A Lesson in Convergence.


Colleges and universities are leading the way with multiple-use contactless ID cards that contain several applications…

and the broader community could learn a lot from them.

Higher education institutions are leveraging HID Global contactless technology to produce campus ID cards that perform multiple functions for students, faculty and administration, including:

Physical access to classrooms, labs, offices, residence halls and recreational facilities
Logical access to workstations, networks and information
• Identification for library checkout, transportation and other services
• Cashless transactions for food service, vending machines and laundry
• Debit card transactions in partnership with financial institutions

Multi-use credentials are an integral part of daily life on campuses across the globe, like Arizona State University, Gallaudet University, and Mexico’s Universidad Regiomontana.

Using the college campus as a paradigm, other communities - including cities, corporations, and government entities - could benefit from converging applications via multi-use smart cards.

Converged contactless payment systems have the potential to revolutionize the way people access and pay for a growing range of products and services. A single smart card could provide a customer or employee access to transportation, parking, facilities, vending and debit card transactions. The results could include smoother flows of people and vehicles, shorter queues, and faster, more intuitive transactions.

However, achieving the full potential of smart card technology requires cooperation between multiple entities on key operational matters - which is not a simple proposition. Transit authorities, banks, credit card companies and retailers who wish to engage in a partnership can struggle with agreements on technology choices, rules for payment schemes, administration and costs. The complexity and difficulty of a mutually beneficial solution is a primary obstacle to converging multiple services and physical access in a single card.

Still, when you look beyond the challenges, the fact remains that there are some great business reasons for companies and organizations to seek out partnerships. For example, a bank that partners with a transit authority to make purchasing a metro ticket as easy as carrying an ATM card, has the opportunity to reinforce its brand to transit customers on a constant basis. The end result: The metro rider places the bank’s ATM card at “top of wallet.” With a single card always at her fingertips, that card becomes the logical choice for all daily transactions and the first choice when discretionary purchases arise.

Just as modern college IDs delineate students and faculty as loyal, active members of their campus communities, multi-use smart cards can define loyal, active members of their respective business and municipal communities. Consumers win through streamlined access to services they use every day, and businesses gain customer loyalty and a greater share of each customer’s spending.