors are added, said Ms. Kidder.

“Most of the support calls have been about running the equipment,” she said.

Transactions at McDonald’s are settled “much like credit cards,” she added. “The transactions are sent to our server on campus and the next day our transaction processor processes them and creates a report. This report is sent to UCF’s finance and accounting department. They then pull the money from our (the UCF Card program) funds pool account and electronically deposit the funds in the vendor’s account.”

It takes two to three days for the money to make it back to the vendor.

As to projected income from this project, it’s a little early to tell. “This will really depend on how quickly we decide to take on vendors,” said Ms. Kidder.

This fall is apt to be a hectic time for UCF’s Card Office, not only notifying students of the new off-campus uses for their card, but also because of another new venture the college started up a couple months ago, again with SmartCentric.

“UCF has web revalue now,” said Ms. Kidder. “Students or parents can use their debit or credit cards to reload their UCF cards via the internet.” That too, has taken off. “Last month alone we had $62,000 put on the chip (during the slower summer session). I can’t imagine what the fall will be like.”


Additional resources:<,/b>

Visit SmartCentric on the web at

Visit the UCF Card on the web at

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter


Jan 26, 23 / ,

Baylor adds Starship robot delivery

Baylor University has added robot delivery from Starship Technologies to its dining services offerings with the help of Grubhub. The initiative will see Baylor deploy a fleet of 20 delivery robots on the Waco, TX campus.
Jan 26, 23 /

NACCU Annual Conference registration now open

The National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU) has opened registration for its Annual Conference. This year’s conference will be held April 16-19 in Austin, Texas and will feature a packed schedule of informative events and sessions with both campus card professionals and corporate vendors.

Grubhub, partner for reusable takeout container initiative

Grubhub has partnered with reusable packaging management platform,, announced to provide an integrated takeout container management service on college campuses. The partnership will bring's ReusePass program to universities across the United States, starting first with Ohio State University and Colorado State University.
CIDN logo reversed
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

As supply chain issues in 2021 persist, identity solutions provider @ColorID discusses ways campuses can to overcome potentially troublesome delays until the situation eases.

A dining services push at the @UBuffalo is reinforcing the utility of self-service checkout. @CBORD is improving the food service experience using the GET app, as well as Nextep kiosks and Oracle’s Micros Simphony POS.

Did you miss our recent webinar? No worries - watch it on-demand. Leaders from @NAU and the @UAlberta joined Ryan Audus, Touchnet, and Andrew Hudson, @CR80News, to discuss innovative mobile services and the future of mobile tech in higher ed. Watch now:

Load More...
CampusIDNews is published by AVISIAN Publishing
315 E. Georgia St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301[email protected]
Use our contact form to submit tips, corrections, or questions to our team.
©2023 CampusIDNews. All rights reserved.