At this month’s NACAS conference, a number of exciting new products and projects were demonstrated in the exhibit hall and discussed in the educational sessions. CR80News was on-site at the conference, here’s our review of some of the key card-related highlights from the show.
General Meters unveiled its new magnetic stripe reader that turns a Compaq iPaq handheld computer into a powerful tool for data collection using campus cards. The reader can be used for financial transactions, date of birth verification, access and privilege control. The company also showcased a new insertion-style access control reader for increased weather resistance.
Mac-Gray’s Intelligent Laundry Solutions were on display enabling visitors to check out the latest innovations in laundry use and administration. The Precision Wash system dispenses detergent from the machine eliminating the student’s need to bring supplies. Web-based administration tools enable system managers to view the status of each machine and generate service calls from their desktop.
Students may soon be using their campus card to rent or purchase DVDs from unattended kiosks on campus. A company called DVD Play showed off this great new device that holds 100 DVDs and accepts payment via debit or credit card. Company representatives noted that they were beginning discussions with campus card providers to add ID card payment to the kiosk. The first units have already been installed at Ohio University and Grand Valley State and many campuses are said to be scheduled for installation in the coming months.
Vision Database Systems demonstrated their RapIDcard issuance system’s ability to print 2D barcodes encoded with fingerprint biometrics. The new addition enables low-cost biometric security via traditional plastic cards. They also described the integration of their RapIDstatus verification software with turnstiles at their installation at Utah’s Weber State University.
USA Technologies demonstrated the ability to increase vending sales by enabling credit and debit card payment at the machine. Company representative, Jim Turner, noted that sites often experience a 15% lift in sales by enabling bankcard payments. The company is considering the combination of the bankcard acceptance and campus card acceptance in the same reader.
Ingenico/Debitek announced two revolutionary new card readers for its MoneyClip card solution. A new Multi Drop Bus (MDB) card reader will serve vending, laundry, reprograhic, and retail environments. The migration to this device that functions across applications is expected to streamline the system administration and maintenance process. Additionally, the company unveiled a new MoneyClip reader that will conduct transactions offline but transmit the transaction data in online mode–ending the “SneakerNet” –style data collection process. This merger of offline and online technology could, for the first time, capitalize on the benefits of both system architectures.
CBORD is changing the way students order food via its new WebFood system showcased at the conference. Via WebFood, students order their meals online–up to 24 hours in advance of pick-up. Payment is made at the time of ordering via the campus card or a bankcard. The order is automatically routed to the kitchen enabling better allocation of time and staff resources, thus improving throughput, increasing sales volume, and raising customer service levels. Additionally, CBORD’s tour to Colorado College was well-attended and, as a thank-you, the company presented its Colorado College client with 1000 preprinted cards to begin a new gift card program. CBORD’s gift card program enables campus card offices to sell gift cards for use throughout the campus payment network.
Blackboard unveiled its new IP-addressable card reader that will across payment applications and in both its Unix and Windows operating environments. This new reader is truly IP-ready, with ethernet connectivity built-in, eliminating the need for an IP converter. Additionally, the company demonstrated the new Campus e-Market web suite that combines revalue, Regulation E-compliant statement distribution, and campus-defined ecommerce and product sales.
Diebold’s impressive integration of security, closed circuit television, and campus card technology at University of Texas at (UTS) was highlighted in a presentation by UTA’s Kent Pawlak. According to company representative, Mark Reinart, an increased focus on the importance of security technology as a function of a campus ID system was certainly apparent at this year’s NACAS conference. A new off campus merchant program complete with both payment and loyalty is a new addition to the company’s campus card suite of applications. Stay tuned for details.