Smart cards fill important gap in wake of demonetization
Shortly before the demonetization of old 500 and 1,000 Indian Rupee cash notes, Delhi University’s Lakshmibai College began issuing smart ID cards to its students. As it turns out, it was a pretty good move.
According to a report from the Hindustan Times, Lakshmibai College is issuing RFID cards to its students to enable purchases at on-campus locations. The move has quickly made the student cards a prized possession, following a cash crunch in the region associated with withdrawal limits at banks and ATMs. Students can now swipe the ID cards to pay for everything from photocopies and canteen bills to library fines and college fees.
“We wanted to increase the utility of the card, and thought why not make it usable for payments within the campus, so we added the cashless payment option to it. We’re the first college in all of Delhi University to have introduced such a move,” said Pratyush Vatsala, principal of Lakshmibai College, in an interview with the Times. “Students can recharge the balance through the Bank of India branch in the college campus. Even those who don’t have an account with the bank, can recharge using cash at the bank.”
Beyond providing a valuable alternative in the wake of demonetization, the new ID cards have also garnered student appreciation for introducing more safety and security than cash, as well as eliminating the need for exact change at certain campus locations. The cards have also been color coded to signify the students’ year, while the cards of those holding positions in college societies feature tri-color bands.
With the early success of Lakshmibai’s new ID card, other Delhi University affiliates, including Hans Raj College, are said to be contemplating the move the smart IDs. “We were considering going cashless within the campus, these cards are definitely on our mind now,” said Dr. Rama Sharma, principal of Hans Raj College, in a Times interview. “We’re even thinking of including medical history of the students on the chip.”