Campus Cards, College and University Identification and Security

CardSmith adds real-time card activation capability

Thursday, April 3, 2014

CardSmith in is rolling out real-time account activation for its clients using the company’s IDMS system.

IDMS, CardSmith’s card printing and production system, continuously updates the company’s transaction system anytime a card is printed or replaced. This means that students can walk out of their campus card office with an active, transaction-ready credential. Providing students with an active ID at the time of issuance eliminates delays associated with batch file processing, a common occurrence in other systems. 

UC Davis allows student IDs to feature non-legal names

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A student ID can verify an individual’s identity with a simple swipe, tap or scan, instantly tethering the person who presents the card to a user account on the backend system. But what happens when the cardholder no longer uses their legal name?

It’s a challenge that the University of California at Davis is meeting head on by enabling students to have a non-legal name printed on their IDs. The university’s Preferred Name Program is acknowledging that an individual’s identity is just as much reflected in the moniker that they respond to as the information stored in the backend system.

The program was instituted following requests from UC Davis students, in an attempt to better accommodate transgender and foreign students who don’t use or respond to their given name. Understandably, a legal first name may be substituted on the student ID so long as the use of a preferred name is not for the purpose of falsification.

UC Davis acknowledges that a preferred name should be used whenever possible throughout the student’s university experience – including university records. UC Davis does, however, retain the right to modify, change, alter or rescind its preferred name service at the discretion of the university. 

TapShield app crowd sources, collaborates with law enforcement

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Student safety on campus has long fallen to university police departments, security guards, blue lights and traditional 911 emergency services. But one company is attempting to put all these resources on to a student’s smart phone.

TapShield provides an app tailored to college campuses and global enterprises that magnifies public safety data and improves emergency and crime detection.

The set up

When a user launches the app for the first time, they are prompted to enroll and provide pertinent emergency information that could help police or emergency responders – allergies, medications taken or other pre-existing conditions. The full list of voluntary profile information includes height, weight, hair color, picture and medical details. All information is optional and is then stored locally on the user’s device and only shared with emergency personnel upon triggering an alert.

The app leverages geo-fencing technology, which enables a TapShield client – a university, for example – to establish a coverage area for its students, faculty and staff to use the app. A geofence is a virtual perimeter of a real-world geographical area that is configured to include a set of boundaries, a campus for example.

TapShield works with its clients to define the boundaries and coverage area that will best suit each environment. Using GPS tracking, TapShield can then pinpoint the real-time location of a user as well as whether they are within the geo-fenced boundaries. 

Santander, Gemalto launch NFC service on microSD

Monday, March 31, 2014

Gemalto partnered with Banco Santander’s Universities Global Division to issue the Optelio Contactless microSD solution to institutions in Spain, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, as part of the bank’s University Smart Card program.

The application is already up and running at a number of universities, with participating students, teachers and other personnel already able to use their mobile phones for tasks like building access as well as for ePurse payments.

Banco Santander will provide a mobile payment option that is integrated with its own mobile wallet app, and intends to use the NFC-capable microSD to deploy a range of services including mobile transit ticketing. 

Student loan data of 500,000 people stolen from Canadian office

Friday, March 28, 2014

It seems that data breaches occur all to often, and while some attacks are unavoidable, others are simply unacceptable. Just as Canada’s Human Resources and Skills Development office.

The Canadian Press reported that a portable hard drive containing the personal information of more than 500,000 people who took out student loans was left unsecured as well as lacked password protection and encryption. To make matters worse, the employees responsible for handling the device were unaware of the sensitivity stored on the hard drive.

The privacy commissioner’s office opened its investigation in January 2013 after the hard drive had been reported missing for two months. The portable hard drive had been stored in a locked filing cabinet inside an employee cubicle and in an envelope hidden under suspended files.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada acknowledged last year that the drive held data on 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program borrowers over a six-year period from 2000 to 2006. 

California school turns to software app to cut tardiness

Friday, March 28, 2014

Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, Calif. is using student IDs and smartphones as a means for students to earn certain privileges.

The program is called Student Scan Identification Card Authorization, or SSSICA. As ABC’s local Visalia affiliate reports, campus administrators greet students by scanning a bar code on the students’ IDs to determine whether they have permission to leave campus for lunch or attend school events such as a football game.

At such events, administrators will employ the same practice of scanning IDs with a smart phone. SSSICA is just the latest effort by the school to combat excessive tardies and keep track of students both on and off campus during lunch.

The app was created last summer by Mt. Whitney’s Assistant Principal Pete Chavez, and launched at the beginning of the school year. 

Stand up for your industry: DoE’s reg draft would cripple campus cards

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Department of Education released an initial draft of proposed changes to the Cash Management portion of the regulation governing title IV financial aid funds. The document includes a series of provisions that would dramatically impact the ways campuses could distribute funds to recipients, so much so, that in essence it would effectively outlaw some common card-based solutions.

At this stage, it’s imperative for every campus to closely examine the draft and determine how it could impact current processes. Moreover, any concerns should be shared with the Department of Education and the committee developing the proposed regs.

The time to have impact on the process is short, as the committee has an aggressive timeline, but voicing your opinion is invaluable to the process nonetheless. The next review meeting began March 26 and will continue through March 28. Though this was anticipated to be the final meeting of the negotiating committee, rumor is that one more meeting will be held in the coming weeks. Comments can be directed to the U.S. Department of Education’s lead negotiator for the project, Pamela Moran, at

The most significant changes are focused in section 668.163 Maintaining and Accounting for Funds. Specifically, part (e.) Sponsored account, contains a number of new requirements that would make it difficult or impossible to continue current practices.